Where it all starts . . .

Foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains

My Grandfather Jasper was a man full of character gleaned from devoting a long life to farming with his wife, family & his God.  On a misty early morning sometime around 1915, his parents put this energetic red-headed teenager on a train in Eastern Tennessee expecting him to visit his brother in Indianapolis.  Imagine his brother’s surprise as Jasper stood at the back of the train, waving goodbye, a big grin on his face and a fresh ticket to Canada.  It was the beginning of a very grand adventure for him.   He took with him the traditions of the Southeastern US, a slow Southern drawl, a love for the great outdoors and a love of the food that was the foundation of most Tennessee meals ~ cornbread, bean stew, grits, collard greens and Virginia ham.

Cornbread was an historical staple of the early United States.   It is made in various forms, and is made sweet or savory.  It is also known as corn pone, johnnycakes, and hushpuppies. Early Native Americans used ground maize for food thousands of years before European settlers arrived in the Americas.  It was these same Native Americans who showed the early settlers how to grow and use maize.

Here is an Easy Sweet Cornbread recipe that I like to make:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 t. soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 c. corn meal
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/3 c. shortening or butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, grease 8 inch square pan.  Melt the shortening or butter, beat the eggs with the buttermilk and then add the melted shortening and the sugar.  Combine the flour, corn meal & salt and combine with the wet ingredients.  Pour into the greased pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Check with a toothpick to make sure it is done in the center.  

Wikipedia contributors, “Cornbread,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cornbread&oldid=433267768 (accessed June 26, 2011).

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One Response to Where it all starts . . .

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