I have a confession.
I’ve been living a lie since 1989.
And, I feel the need to finally confess my sins and wash away the guilt.
So, here goes.
I cheated in The 1989 Sumner County 4-H Cornbread Muffin Competition. I was the grand prize winner, but, I did not make the cornbread muffins.
When I was in grade school, everyone had to participate in the classroom level 4-H cooking competitions. There were categories for no bake cookies and cornbread muffins. If you won, you automatically got to participate in the county level competition held at a local community college. Basically, this means you had to waste your Saturday sitting around waiting for your baked (or non baked, as the case may be) goods to be judged.
That Saturday morning, my mom helped me make the cornbread muffins and by make, I mean, she threw everything into a bowl (she never measures anything) and I stirred. That was my single contribution, I stirred.
At the end of the baking process, she put pats of butter on top of the muffins and off we went to the community college.
We sat there for about 3 hours, luckily (actually, not so luckily) they scheduled a talent show to coincide with the competition so that we competitors would have something to watch while they tasted all the goods.
After 3 hours of watching kids sing or dance in horrible neon bows and matching puff paint shirts (it was 1989 afterall), my mom and I decided we were out. My mom wanted to play golf, instead of wasting the rest of her Saturday.
Later that afternoon, we got a phone call from a classmate of mine’s mother who was also at the competition. Apparently, MY cornbread muffins had won Grand Prize and she was going to bring MY ribbon over.
I couldn’t believe it. I had never won anything in my entire life and technically, I hadn’t won this either.
But, it doesn’t take winning a 4-H competition to know that my mom does make the best cornbread. Hands down, bar none, it’s what she does best and no one else’s cornbread that I’ve ever had comes close.
So, yesterday, I had her make it while I watched and tried to learn. She does it all by feel (how can you bake without measuring??!!!????!!!???), but I tried to roughly estimate the amounts of each ingredient.
So, here we go… My mother’s Sumner County 4-H Grand Prize Winning Cornbread recipe. It’s not sweet, but it’s baking at it’s best.
1 ½ tbsp Butter
1 ½ cup Self Rising Corn Meal
2 tbsps Self Rising Flour, sifted
¼ cup buttermilk
1 tbsp regular milk
1 tbsp oil
Preheat oven to 375.
Place the butter in a round 9 inch pan and put into oven to melt and heat pan (dont let the butter burn while you prepare the cornbread though!).
Mix the cornmeal and the flour together. Make a well in the center of the flour and cornmeal mixture and add the egg, buttermilk, regular milk and oil. Incorporate all together. If mixture is too dry, add more milk to thin it out. It should be a pourable batter similar to a thick pancake batter consistency.
Pour into heated pan with the melted butter and cook till golden brown.