Friday, February 4, 2011

5 Country Corn Bread

I have mentioned before how much of a staple The Houston Junior League Cookbook has been in my family.
The Houston Junior League Cookbook
With all of the comments I have been getting about people serving Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili or Deer Hunter's Chili for the Super Bowl, I had to share the cornbread recipe that we grew up on! Because, what is chili without cornbread!
With older cookbooks or older recipes, sometimes I have to do a little research to figure out certain ingredients. Sweet milk was one of those "research projects." (yes, I could have just called my parents or my Gigi, but I thought it would be fun to find out on my own!) And this was the best explanation I found!
"In the 1930's and 40's the country was coming out of the "Depression". We had no extras, frills, fancy names, just staples, like sugar, flour, salt, pinto beans, peanut butter, syrup, corn meal that you bought in town.You only went to town once a month, sometimes longer between. You bought huge quantities. You raised a hog, chickens, and a cow as well as a garden for your vegetables. Vegetables were canned to eat during the year when winter time came and you could not grow vegetables, The cow provided milk which was used for drinking and cooking, chickens provided eggs for eating and baking, and the hog to eat your table scraps and other feed to fatten up, kill hog in the fall to have bacon, ham, and the rest for food for the year. To preserve the hog meat you had to use sugar cure to preserve it.(No refrigeration).Fresh sweet whole milk had to sit at room temperature for several hours and the cream came to the top. You skimmed that cream off the top and churned the cream. That separated the butter fat from the milk to make real home butter. What was left with flecks of butter in it was buttermilk. So the term sweet milk referred to milk just milked from the cow. It had the butterfat and all in it. After churning and getting the butter out, it had turned sour and made buttermilk. So the term sweet milk was just the whole milk before any processing had occurred,then it became sour/ buttermilk. - From a 75 year old granny Fort Worth Texas"
I LOVED this explanation of sweet milk (hey, I AM a history teacher) . . . so from 3 generations of my family to yours, Enjoy! 
Country Corn Bread
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sweet milk (regular milk)
1 egg
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 Tbs sugar (Our family always adds 1 Tbs of sugar to this recipe!)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease 8x8 pan and place in oven to heat until piping hot. (5-10 minutes) Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, soda and baking powder; mix thoroughly. Add buttermilk, sweet milk, egg and oil to dry ingredients, and stir well. Pour corn bread batter into hot pan and bake at 450 degrees about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
The Houston Junior League Cookbook
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  1. Thanks for sharing this, there's nothing like fresh cornbread with some thick spicy chili! I loved the sweet milk explanation and I'm wondering...since it was whole milk without any processing would it make sense to add some heavy cream into this recipe to more fully emulate the sweet milk?

  2. Elizabeth - I just ran across your blog a few weeks ago and am in love with all your fabulous recipes! I passed along a blog award to you -

  3. Yum! I LoVE Cornbread! Question--do you have a yummy recipe for Texas caviar?!?! Please share if you do!!! :)

  4. Just thought I should tell you once again that I love your blog!!! I always just make good ole jif cornbread bc I'm lazy but this looks sooo yummy that I'll have to try it tonight. :) you inspire me to cook more! {it was one of my new years resolutions after all!} and ps. Have we ever talked about how I'm Elizabeth Ann too! Ha. Love that you sign everything that way :) love you friend!!

  5. Eating Bangkok, sounds good to me! But it tastes great with regular milk too!
    Elizabeth, Thanks sweet friend! there are certain people (like my mom) that call me Elizabeth Ann. . . almost wanted to go by that when i went to college but already knew too many people at Baylor who knew me as Elizabeth . . . So it is my "pen name" on my blog! :-) I kind of love it! :-) Enjoying reading your blog too!!! :-)


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