Cornbread is good anytime, but during this colder weather season, it makes a frequent appearance as a side to chili and soup.  I know there’s a debate whether cornbread should be savory or sweet.  Here’s a fun article from Southern  Living magazine “The Last Word on Cornbread.”  In our house, cornbread is sweet.  Mother always added a tablespoon or two of sugar, and Miss Bee asks me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. “did you put sugar in the cornbread?”

I always bake my cornbread in my grandmother’s cast iron skillet. I bet it’s easily 75 years old.  I love how it makes the edges of the cornbread crispy and evenly browns the cornbread on the bottom.  The secret to cast iron is “seasoning the pan.” Here’s a great video to walk you through the process. Your trusty cast-iron skillet will eventually lose its sheen and, as a result, its super non-stick powers. Bringing back its luster and protecting it from rusting is as easy as a scrub, oil, and bake.  And never, NEVER, ever wash your skillet with soap and water or run it through the dishwasher. It will rust and you will RUIN it. Plus, I am pretty sure it’s a crime in most southern states to do so.   Here’s a helpful article on the proper way to clean cast iron, which folks, is nature’s natural element – hot water.

Here’s my favorite recipe for cornbread…

Print the pdf link for the full recipe

Download the pdf version here for your recipe file. My favorite way to eat cornbread comes from my brother Jim. He loved to eat it with butter and honey. Jalapeno honey is good, too.  Sometimes I will throw in leftover corn or a cup of cheddar cheese to make it more savory.

Here’s a fun idea for a Christmas or hostess gift…print the recipe. Tie a cute tea towel around the handle of a new skillet, punch a hole in the recipe and attach with twine to the handle.  A cast iron skillet is the perfect wedding gift because it will last years and years! Happy gifting!