HISTORY This recipe is one from down Louisiana-way. It comes from a dear friend, MizMo (Aline Theriot Meaux). She opened with the following in a letter to me this evening (Sunday, 8 April 2001).

"My #3 son, Joseph, Jr. (nicknamed “Butch”) brought me a small cast iron skillet yesterday.  He’d heard me say that I needed one to make 'pain perdue' (lost bread).  I seasoned it immediately, so it was ready to use today.  But what to bake in it?  I remembered the delicious cornbread my mother baked using her BIG cast iron skillet and her wood-burning stove. 

This brought to mind a cousin who often came “to spend the vacation” in the summer time.  His name was Wilfred Guidry, but we called him “Tee-Caille” because, like me, his face was heavily basone’. Grandpa used to tease us every summer, saying it seemed that our freckles had HAD freckles!  “Tee-Caille” was the great grandson of Nonc Senias and Tante Bridgette. 

Now, “Tee-Caille” loved my Mom’s cornbread and often told her, “Boy, Tante Aline, ton pain de mais, c’est mieux que le gateau a Mama.”  Which brings me to my adventure of this evening. 

I decided to make a cornbread as nearly close to my mother’s as I could.  I didn’t have the home-milled cornmeal she used, but I had some fresh yellow cornmeal from the superstore, and I had fresh eggs from the basse-cour of my #4 daughter, Anna (nicknamed “Tootsie), and I had my new little cast iron skillet.  Maybe my little toaster oven would do the job!

I knew it would be foolish to make as big a cornbread as Mom used to make, so with some adjustment in measurements, I came up with something that would feed six normal people and maybe two hungry Cajuns.  ~MizMo

  • 1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • ¾  teaspoon salt (use only ½  easpoon if you are using bacon drippings
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large brown egg
  • 1-1/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons fat
PREPARATION Before mixing your cornbread, put the fat into a cast iron skillet and heat.  Swirl around in skillet, until bottom and sides of skillet are coated with fat.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, stir in milk a little at a time.  Add egg and beat mixture until smooth.  Pour hot fat remaining in skillet into mixed cornbread (It will sizzle!) and mix well.  Pour  cornbread mixture into hot skillet.  (This will start the cooking process even before you put it into the oven and will give you a nice crusty bottom on your cornbread.) Bake at 400 degrees F until cracks appear on the top of the cornbread, and continue baking until top crust is golden brown.

I ate my supper of cornbread and milk tonight in a soup bowl with a handle on it.  One of my children brought it to me from South Carolina, and it has a recipe for fish stew printed on it. 

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