Seems like a century ago now, but I spent four long years of my life studying and taking in the quirks and traditions of South Eastern, North Carolina.
My college years were filled with turmoil, stress, unforgettable fun, and most memorably, a constant lack of finances.
My Dad, who graciously paid my tuition despite my having had no real direction or ambition to make my schooling matter, was raised off the coast of Eastern North Carolina. I was well aware of how different and secluded things were in the Eastern part of the state having visited scores of relatives each summer, trying to understand their unique dialect and always leaving to go back to D. C. a few pounds heavier than when I’d arrived it seemed. My Grandparents would always serve us all my Dad’s favorites each visit and then there was the finally each trip; I’d gorge on Dr. Pepper, hushpuppies and cornbread at “The Sanitary Fish Market” in Morehead City till I’d pop!
Back to school days, I lived off campus in a rather small, 4 room house, sans refrigerator, sans stove…. I got a hot plate at some point. And cooked up a mean iron skillet full of Jiffy (.25 per box) cornbread most weeks. I didn’t bother using the milk, just water. I’d add in a big pinch of red pepper flakes for extra zing. It smelled amazing and allowed me to have a quick, inexpensive dinner even on the leanest of days. two doors down from me, a neighbor always had a pan ready for her son after his Mill shift along with a big glass of buttermilk….yuk. He loved it though and after 12 hours on his feet, I’m sure it was the best part of his day sometimes to gobble down that first big piece of cornbread after work.
The Supper Table by D.A. Brooks Steam rising, sifting through The kitchen air that we once knew. Collards, peas and sweet iced tea, Hoping they'd save some for me. Sliced tomatoes, juicy red Triangle cuts of hot cornbread The smells from days so long ago Still linger in my head you know..
- 1 packaged cornbread mix ( Jiffy brand vegetarian perferred)
- non dairy milk per the package instructions
- 1 can Chili Beans * just the juice (optional)
- 1/2 cup canned, drained corn
- 1/4 cup diced chilies
- 1 Tbs. maple, coconut or agave syrup
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and stir until all the dry mix is moist and smooth.
- Pour the batter into a lightly greased iron skillet or other small bake pan.
- Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes or until the center of the bread springs back to a light touch
- or you can use a meat thermometer to test the middle batter temp to 175 degrees.
- Allow to cool prior to cutting slices to serve.
- Substitute the juice from your favorite baked beans if you can't find 'chili beans'
- This is a very moist, cake like cornbread. Let it cool some before serving or it may end up being finger food.
- Good piping hot or room temp the next day!
More from my site
- Poppy’s ‘Cheesy Corn Sauce’ from BunnyKitchen.com – July’s ‘Nut Butter Blast’ entry
- Spectacularly Evil – ‘Cookie Butter Cupcakes’