Rosa’s Cornbread

February 3rd, 2011

I have written about Rosa’s cornbread before, but it was as a part of a bigger blog post that had to do with a New Year’s Day feast.  We are going to a weekend music performance at Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak Florida.  Our friends with Malt Shoppe Memories will be performing on Saturday night.  They are all RVers. We are not, so we will be staying in a cabin. On Friday night we are all gathering for a pot luck dinner with a Mexican theme.  There will be a wonderful Mexican inspired soup and I volunteered to make cornbread to accompany it.  To me, there is no better cornbread than Rosa’s.

Rosa was my husband’s secretary when he worked at the university.  She is probably one of the best natural Southern cooks that we know.  Everything she learned was from the generations of cooks in her family that came before her and she cooks to this day with a sure hand and knowledge of how things should be done.  She would bring leftovers to work to share and David was always one of her biggest fans.  There was a time when he became obsessed with her pork neckbones and he cooked them at home with her collard greens and cornbread all of the time.  I have related this incident before but it is worth repeating.  One Saturday we had invited dear friends from out of town for dinner.  I had to work that day so David said not to worry, he would be in charge of dinner.  I had time to set the dining room table with a lovely cloth and pretty dishes, flowers and candles, but that was all.  When I got home from work our guests were there; two couples.  The smell of simmering pork neckbones filled the air.  Every pot in the kitchen was either in use or in the sink.  I was kind of appalled that he had dragged out one of my old ugly cooking vessels in which the neckbones were simmering.  But he was in charge and everybody seemed to be having a great time.  When we sat down to eat, the neckbones were served in bowls with sides of greens and cornbread and our dear friend Jim summed up the incongrous ambiance by saying, ” I declare, I think this is the first time I have ever eaten neckbones by candlelight.”

Rosa’s cornbread is different from other cornbreads.  There is no flour in it.  There is a small amount of sugar and seemingly too much fat.  Do not let this deter you.  The combination of ingredients makes a moist cornbread that holds together and has a beautiful crumb.  Just look at it.

There are no fancy ingredients in it, but it is easy and delicious.  I have to admit though that I usually only make it once a year.  Give it a try.


2 cups of Joy Brand Corn Meal (self rising).  If you can’t find it use another like Martha Whites with Hot Rize
4 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Oil a 8″ or 9″ iron skillet.  In a large bowl mix cornmeal, eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and then pour melted butter into the batter.  Stir to combine completely.  Pour into skillet and place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes.  If top is not browned, run under broiler for just a brief time.

Thanks Rosa

Printable recipe

Buttermilk Cornbread

March 8th, 2018

Buttermilk Cornbread

Crumbly, rich cornbread always has a place of honor on my table.  My favorite is Rosa’s Cornbread which I blogged about here.  But Rosa’s Cornbread is almost too rich for most meals.  I save it for our yearly New Year’s Day celebration.  I found this recipe in a Southern Living Cookbook.  It has much less fat and more buttermilk.  Since I had a carton of buttermilk in the refrigerator that needed to be used, this was the perfect way to accomplish that.

Buttermilk Cornbread

This is a winner with its golden crust and tender crumb.

Blue Wave

We are enjoying the restaurants in New Smyrna Beach.  I loved this wall of herbs at the entrance to The Third Wave Cafe.  The secret garden behind the restaurant is a favorite place to eat.

Third Wave Cafe

It is a magical spot at night.

Chicken Salad Third Wave

The food is sourced from local farmers.  The chicken salad croissant is made from organic chicken, dried cranberries, orange mayonnaise, apples and mixed greens.  The evening menu includes tapas, wood-fired pizzas and full entrees like Shrimp and Grits and Shrimp and Scallop Scampi.

Forgive me for not blogging more often, but we have been very busy this winter.  Our friends will arrive for bike week tomorrow so I probably won’t be on my blog for a little while.  We return to Lake Lure the first of April.

If you like cornbread, I think you will like this one.  Hope you give it a try.


1/3 cup butter
2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix like White Lily
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs

Place butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and heat in a 425 degree oven 5 minutes or until melted.

Combine cornmeal mix, flour, and sugar in a large bowl.

Stir together buttermilk and eggs.  Add to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened.  Pour over melted butter in skillet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.  Cut into wedges.  Makes 6 servings.

Printable Recipe

Fusilli with Collards, Bacon, and Garlic

January 5th, 2014

Fusilli with collards S!

The greens of winter reach their peak during the frigid months of the year.  Collard greens, kale and cabbage are all in season right now.  We drove to the panhandle of Florida for our New Year’s celebration with friends and the backroads were lined with fields of greens.  Workers were bent to the task of picking the leafy foliage. These inexpensive, calcium and vitamin A rich vegetables add a vitality to our winter fare.  I plan to make full use of them in my meal planning this month.

Destin Condo ViewEvery year, we get together with our friends of many years for a New Year’s celebration.  We have met at each others’ homes, but have also rented houses or condos in interesting places.  Last year we rented a house on Tybee Island.  This year we rented a condo in Destin, Florida.  The above picture is the view of the Gulf of Mexico from our balcony.  The locations may change, but the food is always the same for New Year’s Day.

New Years Dinner 2014We roast a pork butt long and slow until it falls apart.  We have garlic mashed potatoes, collard greens, black-eyed peas, pea salad and Rosa’s cornbread.  This year we made corn muffins because Jackie forgot her iron skillet and the condo kitchen had only a muffin tin.  It was a fine meal.  The best ever.  You can find some of the recipes in one of my previous posts here.  David has taken over the making of the collard greens.  He loads them up with two ham hocks and cooks them for hours.  The recipe came from his secretary Rosa, who also gave us the cornbread recipe.  I wrote about her in this post.

Fusilli with Collards Vertical

David made such a big pot of collard greens that we came home with leftovers.  Not one to waste a good thing, I made a pasta dish incorporating the greens.  The original recipe came from Gourmet Magazine.  Since my greens were already cooked, it was easy to throw together.  We loved it.  I will give you the recipe as written in Gourmet and Rosa’s recipe for collard greens.  The Gourmet recipe did not call for a long cooking of the greens.  Either way, I think you would enjoy this.  Happy New Year everyone.

FUSILLI WITH COLLARDS, BACON, AND GARLIC ( Adapted from Gourmet Magazine )

1 pound collards, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and chopped coarse
1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 large onion, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 pound fusilli (spiral-shaped pasta)
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
freshly grated Parmesan as an accompaniment

In a kettle of boiling water boil the collards for 10 minutes, drain them in a colander set over a large bowl, and return the cooking liquid to the kettle.  In a large skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until it is just browned and transfer it with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.  Pour off the fat from the skillet and in the skillet cook the garlic, the onion, and the red pepper flakes in half the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and the garlic is golden brown.  Bring the cooking liquid to a boil, in it boil the fusilli until it is al dente, and drain the fusilli well.  To the skillet add the collards, the bacon, the fusilli, the remaining oil, and the vinegar and toss the mixture well.  Season the fusilli with salt and pepper, divide it among 4 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with some of the Parmesan.  Serves 4.

ROSA’S COLLARD GREENS (This is a very loose recipe)

Put your ham hocks in water and cook on top of the stove.
Then cut the greens up, cut bottom stems off.  Do not cook stems, then wash greens 4 times in the sink.
Then put more water in the pot with the meat, add the greens.
Add hot peppers, salt, pinch of sugar.
Let cook about 1 hour and 1/2.

Printable recipe:  Fusilli with Collards, Bacon, and Garlic

Printable recipe:  Rosa’s Collard Greens


New Year’s Day Dinner

January 3rd, 2010

Happy New Year everyone. We started New Year’s Day in the traditional way that we have followed for the last ten years. We have a group of friends who spend New Year’s Eve and Day together. We are a motorcycle gang. Don’t laugh. We are tougher than we look. We’ve ridden the Canadian Rockies and the Beartooth Pass, the Million Dollar Highway and the Grand Tetons. The guys have been to Sturgis. What more credentials would you need? We are also good cooks and our gatherings always include fabulous food.

The New Year’s Day menu has always been a traditional Southern spread and each of us has a specialty. Pork has to be on the menu. Pigs forage forward with their noses so eating pork represents moving forward in the new year. For years I have been making my Fall-Apart Tender Slow Roast Pork. The recipe came from Shirley Corriher. We also have collard greens and blackeyed peas which represent wealth and good luck. Barbara is the collard greens queen, but she couldn’t be with us this year so, shhh, don’t tell anyone but we fixed Glory brand canned seasoned collard greens. Jackie makes the black eyed peas and Rosa’s cornbread which is rich with butter and absolutely decadent. Rosa was David’s secretary for many years and a talented Southern cook. We always have a potato casserole and Cynthia made a rich and luscious Gouda and Asiago scalloped potato with a panko crumb crust. Karen makes wonderful coleslaw and a refreshing Pea salad. Our dessert this year was compliments of the Cheesecake Factory.

Since I am always taking pictures of food, everyone got into the act this year. This obsession is catching.

Here are few of our favorite recipes.
FALL-APART TENDER SLOW ROAST PORK (adapted from Shirley Corriher)
4 to 5 lb Pork Butt
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pork in pot with lid. Sprinkle pork heavily with Worcestershire sauce; turn it over and sprinkle other side heavily as well. Take handful of brown sugar and smush brown sugar crust all over meat. Turn meat over and smush brown sugar all over other side. Pour apple juice in bottom of pan, not over meat. Cover and place pot in oven. Turn oven down to 275 degrees and cook 4 hours until meat literally falls apart when you try to lift it with a fork. Break meat apart a little and push it down into drippings. Sprinkle with salt. This salt cannot be omitted; it is vital to bring out meat flavors.
3 lbs potatoes peeled and sliced
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 tsp garlic juice, from minced garlic jar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavey cream
Panko crumbs to cover top.
Layer potatoes in casserole and sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper and cheeses. Add nutmeg and garlic juice to milk and heavy cream. Pour over casserole. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Cover with panko crumbs and continue cooking until potatoes are tender and panko crumbs are browned and the cheese is bubbly.
2 cups Joy Brand self-rising cornmeal
4 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbls sugar
1 cup buttermilk
In a large bowl mix corn meal, eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and melted butter. Pour into a large cast iron skillet and place inside a 350 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes.
1 can French style green beans, drained
1 can shoepeg corn, drained
1 can tiny English peas, drained
1 small jar chopped pimentoes, drained
1 medium yellow bell pepper chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup oil
Mix vegetables in bowl. In another bowl stir together dressing until sugar is dissolved. Pour dressing over vegetables and refrigerate until ready to serve.
It is wonderful to bring in the New Year with good friends and I consider all of you good friends also. I look forward to our sharing good food and good times in 2010.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.