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
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.