Aunt Martha's Buttermilk Corn Bread


This recipe is from Joseph E. Dabney's Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking.

Berry College's founder, the late Martha Berry, had a beloved cook at her ancestral home on the Oostanaula River in the Appalachian foothills near Rome, Georgia --"Aunt Martha" Freeman. Long deceased, Aunt Martha was a legend in the area for her cooking wizardry. Although she never wrote down her recipes, some of Berry friends did.

Here is Aunt Martha's basic buttermilk corn bread recipe as preserved by the Daughters of Berry, with my personal thanks to Lillian Farmer, assistant director of the Martha Berry Oak Hill Museum. Her recipe calls for a wee three tablespoons of flour, which admittedly is a mountain no-no. But Martha Berry, a belle of the mountains in her day, gave the recipe high marks.
    --Joe Dabney

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 small eggs
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda

    Directions
    1. Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder together.
    2. Add buttermilk to beaten eggs.
    3. Melt shortening.
    4. Cut into dry ingredients.
    5. Add soda dissolved in a little water.
    6. Pour in hot greased skillet or pan and bake at 425 degrees until done. Yields six servings


    This recipe is copyright 1998 Joseph E. Dabney. Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking , published by Cumberland House Publishing Inc.