Kate's Cuisine

Feb 19 2014

Leola’s Cornbread


I’ve tried many different cornbreads, and even have Caw’s cornbread up on the site already. But ever since my mother-in-law passed down several cookbooks to me, one of which had this perfect cornbread recipe in it, this is the one I keep going back to. Leola’s cornbread, straight out of Time Life Books, and quite possibly the best cornbread I’ve ever had. I’m not kidding. This time I made it into cornbread muffins for a change, but I usually just pour the batter into my greased cast iron skillet and then cut it into wedges for that rustic look. As for the shortening in the recipe. If you’ve ever seen Janet and Greta’s Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry on the Food Network you’ll know that they say this particular ingredient was given its name because it “shortens” your life. Yeah, it’s not the healthiest thing you could eat. If you’re worried about it, substitute more butter for the shortening, or just opt for vegetable oil instead (extra bonus, you won’t have to melt and cool it first!)

1 1/2 cups cornmeal $0.15
1 cup all-purpose flour $0.14
1/3 cup sugar $0.06
1 teaspoon salt $0.01
1 tablespoon baking powder $0.03
2 eggs $0.40
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled $0.36
8 tablespoons shortening, melted and cooled $0.24
1 1/2 cups milk $0.72

Total cost $2.11
Cost per serving $0.17

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Into a large mixing bowl sift the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

2.) Beat the eggs lightly, and then add the melted butter and shortening. Stir in the milk. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and beat together for about one minute, just until the batter is smooth and everything is incorporated. Do not overbeat!

3.) Lightly butter an 8″ by 12″ shallow baking pan, a cast iron skillet, or a muffin tray and pour batter in.

4.) Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on what you’re cooking the cornbread in, until the bread starts to pull away slightly from the edges and is turning golden brown.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Leola’s Cornbread”

  1. Phyllis Akmalon 22 Nov 2015 at 2:05 pm

    So true! As a new young cook in the 1970′s, I subscribed to the Time-Life cookbook series. There was still limited access to modern cookbooks then, and the 1970s was the beginning of the New American cuisine movement.

    Once I made Aunt Leola’s cornbread recipe, that has been the ONLY cornbread recipe I have used since then. I’ve made it in a pan, muffin tins, and a cast-iron skillet. For Thanksgiving cornbread dressing, I lower the amount of sugar called for in the recipe.

    I’ve added shredded cheese, chopped peppers, creamed corn, etc. depending on the occasion. You can essentially use whatever you like to spice up the recipe.

    Another recipe I still use from that 1970s Time-Life Meat series is Beef Stroganoff. Previously, the 1960s beef stroganoff recipe called for the can of Cream of Mushroom soup. This “modern” recipe uses fresh mushrooms, powdered hot mustard mixed with a little bit of water and of course, sour cream. It was a revelation.

    This was fun to find the recipe on your website.

  2. Phyllis Akmalon 22 Nov 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Correction to my post: It is “Leola’s Cornbread.” Adding the “Aunt” must have been a literary license slip. :)

  3. kateon 23 Nov 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Phyllis! Thanks for checking out the site, and for taking the time to comment! I’m so happy to actually hear from someone who loves this recipe as much as I do! And yes, I agree, that entire Time-Life series is full of gems. I’ll have to try out the Beef Stroganoff recipe. It’s one of my favourite dishes and I’d love to see the take Time-Life has on it. I’d love to try out some of the additions you suggest (and that Thanksgiving dressing recipe, too – yum!) and post updates to the recipe on the site.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Hearing back from readers is my favourite part of the blog!

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