I'm usually the soft-spoken one. The young woman who goes with the flow and rarely expresses her opinion because tension and arguments and yelling tear my innards to shreds. But that is not the case when it comes to cornbread.
While proudly claiming my identity as a southerner, I am no thoroughbred. My father's Ohio upbringing gave him a mostly neutral accent and a tendency to ask for a pop when around my grandparents. So you’d think I would have encountered the abomination that bears the golden resemblance to cornbread. But throughout my childhood I managed to avoid those sticky, sweet squares I refuse to call anything but corncake.
The sweet bread itself is not the source of my disgust. It's that so many claim it is what it is not. Corncake is a poser, which I made clear to the girls I lived with during a semester stint in Washington, D.C. Being from California and Pennsylvania their only concept of the South was that its people constantly uttered y'all and kept a never-ending supply of bacon in their fridges. So when our Korean residence director and his wife made what they called "cornbread" for all us students to enjoy I took it upon myself to educate anyone within earshot that they were snacking on an imposter.
Real cornbread is salty and simple. It is made preferably by your mother in a cast iron skillet and served with pinto beans and ham or chili. It crumbles in your hands and no sweetness lingers on your tongue after swallowing it. Cornbread is a treat, but not of the after-dinner variety. XXXXXI've been known to pop the salty-or-sweet question when introduced to new people that are from the other side of the Mason-Dixon line with the hope that I can share with them the good news. You can call me the cornbread evangelist.
1.5 cups Martha Washington self rising yellow cornmeal
1 egg, beaten
.5 to .75 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Mix all ingredients except 1 tablespoon of the oil. Put remaining oil into a hot iron skillet and pour in batter. Fry until golden and crispy. Enjoy.