While it took quite a bit of coaxing and begging to get the hubster to give up the recipe (and bake this for the blog), I was finally successful and am now able to share the recipe for Grandmother Ruby's Country Cornbread.
Here is my disclaimer on this recipe. To me, it is a pain in the rear and I will not make it. That's why the hubster does it. Back in the day, recipes seemed to never have exact measurements. It was always a dollop of this, a heap of that and 2 shakes of something else. Prepare this recipe at your own risk and don't come crying to me if it doesn't work out. :-) I'll let you horse whip the hubster!
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Use a 10-inch cast iron skillet. A cast iron skillet looks like this....yes, that's it sitting behind the powdered buttermilk.
Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet. Place skillet in oven to preheat.
In a bowl, mix:
1 heaping cup of self-rising cornmeal (we use a cornmeal mix)
a little less than 1/2 cup of self-rising flour
1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise (secret ingredient)
NOTE: Hubster said that his grandmother would come up out of her grave and poke you in the eyeballs if you tell anyone the secret ingredient. I'm just sayin'...
At this point, the hubster strays from the recipe and adds spices or seasonings (to taste), depending on our meal.
Most of the time he adds a few shakes of garlic powder and Italian
seasoning or some other spice (Thyme, Oregano, etc.). A "few shakes" is probably the
equivalent of 1/4 teaspoon of said seasoning. He wants the cornbread to
compliment our meal, not overpower it. Spoken like a true chef!
After the oven and skillet preheat (wait for the "ding" on your oven), remove the heated skillet (with a potholder, of course, so you don't burn your hand -- guess who's done this??!!) and swirl the oil around the bottom and sides of the skillet.
After that, add 1 cup of REAL buttermilk (not low fat or the dry stuff we used this time) to dry ingredients and stir well. The batter should be thick.
Add a little bit of water and stir, so that it resembles a thick paste. Set aside.
Sprinkle corn meal around the bottom and sides of oiled skillet. Immediately pour the batter into skillet and drizzle 1 tablespoon (not measuring spoon, regular tablespoon) of olive oil around on top of cornbread batter.
Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The time depends on your oven and elevation. Elevation will make a big difference in baking times.
You will need to keep an eye on the cornbread after about 20 minutes -- don't let the top get too brown. And definitely use a toothpick in the center to test doneness.
So that's it...country cornbread and a secret!
PS...here is a "quote" from the hubster (using his best "Carl" from Sling Blade voice)..."this is not that yeller, sugary cake they pass
off as cornbread at restaurants. This is real farm cornbread that sticks
to your ribs… makes it possible for you to change a tractor tire without a
jack." You can take the boy out of the country, but... :-)