I Remember The Grease In The Cornbread

Growing up in Comanche, Texas and having lived near my parents my entire life, one would think that I had all the time in the world to ask my mom anything and everything, right? Wrong!

This past Thanksgiving if fell to me to cook the dinner for my parents…I’ve worked the system for well over half a century so I suppose it was about time!

Anyway, as I was making the cornbread for the dressing it dawned on me that I had never asked Mom about the grease even though I have made my cornbread just as she does for my entire life.

Now, I don’t know how your mom did it, but mine would take the skillet and put a dab of grease in it. Then she would put the pan in the oven for it to hear and the grease would melt.

When Mom took the pan out of the oven, she always swirled the grease around to completely cover the pan. Once that was done, she took the excess grease (if there was some, and there usually was) and stirred it into her batter.

This year it dawned on me to wonder if the batter actually needed that grease or if it was just an easy place to put the little bit that was left over from greasing the skillet.

I’m sure it sounds like a silly question, but it is one I would always wonder about were I not lucky to still have my mother here to ask.

According to Mom, the batter needs the grease, and maybe it does. However, I’d be willing to bet that whoever taught her to make cornbread did it that way, and so she carried on the tradition without ever really thinking about it!

Of course, it doesn’t really matter about the grease, but I hope you get my point. We will wonder about even the tiniest thing once those we know and love are not here to answer the questions that we forget to ask.

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About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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10 Responses to I Remember The Grease In The Cornbread

  1. Pat Welch says:

    Your cornbread story reminds me of one about my Aunt Addie & Uncle Logan Williams. Uncle Logan loved the greasy, crisp edges of the cornbread. Their young grandson from Calif. used to visit in the summers. Aunt Addie would send him to Uncle Logan’s feed store with his hot lunch, including cornbread. By the time he walked to the store most of the crust would be gone. One day he said that Aunt Addie asked him, “did you ever think that the crust might be your grandad’s favorite part of the bread too?”. He said he never forgot that lesson in “thinking of others first”.

  2. Yes, I remember that same recipe for good cornbread. Also my grandmother made hot water cornbread for every meal. I still can’t get that right.

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      I had already started to reply, Cyndi, when I read that you couldn’t get it right. I was hoping to ask for the recipe! I’ve always heard of hot water cornbread, but I don’t think I have ever had it.

  3. Nancy Reed Jewell says:

    I made the same recipe just yesterday. The grease in the mixture certainly makes it “true cornbread”. Thanks.

  4. missy jones says:

    My mother used a black cast iron skillet just like in the picture. She also put bacon grease in the pan and set it in the oven to heat, and she ALSO added a pinch of cornmeal to it. The grease was getting hot, and the cornmeal was browning, and that added to the crust. try it, see if it doesn’t make a difference. Also, my mother always put some sugar in her cornbread, and I do too.

  5. Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

    I also use the sugar, Missy, but I have never put a bit of corn meal in the grease. I love crusty crust so I will try that!

  6. Ralph Harris says:

    I have my Grandmother’s old cast iron skillet, and make my cornbread the same way, except for the sugar.

  7. Beverly Short says:

    I make my cornbread the very same way. I have a small little cast iron skillet I’ve always used for cornbread. I save up my bacon grease when I cook bacon, store it away in the frig until I need it for seasoning vegetables or cornbread. I add the bacon to the skillet, heat it up and do just like your mother, I swirled it around the pan then pour the excess into my cornbread mix. Not sure who showed me that, if it was my mom or someone else like my grandmother who was the best cook ever. Or maybe I just discovered it myself. Either way, I always do it.

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