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Cornbread, Elvis-style. June 14, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , ,

Silence Dogood here. If I had to come up with an Elvis Presley-themed cornbread, I’d use blue cornmeal and create “Blue Suede Shoes Cornbread.” But maybe that’s just me.

Turns out Elvis’s favorite cornbread is one pretty much anyone could enjoy, though it might be a little eggy for some folks. I say, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Why am I, a native Tennesseean but one whose knowledge of Elvis was pretty much limited to the uproar surrounding his death, droning on about his favorite cornbread, and how would I know what it was, anyway? 

Well, first of all, like all Southerners, I’m cornbread-obsessed. I think we must all be born with a cornbread gene. But I’m also cookbook-obsessed. My cookbook collection numbers in the hundreds of volumes, much to our friend Ben’s despair, and I’m always on the lookout for another interesting addition to the collection. I thought I already owned the definitive Elvis cookbook, The I love Elvis cookbook (Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen, Courage Books, 1998), until I discovered All Cooked Up: Recipes and Memories from Elvis’ Friends and Family this weekend at our local library’s book sale.

All Cooked Up (Donna Presley Early et al., Gramercy Books, 1998) includes recipes from Mary Jenkins, Elvis’s personal cook at Graceland for more than 25 years. Mary knew Elvis’s taste in food like no one else, so when she says this cornbread recipe was Elvis’s favorite, I believe her. Try it and see if it becomes yours:

           Elvis’s Favorite Corn Bread

1 teaspoon oil

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 cups buttermilk

3 eggs

1/4 cup oil

In a skillet sprinkle 1 teaspoon of oil and a little of the meal and heat. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour into the skillet. Cook until golden brown. Serves 4 to 6.

Needless to say, the skillet Mary refers to would have been a well-seasoned, heavy cast-iron skillet, and she’d have baked the cornbread in a preheated oven, probably at 425 degrees F. for 25 minutes or so until cooked through and browned on the edges. Then she’d have cut the hot cornbread into generous pie-slices and served them sliced in half, slathered with plenty of salted butter, and put back together to make sure the butter melted and soaked through. Mmm-mmm, good!

Just thinking about buttered, hot-from-the-oven cornbread gets me all shook up.

          ‘Til next time,




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