Beans and Cornbread. A Southern Staple.

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by Dallas53, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Fred_G

    Fred_G Member

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    Black eyed peas and cornbread... Almost as good as a steak, if cooked right, I think it is better than steak.

    I am lazy, I make mine with the mix, but real homemade cornbread is awesome.
     
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  2. RKB

    RKB Member

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    I make my cornbread in an 1890's-made Erie cast-iron skillet greased with lard or bacon grease, and (secret ingredient) throw in a handful of pork cracklin's. Never had any better!
     
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  3. buckhuntr

    buckhuntr Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I can't abide sweet cornbread. My Grandma made it in a cast iron skillet with buttermilk and bacon grease. Mom made it without the bacon grease, because she was vegetarian. I preferred Grandma's. Had pinto beans and cornbread mamy a time growing up. Still do in fact.
     
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  4. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Not much corn bread. We had quite a few beans though, because mom’s Uncle ran the bean elevator, and he’d bring 50-lb bags of several varieties for everybody, when the family got together for Thanksgiving.

    We ate pretty much what we grew, or hunted. We had an acre in vegetable garden, a couple of acre in apples, and some pear, peach, and apricot trees. Raised three steers a year, that dad traded the heifers our milk cow threw every spring, to the dairy next place over for. Our milker was a high producer, with high butter fat, and it bread true in her calves, so the dairy was always willing to trade little boy wieners for her little girls. The folks would by a gross of chicks every spring, raise them semi free range through the summer then butcher all but 24, that got kept for laying hens.

    Typically dad would shoot two deer every fall. One was legal, and thinking back the other was probably poached out of season, on Thanksgiving weekend. They’d build “forts” into the hazy stacks so there was about a four foot parapet around the top of the hay stack, and they’d sit up there, and use the hay bale parapet as a rifle rest, and shoot deer out of the hay field.

    So, we had lots of meat, vegetables, beans and potatoes, but not much corn meal.
     
  5. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    i remember my grandmother using a lot of corn meal over the years. she made cornbread at just about every meal it seemed like. growing up, i probably ate way more cornbread than sliced white bread from the store!

    i loved my grandmother's method of making fried okra. she sliced the up and soaked them in buttermilk, then drained them, and used a brown paper sack with corn meal in it, shook them until they were all coated then fried them in a cast iron skillet in lard. she would do about the same thing with eggplant, squash, and green tomatoes.

    she bought a lot of beans, which mostly were pinto or butter beans. my grandfather had a small garden always, and would grow a couple of types of peas, potatoes, onions, banana peppers, squash, corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and a few other things. my grandmother and my aunt's would always do lots of canning so we always had canned vegetables out of season to eat. one of my aunts made some of the best chow chow, and i liked it really spicy so she always made me some special. and i loved putting her chow chow on a serving of pinto beans and cornbread, with some fresh sweet onion diced up into it.

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/19839/chow-chow-i/
     
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  6. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I like my cornbread with a hint of sweetness to it. I put sugar in mine.
     
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  7. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Heresy I say!
     
  8. headspace

    headspace Member

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    I don’t know about beans and cornbread being a “Southern” staple, as I grew up on it and I was born and raised in Idaho. So were my folks.

    Beans and cornbread were a staple in my wife’s family too, and the only thing “Southern” about her family is Southern California. Nevertheless, my wife followed me back home to Idaho when I got out of the service 45 years ago, our two daughters grew up on cornbread and beans at least once a week, and I have pinto beans and a ham hock in the slow cooker right now. I’ll make a skillet of cornbread later on this afternoon so it will be fresh and hot when my wife gets home from work.

    A deer hunting tradition in my family was the big pot of navy beans Mom cooked up prior to us heading for the hills in the afternoon before opening day. Once we got camp set up, Mom would put the pot of beans on the Coleman stove in the tent. Instead of cornbread, which she had no way of baking in camp, she made what we called “fried bread” with the bread dough she’d brought along. I think most people call what Mom made “scones,” but we didn’t because Mom and Dad disagreed on whether they were called “scones” or “crullers.” I know this for sure – there’s no finer meal on earth than hot navy beans cooked with a chunk of bacon, sprinkled with chopped onions, and served with buttered scones (or "crullers") and hot coffee. Especially when it’s lightly snowing outside, deer season opens in the morning, and you’re in a canvas cabin tent in the hills.:)
     
  9. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    So do you 'southerners' have pinto beans and cornbread as the main course or as a side dish?
     
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  10. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    we have always used them as both. lots of diners, cafes, and BBQ places around here serve pinto beans as a side order with a meal.

    many times in with poor families in poor times, pinto beans were the main meal and a meat replacement, because they were cheap and had lots of protein like meat.
     
  11. buckhuntr

    buckhuntr Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Both ways. Mostly when I cook 'em now, it's the main dish.
     
  12. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    i can make a meal out of beans and cornbread!

    sometimes the wife will use some smoked ham chunks cooked with the pinto beans, and that's pretty good too.
     
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  13. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Now and again I am traveling in an area that has a water mill that still makes stone ground cornmeal (and buckwheat flour). Will score a couple of bags of the real thing.

    Our kids have told us one of their favorite memories was when we were camping, and dinner was going to be Dinty Moore canned beef stew. Had the stew simmering with some added seasoning, mixed up corn bread batter, poured it in the beef stew can and baked it in my camp oven (large #10 can modified, heated over coals). Said the hot stew and cornbread following an afternoon of swimming in a mountain lake was the best thing they ever had.
     
  14. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    my grandmother passed away several years ago, and one of the tings i miss about her was her cooking. she cooked pretty much Southern style cuisine, and kept it pretty simple, but she was an excellent cook. she made much of everything from scratch and even taught me a lot about cooking. much of what i learned in how to cook came from her.

    she loved to cook for family, and she loved to bake and can vegetables. i can remember her and my aunts all getting together and having huge canning sessions in the kitchen! for two or three days, there was a flurry of activity in the kitchen and when it was over, all sorts of vegetables, jams and jellies would be ready for the year to eat later on.

    and she loved to bake pies and make cobblers. she very seldom did cakes, but her pies were to die for. her pecan pie was pretty much very traditional, and she usually made them around Thanksgiving and Christmas. she usually made at least four or five of them, because they didn't last very long! and her peach cobbler during the summer with some homemade vanilla ice cream was something we looked forward to every summer when we were kids.
     
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  15. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    STOP IT!!! Yoall are making me hungry!!!;) Except for the blacked peas, I never developed a taste for them. But the purple hull peas are to die for. If you take good baked beans recipe and sub the purple hull it is awesome. :) That brings up a story from across the pond (the one west of us). At the mess hall they were having 'soul' night and when I ask what they were going to serve they said fried chicken, mashed taters n gravy, greens, corn bread and beans and etc. Well I got a funny look on my face and when ask why I was looking that way, I said that is exactly the food I grew up eating on the farm in CO. Point being this is 'american' food.:)
     
  16. ellis36

    ellis36 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah! Us, too!

    I’m not sure exactly when that menu became “soul food,”
    with all that implies!

    ellis
     
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  17. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    just my thoughts on this. looking at by regions and demographics, "soul food", Southern cuisine, and American comfort share a lot in common but there are some differences, and mainly those differences are based upon what is, or was available in a particular region of the country.

    many of the dishes originated from what was available to them where they lived, and much was from farm to table, based upon what they grew in their gardens, or the livestock they raised on the farm. sometimes it was just making do with what you had and trying to make it as tasteful as possible.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foods_of_the_Southern_United_States
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_soul_foods_and_dishes
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Creole_cuisine
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_food#United_States

    if you read over these lists, you will see some commonality among some of it, but also differences as well.
     
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  18. big shrek

    big shrek Well-Known Member

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    Good food becomes a universal language...
    doesn't hurt that us Southerners are prolific little devils
    and will chase purt near any gal in a skirt ;)
     
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  19. headspace

    headspace Member

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    Not having a taste for black-eyed peas can be a plus if you’re on warfarin. My beautiful wife of 46 years loves black-eyed peas, but she can’t have them anymore because they really mess up her INR. She’s been on warfarin for her AFIB for a little over a year now, and she’s figured out that a daily intake of about 70 micrograms of vitamin K keeps her INR between 2.0 and 3.0 – right where it should be. However, just one cup of cooked, black-eyed peas contains 44 micrograms of vitamin K. That’s great for most people because vitamin K is what helps our blood to clot when we get cut or something. But for people like my wife who use warfarin to prevent blood clots, vitamin K counteracts the warfarin, and too much vitamin K can be dangerous.:eek:

    I’ll tell you what – New Year’s Day this year was the first one in 45 years (I was overseas for my wife’s and my first New Year’s Day together) that we didn’t have black-eyed peas, wilted cabbage and cornbread for dinner. We had navy beans and cornbread instead. And no wilted cabbage either because cabbage (like most greens) is yet another good source of vitamin K. I sure missed our traditional New Year’s Day dinner, but that’s okay – I’d rather have Mrs. Headspace around for a while longer.:)
     
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  20. tinbucket

    tinbucket Well-Known Member

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    Here in the woods of the South a lot of us wouldn't be here except for Pinto Beans and Cornbread.
    Grand Ma also cooked a wide variety of dried beans and green and shellies mixed. Lard and Bacon Drippings and some time ham hocks, were always in the pot with some salt. I've discovered that Yaunques like to leave the salt out and sometimes the pork fats an infuriate us with things like chicken stock.
    I don't like Black Eyed Peas atall. Taste like dirt, especially if cooked just bit too long.
    White Beans and Crowder Peas are just bit of the many varieties she stored in glass jars in the cellar.
    Al of them tasty but a few varieties are not that great but I don't remember the names.
    Corn bread was usually white corn meal not corn flower, the Yanques try to force on us now. I like yellow corn meal but not Dad.
    And fresh corn meal makes all the difference in the world.
    It is hard to find now days, unless you live near a mill .
    Dad liked crackling corn bread, I guess from perhaps being the only meat they might have as Share Croppers.
    An old Skillet well caked with fat through the metal and charred.
    I bet her skillets had never been burned off since her mother had them, in the 1840s or 50s.
    Got to have bacon drippings mixed in not just in the pan, and some butter is liked too, and salt, which Yanques apparently can't eat. She did not put sugar in to the best of my memory but I like some in it.
    If you use fresh yellow corn meal it is sweeter and not as much needed or wanted.
    On the wood cook stove on top, who knows how hot it was and when the lard began to smoke in went the mix and then into the oven.
    You simply cannot beat chicien or cornbread or anything else when it is cooked on a wood cook stove, unless, maybe, someone put some stinky wood in.
    Just reading this, I'm starving for some fried chicken, Pinto Beans, Cornbread, a pile of Green Onions, a bunch of good sliced tomatoes, huge mound of creamed and buttered mashed potatoes, some buttermilk to sip, or lass of cold milk, or most commonly fresh brewed tea, poured over ice, and.... a big yellow cake made in her 14 inch skillet.
    In Tool Manese join me in a uu uu yaw. or however you spell it.
     
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