Saturday, January 10, 2009

Corn Meal Sticks.. Cooking Talk

Today I made Corn Meal Sticks. I made them using my Corn Meal Muffin recipe. I omitted the sugar in these, but you can make them as sweet as you like

Corn Meal Sticks

Corn Meal Sticks

As I made these I thought of how I made cornbread when I was a teenager. Mama's mixing bowl looked a bit like this one:

The store-bought stone-ground cornmeal went into the bowl along with a certain amount of lard... I can't remember how much now. Then I ran the tap water until it got hot. I put the bowl in the sink and I had to add water.. a little at a time and squish the ingredients together. It sure did hurt squishing the gritty material with the water and lard. Then the concoction was poured into a cast iron fry pans. There are 5 children in my family, so two pans of cornbread were made.

When I got married I started using a spoon to mix the cornbread... the skin on my hands appreciated it. Years later Mama said she didn't know why it had to be squished by hand back then. She stopped squishing it by hand... but she can't remember when. Today I don't use this method at all for making cornbread. Now I prefer a Buttermilk Corn Bread. We grind our own cornmeal and now I can't stand to use meal sold in the store.

Did I tell you that the only whole meal I cooked before Frank and I got married was hamburgers and french fries? I think I was around 14 or 15 years old. Mama got caught up talking to Aunt Johnnie Pearl on the phone.... so very little directions from Mama. Other than that my only experiences of cooking was turning the meat, stirring the vegetables and making cornbread and biscuits. Frank says I sure fooled him

Frank complained of how small my biscuit were not long after we got married. So me taking after my Daddy (which some would call a smart-ass... excuse me if the term is offensive to you)... I made one huge biscuit that covered the cast iron 8" griddle pan. He used it to make a sandwich for lunch the next day. I haven't heard a peep about my biscuits being too small since then. I have on occasion made him an ex-large biscuit upon request.

Frank was puzzled as we began our marriage as to why I didn't know how to cut up a chicken. Mama didn't have a lot of time for teaching all of us the skills of cooking. So Frank taught me how to cut up a chicken. When our daughter, Sonja was about 12 or 13 years old I decided to teach her how to cut up a chicken. She was not keen on the idea. Sonja had a friend sleeping over that night and the friend wanted to learn how to cut up a chicken... so Sonja got trapped and had to learn. Since we had company I was cooking two chickens. So I helped two girls learn how to cut up chickens. I figured my children ought to know how to do these things before they were out on their own. They have both thanked me

Our son, David is two years younger than his sister. He has been interested in cooking since he was three years old. I started him off with hot dogs and scrambled eggs... not for the same meal. It worked out great that he learned how to cook. His wife, Tish does cook some, but David is the main cook in the house and out of the house with the grill. He cooks much better than I.

I don't enjoy cooking like I used to. I don't really know why. Now that Frank is home all the time he helps with the cooking.... well for a while he was doing all the cooking. I can't tell you how grateful that I am to have him as a husband.

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. -- Mark Twain



  1. Good Evening Zaroga, I hope you feel better today. I sure enjoyed this post from you. I LOVE cornbread but I have never included flour in my recipe - I will definitely try this recipe of yours. I love hearing about your early years cooking and hearing about you teaching your children. I'm like you, I don't enjoy cooking as much now as when I was younger. Maybe it's because we are not supposed to eat the things I used to enjoy cooking! Hope tomorrow is a good day for you. Take care,

  2. That was funny about the big biscuit! Your corn sticks look really good and I agree that the fun goes out of cooking as you get older and aren't supposed to eat the good stuff.

  3. Hi, Zaroga! Those cornbread sticks really look good. I have one of those castiron bread stick pans but rarely ever use it. Not enough cornbread from one pan and too much time to cook 2 pans back to back. Interesting to hear about your children learning to cook. None of my three were interested in cooking but when the boys married and moved out, they both married girls who didn't cook so the boys both learned to cook!! The younger boy is by himslef now so he cooks less than when she was there but he still cooks for his little girl when she is with him. Children do need to learn to cook - boys and girls. Have a geat week! Shaorn

  4. I've always wanted to get a pan like that. I make mine in my cast iron fry pan. I still use my grandmothers old mixing bowl that looks similar to the one you posted. I loved your stories today.

  5. I have a set of old mixing bowls just like that! I collected them one by one over the years. I also have some browns ones and several yellow ware bowls.

    We grew up with cornbread too, and like you we prefer the home ground type. It's getting harder to find. But we don't have corbnbread too much lately anyway. When we do, I have been using one of the Martha White varieties.

    Hope you have a great week!

  6. ooo those corn sticks look yummy! I loved your stories along with them:)


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