(Unless otherwise noted, the Kathryn Tucker Windham blog is written by her children, Ben Windham and Dilcy Windham Hilley.)
If we hadn’t messed with the climate, this would be just the right time of year to make cornbread. Cornbread goes with all the seasonal foods---chili, soup, stews, collard greens, butter, sorghum syrup and so on.
I believe my mother made the best cornbread on the planet. She was adamant about the recipe too. Anyone who knew my mother knew her mantra was “no sugar in the cornbread.”
Mother had a running controversy with another storyteller on the west coast who insisted on sugaring her cornbread. The woman would taunt my mother with articles and recipes that praised sweet cornbread. To every correspondence from her friend, Mother would write on the back of a postcard, simply, “If you want cake, make a cake. Love, Kathryn”
Of course, Mother could whip up a batch of corn muffins without ever so much as glancing at a recipe. As she got older, I realized the best cornbread-maker in the universe might not be around forever, so I asked her to show me how to make it. And she did, while I watched and wrote down every step.
I still have to pull out that recipe when I want to bake a skillet of cornbread. The paper is grease-stained and growing limp from age and use. I suppose it’ll eventually turn to paste, but maybe by that time, someone else will want to know how to make proper cornbread, and they will write it down.
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"Some people are important to intellectuals, journalists, or politicians, but Kathryn Tucker Windham is probably the only person I know in Alabama who is important to everybody."
–Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Auburn University.
Dilcy Windham Hilley
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