Archive for the ‘Cornmeal / polenta’

Bloody Butcher Cornbread—The Official Bread of Halloween

October 30, 2015
By Holly Jennings

Official Bread of Halloween copy


Owing to its phenomenal flavor, striking blood-red color, suitably macabre name, and Old Dominion pedigree, I name Bloody Butcher Cornbread the official 2015 Virginia State Bread of Halloween.


Even though not as commonly associated with Virginia as, say peanuts or ham, Bloody Butcher corn traces its roots directly to the state, where the first reference to the variety, a style of dent corn ideal for flour, cornmeal, and grits, was made in 1845.


When Bloody Butcher was named, referencing, as the story goes, the bloodied apron of a butcher, slasher films hadn’t yet been invented.


Back then, I imagine the colorful words connoted something of the ordinary facts of life, rather than the horrifying, especially for farmers, who would have had intimate knowledge of processing meat.


Until the recent whole-animal butchery renaissance, the sight of a bloodied butcher apron (more…)

Old-Fashioned Skillet Cornbread

July 09, 2011
By Holly Jennings


When cookbook author Crescent Dragonwagon ran an inn and restaurant in Arkansas, her skillet-sizzled cornbread was a favorite menu item of hers and her customers. Clearly cornbread is important to her. After writing Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook, she went on to write The Cornbread Gospels; she also likes to feed cornbread to her parrots. So I was prepared to take her cornbread making advice seriously, including her rationale for adding some sugar, at least a little, to the batter. Though I grew up mostly in the North, the cornbread I ate was prepared by my Tennessean grandmother, who had migrated north when she was a young woman. Her skillet cornbread was made with 100-percent cornmeal, making it a bit dry and crumbly, and was sugar-free. Grandma emphatically denounced cornbread made with sugar, and, until now, I too had made it without sugar.


Grandma would probably say “hogwash” on hearing (more…)