Eat Well: Let's Spoon... Bread

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom! 
We just got back from a road trip across the South…from Brevard, North Carolina to Denton, Texas where my daughter, Rachel will be spending the next three years.  I’m embarrassed to admit that until a few years ago, I had never even been to the South, and until this summer, my experience there was limited to a long weekend in New Orleans and another in Brevard last summer.  And that is really sad because the South is filled with abundant beauty, rich traditions, incredible food, and…the best antique malls I’ve ever seen.  Not to mention it being the birthplace of American music. We spent most of our time in North Carolina and Tennessee, enjoying small towns, big cities (we LOVED Memphis) and meandering along country roads.  

We marveled at the gorgeous waterfalls and reveled in history as we drove down the Natchez Trace Parkway. Unfortunately, we only had a few days until we had to get to Texas so we only got a taste of each place we stayed.
My favorite part of the trip was getting off of the freeways and finding the scenic roads through the Cumberland Plateau and the Tennessee walking horse country, and it made me realize that I want to see more—to explore our magnificent country one state at a time. Slowly. To find the treasures in the unexpected places—the best fish taco (Memphis Flying Fish, by far!) or the creamiest homemade ice cream (Denton’s Beth Marie’s).  Or the best toy store (Brevard’s O. P. Taylor’s) or antique mall (we loved Brevard’s). 

You can’t be in a rush when you go to an antique mall, and we spent a good hour in Brevard’s.  Larry and I split up and we both went trolling for treasure—he ended up with a 1949 issue of The Atlantic (inside joke for Hal) and I found hand-embroidered handkerchiefs for my mom (she LOVES them.)  I also found a cookbook from the ‘60’s, The Southern Cookbook of Fine Old Recipes, “Appetite whetting competent, delicious recipes that have made Southern Cooking famous the world over.”  It was bound in a wooden cover and it screamed at me to buy it, a deal at $6.00.  The desserts all look amazing and although most of the entrees contain meat, there are recipes here and there that I can make and modify.  Mostly, it is a fun memento of our fabulous trip.
Last night I made Southern spoon bread from my new old cookbook, which I had never made or even eaten before.  It is kind of a cross between a soufflé, Yorkshire pudding, and cornbread, and we loved it.  You can eat it sweet (with maple syrup) or savory.  I added fresh corn to it, but you could add herbs, peppers or even cheese.  It is a meal on its own, but would make a great side dish to any meal.  It would be delicious with roasted vegetables, such as my roasted okra and tomato recipe.  Like a soufflé or Yorkshire pudding, it needs to be eaten straight from the oven so plan your meal accordingly.  Spoon it out of the casserole and enjoy!

Southern Spoon Bread
2 cups milk, scalded
1 cup white cornmeal
4 eggs, separated
¼ cup butter
1 tablespoon sugar (optional if you are making the spoon bread savory)
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh corn from 2 ears of corn

Other addition ideas: canned or fresh skinned chili peppers, rosemary, cheddar cheese


Gradually add the cornmeal to scalded milk in a heavy saucepan.  
Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and becomes smooth.  
Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. 
Blend cornmeal mixture into egg yolks with the butter, sugar, corn and salt (if adding other ingredients, add them now).  Mix thoroughly.
Using clean beater, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, peaks are formed.  Spread egg yolk mixture over egg whites and gently fold together.
Turn into a greased 2-qt. casserole.  Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 min., or until a wooden pick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in center.  
Serves 4-6.