One of the stops I HAD to make before I left the south was a stop at the grocery store for corn meal. “Corn meal, couldn’t you get that before your left”, I imagined my friends saying. “Well no, not really, you see it has to be Martha White Self-Rising White Corn Meal Mix”, I replied to my imaginary critic. It is only sold in the south and ever since my family moved west we have asked anyone traveling in that direction to take some to them. It makes the best corn bread and nothing else will do. As the original slogan says, “Goodness Gracious, It’s Good!” Being from the south we love our white corn bread cooked in an iron skillet, placed into the oven until it has a beautiful crispy golden brown top and a soft white center. With a little butter it is heaven and makes the best turkey stuffing and hush puppies. None of that yellow corn bread that tastes like cake for my family.
As a little girl I remember meals, at my grandparents’ home in east Tennessee, where there was always cornbread. When we ate we had a fork in the right hand and a piece of cornbread in the left, both were utensils. After the meal was over my grandmother put a few things in the fridge but most of the left overs remained on the table and covered with a clean table cloth. Throughout the remainder of the day we would lift up an edge of the cloth and tear off a piece of cornbread or grab another piece of crispy fried chicken. My father would often pour himself a tall glass of buttermilk to which he added crumbled pieces of cornbread. He then ate it with a long tea spoon. It always looked good but I just never acquired a taste for buttermilk.
I thought I would close with this fun YouTube video of an old Martha White Corn Meal comercial featuring the song written by Flatt and Scruggs. Click Here to view.
After the Corn Meal purchase I drove along I-10 into Mississippi. It was like driving down a white pine
corridor. I had no idea what was on either side of me and big hopes for what was ahead.