A hot-from-the-oven pan of cornbread is an excellent way to elevate a weeknight dinner of chili or soup or really anything. It's a rather lowly baked good that, homemade and warm, adds something special to any meal.
Traditional cornbread recipes, like this vintage one from the 1969 Dorcas Missionary Circle of the Baptist Church in Pound, Wisconsin, are rather plebeian affairs. Short on sugar and fat, they are nonetheless delicious. And extremely simple to make, and equally difficult to screw up. It's an excellent addendum to your Thanksgiving table, or crumbled and used as a stuffing base.
While I mostly bake from handwritten recipes, I do love church and school cookbooks, as I think the housewives and church ladies submit their best recipes.
Start by sifting the dry ingredients together.
Stir in the wet ingredients until they're well combined and...
smooth, like this. A spoon works fine -- no need for any modern-day machines.
Pour the batter in a greased pan and smooth until it reaches the edges.
Bake until the top is golden and the edges just begin to come away from the sides of the pan.
Turn out, cut and enjoy.
Production notes: I followed this exactly, but accidentally used half & half in place of the milk (a sad fact I discovered the next morning when I poured my coffee). I baked it for about 20 minutes -- you don't want to overbake cornbread or it will be dry.