Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quicky Review: THE CORNBREAD BOOK A Love Story with Recipes by Jeremy Jackson

This is one of those books that slipped through the cracks and wound up in my kitchen bookcase NOT having been read by yours truly though I'd promised myself awhile back, to do so. After all, I do enjoy 'the idea' of cornbread and I always enjoy reading about food. Well, the other day I glanced over at the bookshelf -  thought why not? - plopped down on the sofa and read this in one sitting.

THE CORNBREAD BOOK (2003) is a fun, cheerful read. You  breeze through it, become a convert to the charms of cornbread (if your weren't a fan already), then spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating, trying and enjoying the recipes. (RESEARCH!) Recipes which, by the way, look fairly easy to make.

Author Jeremy Jackson must be the world's biggest cornbread devotee and his ardor shows in this wittily written little book.

From the introduction:

The first thing I'm going to do with this book is make conrbread one word, once and for all. It deserves that much. After all, pancake is one word. So is doorknob. And telemarketer. Telemarketer! Though a few cookbooks and dictionaries do use cornbread as a single word, they are a lonely minority. I won't be satisfied until Merriam-Webster takes note.

The second thing I want to do with this book is to have cornbread named the official bread of the United States of America. It should also be the unofficial bread. For example, it should be on all fast food menus. And presidents should choke on cornbread, not pretzels. Also, all newly sworn-in citizens should receive a free piece of cornbread with a little toothpick American flag in it. And when you go vote you should get a piece of cornbread as a reward. And when you lick the back of a stamp, it should taste like cornbread, with or without butter, your choice.

I like Jeremy Jackson's style and his devotion to a culinary cause.

Who even knew that the USA had an 'official' bread?

The author goes on to sketch the probable reasons for his love of cornbread in a quick and amusing bio sketch which involves his mother allowing him to play in a batch of dry cornmeal when he was a toddler in Missouri. Read the book you'll find out why.

He also gives us some corn-as-a-grain history in this country as well as Europe. All written in the same wry amusing voice. Jeremy Jackson wants us to convert but appears slightly indulgent of our cornbread ignorance. I've never thought about cornbread in this way before, if I thought about it at all. I have to say that it all sounds very educational and completely delicious.

I usually have cornbread once or twice a year in the colder months and I've always vaguely wanted a recipe for corn pancakes - corn cakes - having tasted these in a restaurant once upon a time. And a good recipe for corn fritters would not be amiss.

Well, now I have that and more. Jeremy Jackson's enthusiasm is catching. I feel a conversion coming on.

This book is a total delight and I can't wait to try some of the recipes. Most especially when the cool weather finally comes around again. Forgive me, Jeremy, but it's just too hot right now for much cooking.

A few of the recipes included in THE CORNBREAD BOOK :

Indian Pudding
Drop Biscuits
Ozark Cornbread
Griddle Cakes
Cornmeal Waffles
Corn Fritters
Three Peppery Cornbreads
Hush Puppies

...and more.


  1. I just love this! And I want to buy the book. I am a big fan of cornmeal anything. There's another book you might enjoy as well. The easiest way to describe it is to send you the site where I first wrote about it:

  2. Nan: It's a very enjoyable book. You'll love it.

    I'll check out your link. :)

    Cornbread on fast food menus....I like it!

  3. I love corn bread, with lots of butter and honey. I will have to check this book out.

  4. Ryan: This book sounds like something that definitely belongs on your bookshelf. :)

  5. Now I'm hungry. My favorite way to eat cornbread is to crumble it in big pieces into a bowl of thick bean soup. Yumm! This sounds like a delightful book, and recipes would be most welcome. Thanks for sharing!

  6. ClassicBecky: I can't wait to make Griddle Cakes and Corn Fritters...not both at the same time, of course...Although...Ha!

  7. I love a book such as this! I also love cornbread, both made sweet and made spicy hot. I'll have to loook for this in the library..thanks!

  8. Pat: Oh, you reminded me how much I love a peppery hot cornbread - made with pimentos. Yum. :)

  9. I would love to see printed Will Varner's(Orson Wells)response to daughter Clara's angry question- "Oh daddy what do you know about women?!"
    It describes exactly how I felt about my beautiful wife.


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