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THE RECIPE BOX: Add zest to cornbread with broccoli, cheese, onions

Staff Photo: Julie Wells. Broccoli bread is a great addition to any meal.

Staff Photo: Julie Wells. Broccoli bread is a great addition to any meal.

Southern cornbread with a broccoli twist -- that is how my mother-in-law Janie described this recipe to me, which is the perfect description, if you ask me.

Janie shared this recipe with me last Sunday. The funny thing is I've had the recipe for a while now and didn't even know it.

She had given me a cookbook titled "Feed His Sheep" at one of my wedding showers. It was a combination of recipes from the folks at Conyers First United Methodist Church from 1996. It also belong to Janie's mother, more affectionately known as "Baba."

Baba's book, the one I have inherited, has page numbers written on the very first page of the book, indicating the pages of her favorite recipes.

Inside this delightful cookbook is the broccoli bread recipe. There are actually a couple different versions, but we choose to use Ruby Huber's recipe.

I was a little hesitant about this dish. But my mind was quickly changed once I tasted it. It is delightful and opens up the cornbread lover's tastes to a whole new world.

I was also surprised at how easily this dish came together, though it tastes like it took hours to make.

My absolute favorite thing about this recipe was getting to make it with Janie. Spending time with her in the kitchen is beyond fun.

As an added bonus to our cooking adventure together, I got to flip through Janie's copy of "Feed His Sheep." On the very first page of her book there is an inscription that reads, "To Janie. Love always Mama." The date on it was October 1996. Only one page was noted as a "favorite" and it was noted in Baba's handwriting -- page 119. That is the page the broccoli bread recipe is listed on.

Now that is a beautiful recipe story.

So, from Baba, Janie and myself, go make some broccoli bread and stir up some new memories with your loved ones.