Jack Simpson: An ode to cornbread and buttermilk



It is sometimes unusual how you come up with a topic for a column. I was having lunch at a local restaurant the other day when a pretty lady called me over to her table. She complimented me on one of my columns and asked when I was going to write about cornbread and buttermilk! She told me this was such a yummy combination that everyone should try it.

The more I thought about her suggestion, the more I learned about so many people out there who have good things to say about cornbread and buttermilk.

Country music star Jimmy Dickens wrote "keep on eatin' that cornbread and buttermilk, a country boy's delight. I eat it every morning, I eat it noon and night."

Hank Williams Jr. sang "Sunny days, bale and hay, go to church and learn to pray, cornbread and buttermilk, scratch my head, brown cow, cat's meow, come on mule pull my plow."

Even "Gunsmoke's" Ken Curtis ("Festus Haggen"), formerly lead singer of Sons of the Pioneers, wrote a song about cornbread and buttermilk.

There really must be something special about cornbread and buttermilk if this lady had it in mind while eating her lunch and if so many folks took the time to write about this tasty treat.

In a song called "Greasy Creek," the lyrics went like this: "I came down from Kentucky, a place called Greasy Creek, that cornbread and buttermilk was all I had to eat. I have served my country, work for Uncle Sam. But cornbread and buttermilk made me what I am."

A writer named John Quincy Wolf sang "turnip greens, turnip greens. Cornbread and buttermilk and good old turnip greens."

So what is in this special cornbread anyway? I guess it depends on who makes it. Grandma used: 1 cup cornmeal, cup all-purpose flour, teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 beaten egg, and one cup of buttermilk. She mixed it all together and poured it into a 9-inch iron skillet and baked it for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven.

The family took that hot cornbread, crumbled it and put it into a tall glass of cold buttermilk and ate it with an ice tea spoon. Ooh, so good! Nectar of the gods!

Cornbread and buttermilk. Brings back old memories. Thanks to the pretty lady for reminding me.

Pass on to your kids, "Young'uns, wash behind your ears, your dirty hands, and then eat cornbread and buttermilk to grow you into men."

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.