Can anybody handle a procedure instead of a recipe?

Kentucky Cornbread by Nannie Bray

This comes from my best friend, who was taught by her mother, Nannie Bray,
a lifelong Kentucky resident. It is a procedure, not a recipe. As unbelievable as it may seem, her mom never owned a cookbook, or an official measuring cup or spoon. Nevertheless, everyone loved her cornbread.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a tablespoon and put two scoops of lard in a 10 inch iron skillet and place in over while it is preheating. (Mom always used lard, but I have found that shortening works fine and is easier on my heart and mind.) Meanwhile, she used her cupped right hand as a measuring cup. In a mixing pot or bowl, put 2 heaping cups of corn meal mix, 1 heaping cup of self-rising flour, one generous pinch of salt, and mix with the right hand. (She never used a spoon to mix.) Get the buttermilk ready on the counter. Remove the iron skillet from the over. Make sure that all the lard is melted. Roll the lard all around the skillet and up half way on the sides. Pour the extra in the cornmeal and flour mixture. Make sure that 1/4 inch of oil remains in the skillet. Put the skillet back in the oven to get really, really hot. Mix the cornbread mixture up by adding some buttermilk. Stir with the right hand and add buttermilk until it is a thick mixture, but can still be poured with a little help from the hand.

Take the skillet out, the lard might be ‘smoking’ a little, but you can see the swirls from the heat. Pour the cornbread mixture (should sizzle when it hits the oil), scrap the bowl with the hand and put in hot oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bread is firm to the touch in the middle. This makes for a crunchy crust on sides and bottom. If there is any left overs, it will not be the crust, and will not be thrown out. Leftovers will be used for the infamous Kentucky cereal, AKA Cornbread and Milk!

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