With the holidays fast on our heels, cornbread is very apropos. After all, every holiday meal should contain at least some sort of yummy bread, and cornbread ranks high on most people’s lists. So, although these songs aren’t holiday music per se, they put me in the holiday spirit. Bring on the cornbread!
First things first, we can’t talk about cornbread without a recipe. Oh wait, I don’t have one. Sad as it sounds, I usually make my cornbread from the box – Jiffy. The trick is to add a little honey or Steen’s syrup to the batter and to bake it in a cast iron skillet. Makes for a heavenly treat.
While I don’t have a recipe for cornbread, I do have one for couche couche (aka cush cush or couch couch or kush kush but all pronounced koosh koosh). It is an Acadian breakfast food that’s a little obscure and probably not at all healthy, but it gets the job done. You may have heard it referred to in the LSU cheer (also claimed by other Louisiana schools) which goes something like this:
“Hot boudin, cold couche-couche, come on Tigers, poosh poosh poosh!”
Anyway here is the recipe:
2 cup corn meal
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 cup milk or water
1/2 c. oil
Mix everything but the oil together thoroughly. Heat oil in heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Once oil is hot, add batter. Allow crust to form. Give a good stir and then turn heat to low. Cover and cook about 15 minutes, stirring often. Serve with milk and sugar or honey as cereal or with cane syrup (the best) and crisp bacon. (adapted from Talk About Good)
This version comes out a little too salty for me, so play around with the amount of salt that you use. I also like to throw in some blueberries before I serve it.
An important point: While this is the traditional way, I often just use leftover cornbread and douse it in milk and Steen’s. It is just as wonderful, in my opinion and a great way to use leftovers. This is what my grandmother does – whether because she prefers it this way or she does it because it is simpler, I have no idea.
Anyway, now the music:
First up is a song that always makes my heart beat a little faster and my feet start to twitching. It’s a zydeco hit called “Give Him Cornbread” which features, well, you guessed it, the importance of cornbread. Sadly, I couldn’t find any good Youtube videos of people dancing to the tune, so I’ll have to try and catch one next time I’m out and a band plays it. Until then:
Second song also makes me salivate. It’s from the Carolina Chocolate Drops and points out two important points about cornbread. First, cornbread = love. Secondly, cornbread goes incredibly well with beans. I usually serve with black-eyed peas, but any pea or bean will do.
To reinforce the point that beans and cornbread go well together, Louis Jordan, who admittedly got there first, put his own spin on the theme:
This last song speaks to me personally. It reminds me that win there’s only a Little Piece of cornbread left, and you have a lot of friends and family around, whether or not to take the cornbread for your lonesome brings up some serious moral puzzles. I mean, cornbread might just be worth it. This one is from Kickin Grass:
Anyway, happy eating, friends! And happy holidays!