You may not call it a potluck. We had a big debate about this at work. When I said covered dish lunch, that got a few nods of recognition. I decided to try to make my momma's cornbread dressing, which I'm pretty sure is world famous. It is addictive. My husband no longer says the word stuffing, which is a bad word in the South. Who really wants something that has been put into a bird's behind. That is a tradition that must be stopped. Let us all find a Northerner to call and discuss the sanitary considerations involved with stuffing a turkey. Plus, with dressing there is a lot more of the crunchy part. That is lesson #57 in cooking - crunchy is good...most of the time...maybe not in pudding. I'm still refining the cooking lessons. The dressing is pretty easy to make. The cornbread does require a particular cornbread mix, and I would not go against the recipe. It tastes good for some reason and that may be it. I will put the recipe on the recipe page. I would have taken a picture of the dressing after the potluck, but who wants to look at an empty dish.
In that honored Southern tradition of frying everything and to fulfill my husband's wishes, I tried frying a little cornbread. I asked Momma if we call them Hoe Cakes, and she said that we just call it fried cornbread. I do apologize if we are not as colorful and folksy as you like. Fried cornbread gives you more of the best part of the cornbread experience, the crunchy crust. After Monday's experience, my husband said "wouldn't it be great if you could make this so that it had crunchy all around." Wish granted. This is probably the easiest project I've attempted. Get the oil hot. Mix together cornmeal and buttermilk. My mom says she makes it with water a lot of times, but I have leftover buttermilk for which I have no other use. The hardest part for me was making the first flip. I put a photo below of how messy that looked. In the end, I thought it came out very pretty...and tasty. As I was frying the cornbread, a friend of mine called and I told her what I was doing. We discussed how Paula Deen calls this food hoe cakes, so she thought that's what I should call it. I said that I was no Paula Deen. She said that I was right about that, "You're more of a Paula Don't." I don't think I'm going to answer the phone anymore.
The one time that I attempted making cornbread from scratch was just after my husband and I got married. I believe he was expecting that if he married a Southerner, the least he could hope for was cornbread now and then. He's from Buffalo and can make really good Buffalo wings; I can see where he might make incorrect assumptions about me. The cornbread cooked for what seemed to be hours, and it never did get solid inside. I had tried to make it like my Momma, which involves absolutely no measurement tools and apparently an egg that I didn't know about. Well, this past weekend, Momma came to visit us. She walked me through step by step. She does it slightly different than Martha White, although it's the same ingredients. And yes, I use Martha White self-rising white cornmeal for the same reason I use Tetley tea...because my Momma does. I'll put her recipe but for now I'm just going to show you a picture of how pretty the cornbread was. Momma said it was the best cornbread she had ever had. I do believe she is biased. Will I be able to repeat this when I'm alone? That is a question my husband would like answered.