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Cooks Corner

By By Lisa Tindell
OK, now I'll admit I don't drink diet soft drinks, nor do I use those little blue, pink or yellow packets of white stuff in my tea or coffee. I use the real thing - pure cane sugar. If I feel the need to eliminate sugar from my diet, you can bet I'll be eating unsweetened fruits and drinking tea and water with a squeeze of lemon. I'd rather have it plain that to have some added "chemical sweetener" in my beverages or food.
Now, mind you, I have a friend who only uses sugar substitutes and slipped a piece of apple pie made with Splenda in on me one day. It wasn't bad. Actually it was pretty good. I like apple pie and to tell you the truth, I couldn't tell it was made with a sugar substitute. Still.
Anyway, what got me to thinking about all of this was a "new" recipe for cornbread I saw the other day. All you Southern cooks should sit down while you read this: the recipe called for SUGAR!
This is cornbread, not a cake and it should never include sugar! I know that some folks like to put a little sugar in their cornbread - but for the life of me I can't figure out why. I realize that it may just be a family thing and that's the only way you've ever eaten cornbread because that's the way Mama and them fixed it. Well, that's perfectly all right. 'Cause we know that no matter what our own personal feelings about cooking and such, whatever someone's mama does is okay. But, my mama has never put sugar in her cornbread. She'd probably stand up and slap me a good whop if I put sugar in cornbread that she was going to eat. Let me say it now - don't worry Mama, sugar will never be used in connection with anything that has cornmeal as an ingredient as long as I'm doing the cooking.
For those of you who don't normally make cornbread, I've picked out a few recipes. Try the one with sugar and then try the one without sugar. Let me know which one tastes better with your peas or turnip greens. I'd be interested to know what you think.
Old Fashioned
Southern Cornbread
2 cups cornmeal (Using yellow makes it Southern)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs, slightly beaten