In New Orleans, after the cake is baked a tiny toy baby is often inserted into it. Whoever gets the piece with the baby is supposed to have a year of good luck. The catch is they must also throw a Mardi Gras party next year. — Stacey West-Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
It's not necessary to serve maple syrup with this moist corn bread from Dorothy Bateman of Carver, Massachusetts. The maple flavoring is baked into the loaf, providing a delicious change of pace from traditional corn bread.
I get this recipe years ago from my college roommate's mother. I've tried a lot of other corn bread recipes since, but none compares to this one—with the ham baked in, it's much more like a complete meal than simply a bread. I'm a home economics teacher, and I'm active in Future Homemakers of America, too. Besides cooking, I enjoy reading and cross-stitch.
"Central Illinois is one of the major corn and pork producing areas of the country, so why wouldn't this bread be a favorite here? asks Carol Roper of Litchfield, Illinois. She dresses up a basic batter with corn, onion and cheese, then tops it with poppy seeds and bacon.
A friend gave me this recipe several years ago, and it's my favorite. I love to serve the melt-in-your mouth corn bread hot from the oven with butter and syrup. It gets rave reviews on holidays and at potluck dinners. —Nicole Callen, Auburn, California
When I was a little girl, my grandmother took me aside one day and taught me how to make her famous banana beignets. Although we made them during the holidays, they're pretty fantastic any time of the year. —Amy Downing, South Riding, Virginia