Our state trails only Vermont in the production of maple syrup in the U.S. I have many childhood memories of tapping our maple trees in early spring and watching the sap come out. Corn bread, or johnnycake as it's called here in scenic Mohawk Valley, was a staple of the men fighting in the Revolutionary War. The volunteers, who were known as "Johnnys", carried their rations with them, and the johnnycakes held up well for days.
My husband never liked corn bread until I started making this recipe - then he'd eat half of it. I like to serve it piping hot with lots of real butter on the side.
-Betty Kaytis, Elizabethton, Tennessee
A meal of chili can corn bread is a tradition for our Christmas Eve gatherings at my brother's house. I'm always asked to bring this corn bread—the lightest and fluffiest I've ever tasted.
—Burdell Fossum of Plymouth, Minnesota
A boxed corn bread mix gets a tasty treatment from Janice France of Depauw, Indiana when dressed up with bananas and chopped walnuts. The moist golden loaves are a great addition to a brunch buffet or bake sale.
This is a delicious recipe I've served many times to my family. I don't always shape the bread into a heart, but it is fun to do that for Valentine's Day or another special occasion. Even if you don't have a heart-shaped pan, garnishing with ribbon adds a colorful touch. One of our favorite meals is this corn bread with bean soup and a salad.
MY GRANDMOTHER would refer to this recipe as "comfort food", made from ingredients available on the farm or staples found in her pantry.
She always cooked the corn bread in her "seasoned" black skillet, and it turned out slick as butter every time.
-Elizabeth Cooper, Madison, Alabama