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.
On this westernmost ridge of the Appalachians, we get abundant rain and sunshine, which allows our children to grow a super-sweet corn crop. With staggered plantings, there is enough to eat from mid-July through August, plus plenty to freeze for the long winter. This corn bread is just one way we use some of the bounty!
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
After many years of experimenting, I developed this recipe for corn bread. It has become a favorite with my family and often accompanies our meals of chili, soup or meat dishes. You can adjust the "heat" by the number of jalapeno peppers you use. —Archie Timmons
Here's an easy main dish that's cute enough to double as a Halloween table centerpiece! The hearty meatless chili is spiced up with onion and colorful Serrano and red peppers. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario