Here Is Harper Lee’s Charming Recipe for Crackling Cornbread
If you went to school in the United States, you almost certainly read Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird ranks near the top of many lists of the best novels of all time. But one thing of Harper Lee’s you likely didn’t read was her kitchen advice. Back in 1961, she—along with writers and artists like Pearl S. Buck, Upton Sinclair and Marcel Duchamp—contributed to a book called The Artists’ & Writers’ Cookbook. And while the recipes aren’t always the most practical, they are the most interesting to read. Lee’s preparation of crackling cornbread includes a bit of a challenging first step. You can read the whole recipe below:
First, catch your pig. Then ship it to the abattoir nearest you. Bake what they send back. Remove the solid fat and throw the rest away. Fry fat, drain off liquid grease and combine the residue (called “cracklings”) with:
1 1/2 cups water-ground white meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
Bake in very hot oven until brown (about 15 minutes).
Result: 1 pan crackling bread serving 6.
Total cost: About $250, depending upon size of pig. Some historians say this recipe alone felled the Confederacy.
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