Cornmeal, How I Love You, Let Me Count the Ways


If you don’t want to crawl inside this buttery cornmeal biscuit and live there, you are stronger than me.

Skillet bread, corn pones, hoecakes, johnnycakes, shortenin’ bread, cornbread. You can’t do anything wrong with cornbread. Except use cornmeal from the grocery store.

My cousin started grinding corn as a project for 4-H. He never stopped. You can find him selling his cornmeal, and grinding his corn live, in West Virginia at the Black Walnut Festival in Spencer every October and the Mountain State Arts & Crafts Festival in Ripley every July. (Left, my cousin’s son manning the cornmeal sales table at the Black Walnut Festival.) If you don’t live in West Virginia, you can find fresh-ground cornmeal at your own local fairs and festivals, farmers markets, or any place that sells organic foods. It’s worth it. You’ll never go back to Jiffy mix. My favorite thing to do when my cousin is grinding corn behind the barn? Take cornmeal fresh off the grinder and run into the farmhouse kitchen to bake the freshest cornbread in the world. There. Is. Nothing. Better.

Favorite farm cornmeal story: My cousin’s mother, Georgia, makes this cornmeal salad. I thought it was good and I asked her for the recipe. My cousin’s wife made a comment that my cousin won’t eat that cornmeal salad. Surprised, I said, “But it’s made with his cornmeal!” She said, “No, it’s not! Georgia got the recipe off a Jiffy mix box and she has to follow the directions exactly and that means making it with a Jiffy mix.”


She’s 78. She follows directions!! The directions say to USE A JIFFY MIX. Because she got the recipe off a JIFFY BOX.

I just want to say, for the record, that no matter what your directions say, use fresh-ground cornmeal if you can get it. And I know, I have become a cornmeal snob, but it’s not only my endless free supply of cornmeal here. I’ve tasted it. It does make a difference. But if you can’t, at least use real cornmeal, not a packaged mix. Use the best, and freshest, cornmeal you can get. And try my Sour Cream Cornmeal Biscuits. (Which go perfectly with Country Chili.) You will think you’ve died and gone to heaven if you eat one of these biscuits right out of the oven.

Though, you know, if somebody dies while they’re eating one, don’t come after me. You were warned.


  1. TeresaH says:

    Never had cornmeal biscuits, bet they would be very good with chili! Did you know cornmeal was also good to get rid of ants?

  2. Bayou Woman says:

    Oh dearie me. My husband would love you if you served him these biscuits, and then he would think he’d died and gone to Heaven. I’m going to check out the recipes right now, and then I’m going into my kitchen and hide the Jiffy boxes! Fresh corn meal must be imported into South Louisiana, because sugarcane is grown here, and corn, well maybe in North Louisiana somewhere.

  3. Kathleen says:

    I love real cornbread and make it at least once a week to have with soup etc or just because. I’m going to try this recipe tho, it looks fabulous!

  4. Mental Pause Mama says:

    These recipes are going to be the death of me! I looooove cornbread!

  5. Estella says:

    My family loves cornbread, but fresh cornmeal is hard to come by in Oregon.

  6. Renna says:

    I saw fresh ground cornmeal at a folk festival in Beavers Bend Park in Oklahoma a year ago last fall. It intrigued me, but I had no idea there was really that much difference in fresh ground verses Jiffy from Wal-Mart. It does make sense, though.

    I’ve never had cornmeal biscuits before, either. Your chili recipe looks much like mine, so I KNOW that’s good. :hungry:

    I get tickled everytime I see your refer to your cousin’s mother as your “cousin’s mother”. :mrgreen: I realize it’s not a first cousin, so therefore the mother wouldn’t be your aunt, but it still tickles my funnybone when I read it.

  7. Laurie says:

    Please tell me this can be ordered by mail and if so, how??? Would love to try some that I know is really fresh.

  8. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Laurie, I wish! You’d have to come to West Virginia to get this cornmeal, but look around where you live. There are bound to be places you can get fresh cornmeal–and it’s soo good!

    Renna, my cousin is really my second cousin, so my cousin’s mother is really the wife of my first cousin once removed. That sounds longer than my cousin’s mother, LOL.

  9. Brandy says:

    Ahh, cornmeal! I lurve johnnycakes. I even have my daughter hooked on them now! I’ll be sure to check out that recipe, those cornbread biscuts look yummy!

  10. Tombstone Anniebb says:

    Laurie & Suzanne –

    Maybe one of the companies at the below site could supply you with fresh corn meal:

    To cornbread!!

  11. Tombstone Anniebb says:

    How dumb can I be???? The website I posted is a redundant copy of my blog. Sorry!

    Here is where you might find cornmeal that might replicate what your cousin grinds:

    ’nuff said! abb

  12. Heidi says:

    Can you tell my what type of corn she uses? Does she just use regular field corn or does she let sweet corn dry out and use that??? I would love to make my own and since we have 400 acres of land to plant, I figure we could spare a little spot for some corn meal corn!! Thanks!!!!

  13. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Heidi, he uses regular old field corn!

  14. Holly in FL says:

    I can’t wait to try these! I grind my own wheat for bread, etc. and also grind corn for my corn bread.

    Thanks for this yummy recipe!

  15. Daisy says:

    My family loved these last night. I cut the sugar in half and they were still delicious. Thank you!

  16. MIKE SERGENT says:


  17. Debbie White says:

    I would love to start grinding my own corn meal but would not know what kind of grinder would work best. Does your cousin have a website you could give out?

    I can not wait to try your cornbread.

    Debbie W.

  18. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Hi, Debbie! I don’t know anything about the grinders and he doesn’t have a website, I’m sorry!

  19. katy tourney says:

    do you know where i can buy the kind of corn you can grind for cornmeal? what company? i’d prob have to buy via internet – just wondering if you know of what grain company i could buy from.

    thank you

  20. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Hi, Katy! My cousins buys it from a farm in Virginia and drives there with his truck to pick it up, so I would have no idea about it! Good luck!

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