During an exceptionally long, stressful day of nursing, I developed a craving for some good ol’ Southern comfort food. Just thinking about the sweet aroma of cornbread baking in the oven gave me the strength I needed to make the drive home. With single-minded determination, I leapt out of my scrubs and into my comfy cloths in a mad dash to the kitchen. While the cast-iron skillet heated in the oven, I whipped the magical ingredients into just the right texture. Cornbread batter has its own unique consistency, you know. It must be just a bit thicker than cake batter, but thinner than a soft dough so that it will smoothly slip from the bowl to the skillet. The sound of the batter sizzling as it hit the hot skillet combined with the aroma of the searing crust created a beautiful symphony. I could hardly wait to take it out of the oven.
While the batter was making its magical transformation to solid form, I placed the other half of my Southern delight in the freezer. For some, this ingredient would be milk. For me, only fresh, ice cold buttermilk would do. As I reached for the glass in which I planned to combine these two distinctly different elements, I remembered the first time I tasted this tangy-sweet delight. Such an enchanting memory could not be housed in an ordinary glass! Oh, no! It could only be contained in a Mason jar! And neither would an ordinary spoon be special enough to savor the treat. I must have Nannie’s teaspoon. This exclusive device is not a mere teaspoon for measuring ingredients, mind you. This long, elegant spoon was used by my grandmother exclusively for the purpose of stirring sweet, Southern tea.
Placing the spoon in the jar put a smile on my face that erased the day’s turmoil and allowed me to embrace the simple pleasure of a simple meal. The ice cold buttermilk poured over the hot crispy cornbread created a deliciously warm treat for my taste buds and a deliciously warm memory for my heart.
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