Southern Style



For those who do not know me, my name is Raven. I own a little bakery in one of the greatest mountain towns ever, Pemberton in British Columbia. I have a deep love for gluten, wheat, and all that it brings to my life. Today initially I wanted to write on a traditional favourite from where I grew up in the Southern Appalachian mountains, cast iron skillet cornbread. But as I sifted through this wheat-lover’s cupboards I found I had all the ingredients except my beloved wheat flour. What was I to do? With complete reluctance to change my topic, I let my topic change me.  Because for some reason there was, in the deep lost corners of my cabinet, a small bag of Gluten Free Flour.

One of the very real and important things I want to say about my love for cornbread is that it comes to me with a remembrance of home, of the Appalachian mountain culture and all that I hope to share with you over time.

It is important to me that food represent something more than nutrients. It is, as Elizabeth David said, and this is a very loose quote to be sure…

“every bite we eat is not just food, it’s our culture, our history, our memories of ourselves, of our families, of times when we were particularly happy.”

So today, I created for myself a new memory.  I hope you too, as you cook for yourself, your family and friends, find the time to honor and create memories of food filled with life and memories.

So I now give to you my recipe for Gluten Free Skillet Corn Bread.

  1. The most important step is get a cornbread skillet.  Like this one that my mom gave to me when I first settled down. It’s of great value but not of the  monetary kind, and is only as good as the time you put into it, the “seasoning.”IMG_6626
  2. Gather all your ingredients, as organic as you can afford and as local as it can be.
  3. Next, turn on your oven to 425 degrees F.  Then put your cast iron skillet onto the your stove top on med low heat.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of a high heat tolerant oil.  I prefer grapeseed,  but please just no olive oil. While your oil is warming —
  5. Grab a med mixing bowl, whisk, spatula, and a measuring cup.
  6. Then, add into your bowl, 1 cup of buttermilk, 3 large eggs, 3 tablespoons of organic sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of baking soda and whisk it up.
  7. Note: after many years of cooking I do not mix my dry ingredients all together.  If you have that compulsion, it is ok.
  8.  Now add 2 cups of stoneground yellow organic corn meal, followed my 1 1/2 cups of my favourite wheat flour replacement Cup4Cup.  I do believe in this product and it is an amazing.
  9. Whisk it all together to make a batter…now add 3/4’s of that what-should-now-be-very-warm oil from your skillet and mix in.
  10. Take your spatula and pour the batter into your hot skillet.  The idea is that we are doing two things — frying it a tiny bit, as we love to do in ol’ Dixie, but we are also keeping your cornbread from sticking.
  11. For 4-5 mins let it cook on the stovetop, then put it into the oven until its done.  How long’s that you ask? At least 30 minutes, but it depends on your oven. Just until you stick a knife into it and it comes clean.
  12.  Your cornbread finally is done when you flip it out of the pan in awe and admiration that it actually did not stick to the pan.
  13. How do you eat it? With butter. Lots of butter! Who am I kidding?!  Gluten free, maybe, but without butter what do we have?