Though mentioned only briefly in Stranger Here Below, by Joyce Hinnefeld, spoon bread is mentioned a few times and it caught my attention as possibly being either southern in origin (from the sound of the name), or maybe a dish native to Kentucky. As it turns out, it is both Southern and a point of pride with those from Kentucky.
According to Wikipedia, and as I suspected, spoon bread is a type of sweet and moist corn bread that is spooned out of the pan into a dish and served hot with butter. Yum! Sometimes it is made with corn kernels! I cannot explain to you just how much I love corn bread, and butter, and corn bread with butter. A quick internet search revealed myriad types of recipes for spoon bread – Sour Cream Corn Spoon Bread, Southern Spoon Bread, Corn Spoon Bread, Kentucky Spoon Bread…- and indeed it is a dish that has been the object of many a cooking contest.
In the kitchen she cooked greens and spoon bread and endless platters of fried chicken and catfish; there was nothing new about any of this except for her using more pepper than she was accustomed to. For Vista, most of it was just special occasion Sunday-dinner cooking, but here in Harrodsburg, apparently, or at least the Beau Rive Hotel, food like that was part of the place’s “Southern charm and hospitality”, and people ate it every day. It was tiring work, but Vista was fast and neat, and more than once overheard one of the cooks or waitresses say something about how she just wasn’t what you’d expect of a mountain girl.
A plain spoon bread:
Jalapeno spoon bread:
I liked this recipe for Buttermilk Spoon Bread. I have never liked to drink buttermilk, but somehow they make some dishes, especially bread, better.