For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to
For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to the readers who inspire us, offering a taste of our earliest recipes, and revisiting old stories with new insights. Follow along to find out how our past has shaped our present.
February 1, 1969 • In 1967, Spruce Pine resident Mrs. Frank Arnold submitted this recipe for “Luscious Corn Meal Bars” to the Corn Meal Bonanza amateur cooking contest. During the event held each year by the NC Corn Millers Association and the Department of Agriculture, home cooks aged 9 and up could submit a savory recipe featuring cornmeal — only recipes using cornmeal processed in North Carolina were accepted — for the chance to win televisions, cameras, or radios.
Yield: 12 bars.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1½ cups yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
½ pound Neese’s sausage, cooked and drained
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 425°.
In a cast-iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons butter until melted. Add onion and cook over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally until translucent. In a large bowl, add cooked onion, parsley, cooked sausage, salt, baking powder, cornmeal, and flour. Toss ingredients until well combined. Cut in remaining butter and mix until ingredients resemble coarse sand. Make a well in the center. Whisk together egg and milk, and pour into center of mixture. Stir until mixture is just moistened.
Prepare a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon mixture into prepared dish, spreading evenly and into corners. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cut cornbread into squares. Serve hot.
— Recipe adapted by Lynn Wells