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Cracklin Cornbread

Updated on September 10, 2016
Fiddleman profile image

I am Robert Elias Ballard, married to Pearlie Jane (PJ) for 45 years on November 24, 2017. We live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Get Your Chin Good and Greasy

Cornbread has long been a staple in our diet and as youngsters on many an evening at supper time, cornbread and milk were what we ate and if there was any left overs from the noon meal those were special and only added to the meal. My grandmother could make the best to ever pass through the lips and gums in her old wood cook stove. She used a cast iron fry pan and made up the batter with her two hands using fresh ground corn meal that did not have the preservatives or additives in those store bought packages of today. I loved mine with buttermilk and a good onion for that extra flavor.

During the winter months we sometimes ate cracking corn bread. My daddy called it "fatty bread" because it was made using the "cracklins" from the hog lard that had been rendered. After hog killing time mama would use the excess fat cut from the hogs that had been slaughtered and cook all of it down. The rendered lard was then stored in a churn or in jars as were the crackling. A special treat for us were those skins mama baked after trimming away the fat to be rendered. Much like the pork rinds we enjoy today, those real pork rinds sure tasted good and if you weren't right careful, you'd have a greasy chin underneath that big old smile after eating them. The rendered lard was then used in much of the cooking. This was quite a change from today's kitchens where vegetable shortening like Crisco or some other more healthy ingredients as Canola or Olive oil are now used when baking or frying. For many of us here in the mountains of Western North Carolina rendered lard was all we ever knew and the pork seasoning only added to the flavor for so many of the foods we ate.

The following is a recipe from the web for "cracklin" cornbread. Cook time is about 30 minutes.


  • 1 1/2 cups white cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup diced cracklings


Mix dry ingredients; add milk, stirring until smooth. Fold in cracklings; shape into 8 to 10 flat, oblong cakes. Place cakes onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Makes 8 to 10.

Crackling is the crisp remains of rendered lard or salt pork or crispy skin after cooking.

With so much today about healthy eating and avoiding excess fats, "cracklin" corn bread might not be the healthiest bread to eat but once in a while can add an option for diverse tastes. Cracklin corn bread goes good with dried beans and cabbage (boiled or fried). We always had a good supply of cracklings each year and mama didn't make this style of corn bread all the time. Today cracklings may be found in most grocery stores in the meat department. They are usually plentiful this time of year and soon those great "jowls for New Years will be appearing in the meat coolers.


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    • profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago

      I loved cornbread in the good old days before low fat diets. I got up to 280 this year, so no corn bread for me...Bob

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 5 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Love love love this!! My gram used to make this.. For leftovers we would pour buttermilk over crumbled chunks!! Good stuff!

    • profile image

      Alphagirl 5 years ago

      Yum! Far always makes food yummy! Just can't eat it a lot!

      Great recipe'

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      The Best Corn bread I ever tasted was when we were driving South to Florida and a Woman was selling it by the side of a road where we stopped for Gas...maybe N. or S. Carolina? Fun Hub to read, and I'd be tempted to dry the Recipe, Fiddleman...The song Video was Fun to hear.

      Hey, Come visit my Hubs, my Friend...missed your Comments as well!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 5 years ago from USA

      We love cornbread and this recipe sounds delish except for the cracklings. I'm just not sure we are ready for this! However, we are country raised and love our beans and cornbread and greens so I guess we will have to at least consider this...thanks for prompting me to think outside the box about trying something different.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Can't wait to try this recipe. I'm gonna bookmark this great hub.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love the story, I have never had cornbread...

      Pork crackling and a greasy chin, oh lovely!

      I'm looking forward to trying the recipe, thank you for a great hub and voting up.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      My Aunt and Uncle are in their late 80's and we were there not long ago to help them get their home ready for winter. We started talking about cracklin cornbread. My aunt hated it but my uncle loved it.

      I suspect you come from the same part of the country I come from just from reading your hubs.

      Enjoyed this one.

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      Always need a good corn bread recipe.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

      Cornbread makes a great base for dressing/stuffing. Eating left-over cornbread with sliced ham is delicious too after the holidays. Oo-la-lah . . . southern cooking.

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