Almost all farming families in the Georgia Piedmont used corn in a variety of ways to feed both their family members and their livestock. Gristmills throughout the countryside ground the corn into a meal used for cornbread and other baked goods, such as spoon bread, corn pone, or fritters. Cornbread usually replaced biscuits for the noon and evening meals. Families, especially those on the farm, typically ate their largest meal at noon to provide energy for their work. Leftover cornbread would be eaten at the evening meal.
"They cooked cornbread in a skillet."
Southerners in the Georgia Piedmont still adhere to the following traditions when making cornbread: first, they do not use any sweetener. Second, most cooks make cornbread in a cast iron skillet or cut it into slices like a cake or they use iron muffin pans. The iron skillet or pan is seldom washed, but kept well seasoned with oil. Everyone seems to have a particular way to enjoy his or her cornbread. Some add special ingredients, such as pork 'cracklins' or jalapeno peppers to personalize their recipes. Cornbread complements many vegetables, from collard greens to pinto beans. Many people eat cornbread with buttermilk at the evening meal. During the holiday season, some will use crumbled pieces of cornbread in their dressings.
"I can remember Mama cuttin' her a chunck 'o cornbread out and she would cut it open in the middle right quick and put butter in it."
"Mama always had this black, long pan. The reason it was so black is that she'd use it for so many years. It had baked-on grease...It finally broke at the end, and she had to retire it."
"Mrs. Delano was from up North and apparently had never heard of cornbread before. So, at the lunch table, she asked Mr. Delano to pass her what she thought was a cake. Well, she politely tried to eat the cornbread, but you could tell she was having a dificult time with it, because it wasn't sweet like cake, my mother was too embarrassed to say anything."