Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Little House" Cracklin' Cornbread

You may say crackling...I say cracklin'.
What are cracklin's anyway?
Plain, unadulterated pieces of crispy fried pig skin rendered from the lard making process.

So now that we have that all cleared up....

Recently I shared that I was reading the book Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser. 
Although the book shed a lot of light on many things (and some I would really rather forget),
I was left wanting to know more and more about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I'd never read her "Little House" books until recently...
I finished them just last week and now I want to read them all over again!
I only became familiar with the fictional Laura when Little House on the Prairie came to TV.
It has been a favorite show since the 70s and I still record and watch them regularly.
I never grow tired of these wonderful stories, even if I do know exactly what's going to happen next.
And the books are even is it even possible that I hadn't read them all these years?
I especially enjoyed reading about all of the wonderful sounding food that Ma cooked daily.
That led me to finding and purchasing The Little House Cookbook.

Now that fall is really in the air, my thoughts go to making soup, specifically chili.
And what goes better with a steaming bowl of chili than cornbread?
So one recipe that sparked my interest right away was the one for Crackling (Cracklin') Cornbread.
I read about this first in Farmer Boy, book #2 in the series,
the story of Laura's own Almanzo Wilder when he was growing up.
This was a favorite thing that his mother made for him and so I decided to try my hand at it.
I am sure the cracklin's back in those day were somewhat different than what we get in stores today.

The ingredients and the recipe...

The recipe calls for stone ground cornmeal but I accidentally got self-rising stone ground...
I really don't think it made much of a difference but probably would not have needed the baking soda.

You add the melted butter to the batter right before placing it in the baking pan.
As you can see, I should have used my larger was!

I thought it might even out grow the pan...


I couldn't wait to try it and I did...just a few minutes out of the oven.
The cracklin's had softened quite a bit but they gave it a really good flavor
and along with the dense, rough texture of the stone ground meal....m-m-m good!
I do believe the next time around I will use the cracklin's from the meat department...
rendered right off the pig, not processed...more authentic for this recipe.
If you are used to a sweet, cakey-like cornbread, this may not be for you though.
It reminded me very much of the cornbread that Mom used to make when I was a little girl...
and I didn't even like it back our tastes can change, right?

So that little morsel that I sampled wasn't quite enough...
...and then a great idea popped into my head!

A couple of weeks ago, a sweet blogging friend sent me a little gift for my birthday...
...a jar of her yummy homemade raspberry jam.
Oh my goodness, can I just tell you what a wonderful combo this was?!
The salty cornbread...the sweetness of those berries...m-m-MMM!

That was yesterday and it was 86 degrees.
Last night, fall paid us a it hasn't gotten out of the 60s and it's cloudy and damp.
Perfect soup weather, I'd say...wouldn't you?
So here's my chili I just made this afternoon and here's Almanzo's cornbread.
No jam, just butter.

Pardon me while I dig in.

Have a wonderful first week of autumn,
 sweet friends!

Sharing at:
 Amaze Me Monday


  1. Debby, Growing up on a farm we butchered all of our own meat...and mother made lard and cracklins' were left after the fat rendered down itto lard. I never cared for them as a kid but have tried the commercial pork rinds when I was on Atkins years ago. They taste quite a bit different than the rendered ones.

    Loved all the books in the series. I read them as a kid. Glad you are enjoying them. My grandgirl insists I have to read the Harry Potter series (I have never done so) and I promised her I would so that is next on my reading list.

    Have a great week- xo Diana

  2. Smiling here to think of you enjoying The Little House series of books one right after the other. Sweet joy. Makes me want to do the same. It’s been a long time since I read them to my students. My favorite of all is “Farmer Boy.” I still remember the snacks for long winter evenings described. Apples and popcorn have never sounded so delicious. Your cornbread looks fabulous!

    1. Farmer Boy is my favorite too, Vee. I love how industrious his mother was, and the descriptions of food and how much Almanzo ate!

      I'm glad Debby that you've read the books and enjoyed them!

  3. May I have some of that cornbread with a cup of tea in a pretty tea cup, please?? Looks mighty darn good, if you ask me. I loved the Little House books when I was a child and I always found myself in front of the TV spending many a delightful hour watching the series....loved them. Not wanting to appear rude....but....I will have a wonderful first week of Spring. =)

  4. I read the Little House books growing up and remember the mentions of cracklins! I loved those books and now you are making me want to read them again! We also had chili tonight, but I didn't make cornbread ... We had Fritos with our chili. My sister and I visited Laura and Almanzo's home in Missouri. Everything you pictured here looks very yummy, even though I am full of chili!

  5. Even though it is almost bedtime, you have got me hungry. Cracklins is something I am quite familiar with.Here we make it with ground up pieces of pork, fried to a crispy state, add a little salt and yummy.I think I may just have to go out tomorrow to get me some cracklins.

  6. I love the Little House books and still read bits of them from time to time. Almanzo's mother made wonderful food - I've always wanted to try the fried onions and apples. The cornbread looks delicious and I like the non-sweet variety. Have a wonderful first week of autumn!

  7. My goodness, what a treat... I do wish I could pop over and try it, it looks delicious.

  8. goodness gracious, Debby, that cornbread looks delicious! I grew up on the "real cornbread", not the sweet Jiffy mix, although I love that kind as well, LOL! My Grandmas made good old fashioned corn bread in their big heavy old black iron skillets, EVERY SINGLE DAY they made cornbread. At nights just about everyone would have a big glass of crumbled up corn bread with buttermilk on it, for bedtime snack. Have you ever had it that way? I love hot corn bread with plain 'ole butter. I didn't care for the buttermilk thing.We raised our kids on good old fashioned food, one of our favorites was a bowl of crumbled corn bread with chili on top with shredded cheese. Very cheap and very filling! LOL Happy happy belated birthday to you!! I can hardly beleive you are in your sixties, you sure DO NOT LOOK IT.

  9. What a great post!! I used to spend a few days with my cousins during hog killing time just so I could help fry out the cracklins. Mama was always making cracklin cornbread...daddy loved it! Even today one of my favorite things to eat is a glass of crumbled up cornbread with buttermilk on top. It's delicious!! I've never read the "Little House" books. You make me want to read them now.

  10. Hi Debby! Don't be embarrassed - I never read the Little House books either. That cornbread looks poisitively delish! I wish I had a piece to go with my coffee. Have a great week.

  11. Oh this reminds me of my granny's corn bread in that old iron skillet in which I have and use. Yes, bring me a piece of that girl and slather it with BUTTER! Love it! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  12. WoW, I bet that's good. My mother put bacon grease in her cornbread and it was wonderful.

  13. Your cornbread looks sooooo good, Debby. And I love the fact that you got the recipe from the Little House Cookbook. Oh my, look at that piece with a dab of butter. And a piece with raspberry jam sounds delightful. The pictures of the corn bread served on your pretty blue plate are charming. What a nice cookbook this is, thanks for sharing. I know what you mean about Laura Ingalls Wilder....I am fascinated with her story as well.


    ps....I tried the pumpkin spice cereal (on my post today) crunchy and good.

  14. I'd like to stop by your house and have a taste of all that delicious food you have there. : )
    I've never read the books but did watch the television show. Maybe I should finally read them.

  15. I have never read the Little House books, Debby, but loved the TV series! Your cornbread with Jam looks simply scrumptious. Baking in cast iron is the best! Happy eating!

  16. I could eat cornbread for dessert I love it so much!! Of course the sweeter the better, but this recipe would be nice to try.
    I searched and searched for years for a good cornbread recipe and just a few years ago I came across a recipe in a magazine, no less, and it's amazing!
    I tweaked it just a bit and it's even better. ;}
    Yes, Fall is in the air for sure. I went over the pass today and the trees were still quite beautiful in color at a higher elevation, but the leaves are falling fast and the rain with low clouds made the scenery even prettier.
    There was a dusting of snow up high. It's coming!!
    Have a great week, sweet lady ~

  17. Now this looks yummy and the raspberry jam would take it over the top!

  18. Now you have totally gotten me in the mood for chili and corn bread!! We had a little fall weather here today too, but alas, no fall cooking. Ron cooked burgers on the grill because we had some painting to do in the kitchen and needed a non-messy meal. Tomorrow . . .

  19. Oh, my word! This looks SOOOO good! I didn't know there was a Little House cookbook, but I'm right with you ~ I could watch them over and over again. I would love to own the entire series from being to end on DVD. They just refresh my spirit so much and it is so nice to go back to a simpler time by watching them. Thank you for this heartwarming post, sweet friend. It is always such a dear blessing to come here and visit with you. :)

  20. I love cornbread and this sounds so yummy! I agree, it's cracklin. :)

  21. Hi Debby your corn bread looks so yummy and the book sounds like an interesting read,happy baking my friend xx

  22. Oh my . . . look so good!! I have not read the books. But I loved the t.v. series :) Now, my dad used to make cracklin' BISCUITS and I was just telling a friend about them. So you can get the cracklin's from the meat department?? Do you just ask for 'cracklin's'??? I really really want to make the biscuits. I do remember that the cracklin's stayed somewhat crispy.

  23. Oh yes, cornbread with raspberry jam!! I have so many raspberries in my freezer, I need to make jam sometime this winter. And yes on the chili. It is one of my favorite fall/winter dinners! I think every childhood should include reading The Little House series and The Chronicles of Narnia series - even read aloud by an adult. They're wonderful!

  24. My husband love cornbread.... never tried it with crackilin.... interesting! So glad you were able to read the books, always a favorite of mine. Hope your week is off to a good start. When are we going to get that fall weather? ;-)


  25. Do you know!
    I don't think I've tasted cornbread … shame I'm not living near to you, I could perhaps pop over and try some :)

    Have a great October

    All the best Jan

  26. Now that's a new one for me, making cornbread with cracklins! Sounds delicious though! That cornbread with jam on it looked soo good! What a special way to enjoy your friend's gift! And I've heard from more than one that the book about Caroline Wilder was a bit too much information, I won't be trying to read that one, although I grew up reading Little House on the Prairie books, and have my very own set of books of both that series, and the Anne of Green Gable series. They are well read, worn, and enjoyed. Will have to look for their cookbook too, sounds wonderful! Glad you finally got some cornbread and chili weather :) It's cool here today, high in the 50s, and definitely soup weather :) Hugs to you today!


Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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