Sugarless Cornbread? Pumpkin Chiffon Pie?

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Just-baked cornbread (with a bit of sugar) – which we really needed to taste (topped with a lot of butter).  Let it dry for a few days before crumbling for the dressing

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Here’s the completed cornbread dressing; add gravy and you’ve got YUM!

A BigLittleMeals Lagniappe pre-Thanksgiving edition.  We’re passing along recipes.

First – a recipe from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Austin, Texas, a Best of the Besties Southern Cornbread Dressing, guaranteed to please.  It comes from Becky and her mom, Katie, our special Louisiana neighbors and special friends.

Little did I know that a dressing recipe could be controversial, but apparently it can be.  Sugar vs no sugar is one of the key factors in the debate. You’ll enjoy reading Kim Severson’s “How I Mastered the Art (and Politics) of Cornbread Dressing.

Our second recipe comes from my Colorado Cousin Bill; it’s a Best of the Besties Pumpkin Chiffon Pie recipe from our grandmother, Rachel, aka “Mom Hill,” which she in turn got from Mamie Eisenhower.  (Mamie is a cute name!  Why don’t we ever hear it used any more?)  The story goes that Mamie and Rachel, who knew each other in Washington, D.C., bonded because they both had Colorado roots.  Yea, Colorado! Go Rams! Go Buffs! Go Broncos! Go Rockies (sorry, Joe; you can still love the Dodgers)! Go Nuggets (nope, my heart is with the Warriors)! Go Avalanche! Go CC Tigers?

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I daresay women’s fashion and hairstyles have changed more than men’s over the last 60 years.  Following up on our last post –  the answer to “Where the Wild Things Are” may be “on Mamie’s shoulders”

So if you’re still working on your menu for Turkey Day, here’s Mamie’s recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (which the Washington Post also declared delicious).  Mom Hill also passed along Pumpkin Pie O’Brien, a personal favorite.  For the main course we recommend Super Simple Sage-y Roasted Turkey Breast, and if you want to wow your guests with something unexpected, include the Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds (and Sumac).

Of course, a cocktail is in order too.  If you haven’t already read it, we recommend enjoying our Where the Wild Things Are blog – because we consider it our pièce de résistance.  Click on our link, Wild Turkey, for our recommended cocktail.

You need to bake the cornbread a day or so ahead so that it has time to dry out and get crumbly, so quit sitting at your computer and get going!!

Southern Cornbread Dressing


1 large (lasagna size – 9×13) pan of baked cornbread, any recipe, dried and then crumbled (note from Ann: there’s a super-simple cornbread recipe below).

Combine the crumbled cornbread with:
  • 1 cup each onions and celery, diced, and sautéed until softened in a little butter or olive oil
  • 1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-2 cups natural chicken or veggie broth as needed
  • herbs to taste– sage, parsley, thyme, pepper are suggested
  • Add salt if needed; it depends on how much is in your stock and cornbread
 The cornbread mixture should be very moist, so add a little more broth if it’s not.
 Bake until heated through and crusty on the top, about 25-30 minutes.

 Serve with lots of turkey gravy. Celery and onion are the key to the great taste 

from Ann: here’s a good cornbread recipe.  Note:  to have enough cornbread for Becky’s cornbread dressing recipe, I would recommend making a recipe and a half of this.  You can make it gluten free by using 2 c of cornmeal and omitting the flour.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white or yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 T butter

Heat oven to 400°F.

Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl. Stir in buttermilk, 1/3 cup melted butter and eggs just until mixture is moistened.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy cast iron or oven-proof 10-inch skillet. Pour batter immediately into pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

I would do 1 1/2 recipe to fill a 9″x13″ pan. If you don’t need that much dressing, stick with the original cornbread recipe, and fix the dressing with 1 egg and 1 c broth and bake it in the skillet you used for the cornbread – or an 8″x 8″ pan.  Omit the sugar in the cornbread – if using it makes you uncomfortable – or put in 3 T – if it makes you happy.  I would use finely ground cornmeal, but that’s me. Brought to you by Katie and Becky and



  1. jeanie f says:

    Last Friday you wrote: “You need to bake the cornbread a day or so ahead so that it has time to dry out and get crumbly, so quit sitting at your computer and get going!!”
    Today, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Standing (not sitting) with my computer tuned to your recipe on the counter of my brand new kitchen, I’m doing it!

    Liked by 1 person

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