La Shawn Barber published some food pictures, and since I was a-makin' beans an' cornbread ennyhoo, I let the pictures inspire me to type up my recipe for basic cornbread. It will make enough for five or six more-or-less normal people to each have a good-sized hunk.
First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Also, take a cast iron skillet about ten inches in diameter--what? You don't have one? Then go get one, my friend, and don't whine to me about the weight. This is real he-man cookin' we're doin' here...
At any rate, put that skillet on the stove and let it heat up to about medium.
Then, mix together (I just use a whisk):
2 cups yellow corn meal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (you can use regular milk, but it won't be quite as good)
2 tablespoons of some kind of melted shortening or oil. You can use vegetable oil, and it is okay. You can use olive oil, and it is good. You can use melted butter, and things really start to perk up. But if you want real people-will-kill-for-it cornbread taste, nothing can beat melted bacon fat! Oh, mercy, it's good...
Quit gripin'. It's better for you than butter or margarine. Seriously.
Now, pour a little more of that melted bacon fat in the skillet and swirl it around to coat the pan. Put the batter in the pan, and the pan in the oven for, oh, about 25-30 minutes. It's done when you can stick a knife in the middle and it comes out clean, without any uncooked batter on it. You will quickly learn just how long your oven takes to do this and it won't need to be tested.
It will come out golden-brown with the most heavenly crust imaginable. You will be in love with corn bread the rest of your days, I assure you.
You can gild the lily, if you like, by adding about a third of a cup of corn kernels, or a little bit of chopped onion, or maybe a small can of chopped green chiles.
This goes good with a lot of things, but it is divine with pork ribs and pinto beans.