Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.
Time to Look Back
for a real question about the South: what things in this list are NOT from the South: fast cars, fast women, pick-up trucks, cornbread and milk, and hound dogs with names like “Yo Yo,” and “Peanut Butter.” Go ahead. I will give you time to think.
Actually, this was a trick question because ONLY one thing in this list (hound dogs notwithstanding) is from the South which began in eons of time. Remember as you read this (mostly) serious subject, remember the nation was young and so was I.
Cornbread Truths Revealed in
today’s society, in some areas, frown upon a meal made from buttermilk and cornbread because I guess that in some way, these food staples make these people seem lower than their friends who are rich beyond measure, but this is NOT the truth.
Cornbread and buttermilk began in rural America during the Agricultural Eras when men with families would plow their fields and pray that a big harvest was due in September. So cornbread and milk are not only food staples, but in my unwavering opinion, needed food items that puts out a vibe that says, although the farmer and his family may look poor, but they have cornbread and buttermilk and if a family has these things, how can the appear poor?
The very first time that I was introduced to cornbread and buttermilk was on a life-changing night that I shall always remember. My nerves were shot and if you can stop laughing, when you are surviving in the fourth grade, people of my station were taunted and insulted simply because us “Farming Kids,” were not as rich as those kids in the city. So without eating for several nights, my dad, always the wise head of our family, told me to sit down. He created one of the best-tasting food choices that I could ever asked. He put crumbled-up cornbread into a big glass then poured into the cold buttermilk. From the first bite through the rest, I was in heaven—and the next day, NO nerves or upset stomach. All because of my dad and his cornbread and buttermilk.
from the first taste of that delicious cornbread and buttermilk dish, I was in love with something only the poor (as I thought) ate when they were about to starve to death. Come to find out, there were many people—rich and working people who lived around us who enjoyed their buttermilk and cornbread and ate the two wonderful food items without apology.
I Want you to Know the Real Truth
about cornbread and buttermilk. Sure it is delicious. Sure there are more who, even today in 2019, still stand on these two pure southern foods that helped America in its poorest, hardest-working years of forming the nation into the super-power that it is today.
But if you want to be known as a Pure Rebel, try buttermilk by itself. Do the same with cornbread. People who see you doing this will gasp with awe. The thing about doing “this” exhibition is what the casual observer does not know is that although the cornbread and buttermilk are consumed at separate times, both end-up into the stomach.
The real Southerners will come face front and tell you square into the eyes that they can eat buttermilk and cornbread, but they will chop-up a half of a white onion and I confess. I did this a lot in my younger years and I never grew tired of that experience.
In closing, let me be the first to advise you that Real Southerners are not considered if they substitute buttermilk for sweet milk. And the same is true about using biscuits instead of cornbread. My bottom-line opinion—be what you are and if you like Real buttermilk and cornbread, go ahead! Eat your two Southern delicacies and do this in public.
Never be a Closet Buttermilk and Cornbread fan. It is not a natural thing.
May 4, 2019___________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery
Ken Avery on June 15, 2019:
Hi, Kathleen . . .terrific comment, and so truthful. I cannot drink milk at all because I have Lactose Intolerant and I did not know this until I grew up. Truth! From grades 1-6, we were made to drink sweet milk at our school cafeteria and that afternoon, I had to visit the restroom to unload the sickness. Truth.
Did not mean to upset you--just speaking the truth.
Please write soon.
Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on May 06, 2019:
Cornbread is the best thing when you are not feeling good, physically or mentally. Add a pot of pinto beans and I'm there. But can I have sweet tea instead of buttermilk? I'm not a milk drinker at all.