Corn Bread

Corn Bread

A Recipe from the Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking (1959)

About the Recipe

A friend of mine sent me a text the other day with a mission – She decided to give back this holiday season by stocking full Thanksgiving dinners-for-four in the community fridges in her neighborhood in Brooklyn. Did I have any interest in helping? Of course I did!

So I set my sights on baking 12 mini corn bread loaves for her Thanksgiving trays. Because of the volume of baking to be done, I picked a simple recipe and went to town! I’m not eating it this time around, so all I can say is, these smell amazing, and the batter was delicious!

In order to turn the tray bake into loaves, I got 6×2.5×2″ loaf pans (mine are paper) and I baked them for 40 minutes at 350*F, rotating the tray once during the bake to keep everything even. A knife comes out clean – these are good to go to fill some bellies this Thursday.

Interested in the fridges or in how you can get involved to give back to hungry families this holiday season? Check out Clinton Hill Fort Greene Mutual Aide for more information on the fridges, or to donate today.

About the Book

This Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia is a freaking god-send. When I went looking for a corn bread recipe, I found around 20 different regional variations on the corn bread to take my pick from. It’s such a go-to resource, and I know I’ll be cooking again from it frequently. Check out more recipes in the Mary Margaret McBride Collection here!

The Recipe!


1 cup flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup milk
1 egg, well beaten
1 T melted shortening


Mix and sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir in corn meal.

Add milk to beaten egg and stir into first mixture. Add shortening and blend.

Turn into shallow, greased 8-inch pan. Bake in hot oven (400*F) about 20 minutes. Cut into 6 squares. Serve hot.

Banana Luncheon Bread

Banana Luncheon Bread

A Recipe from 100 Prize-Winning Recipes from Pillsbury’s 2nd Grand National $100,000 Recipe and Baking Contest (1951)

About the Recipe

Okay – I know the last thing everyone needs at this point is yet *another* banana bread recipe, but hear me out! For the 2nd Grand National Contest, Pillsbury allowed junior contestants for the first time. So when I selected a recipe, it had to be a junior winner.

To top it off – this is actually really superb banana bread recipe. Even though it’s on the more complicated side of the quick breads equation, it’s extremely forgiving. A little too much banana? No problem. A little too much baking powder? It’ll do fine. A little longer than necessary in the mixer? You’ll still get a nice, crumbly quick bread.

The long, slow baking time allows for some of that give and take. It also makes the entire house smell so yummy that you can hardly wait to take it out of the oven. Sorry, junior winner Gracy Zeppenfield – we cut it before it cooled!

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

As my grandmother would say – the best laid plans never seem to work out. This book came to me slightly later than the rest of the books in the challenge, so we’re going a little bit out of order here. I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

This book came from the wonderful Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks in the East Village, Manhattan. To keep curious cooks busy during the pandemic, she’s doing mystery boxes that she’s shipping all over the country. I was fortunate enough to have this gem hidden inside.

As an early book, there a tons of basics in this one, including obviously the banana bread. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it!

About the glassware

This Fire King Anchor Hocking loaf pan came from an antiques mall in North Caroline where I was visiting a friend. It’s one of many little treasures that I grabbed that day and every time I use it I think of day. The pattern is Meadow Green, I believe from the 1970’s. Certainly the avocado hue seems to fit that time.

The Recipe!


2 cups flour
1 t double-acting baking powder
1/2 t soda
1 t salt
1/2 c shortening
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
1/2 c chopped nuts


Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Cream shortening. Add sugar gradually, creaming well.

Blend in 2 eggs, one at a time. Beat well.

Add mashed banana. Mix well.

Blend in sifted dry ingredients. Fold in chopped nuts.

Pour into greased 9x5x3-inch pan. Push batter up into corners of pan, leaving the center slightly hollowed. For well-rounded loaf, allow to stand 20 minutes before baking.

Bake in moderate oven (350* F) 60-70 minutes. Cool thoroughly before slicing.