The ideal bread for barbecues, fancy suppers, and virtually any meal that features soup or stew, corn sticks are revered in the South almost as much as ordinary corn bread. Right there alongside different-size cast-iron skillets in the Southern kitchen are two or three cast-iron molds for corn sticks, which can be found in most hardware stores and supermarkets. There literally is no substitute for these heavy, inexpensive molds that distribute heat so evenly and steadily. Just remember that, for the corn sticks to be properly soft inside with a crispy exterior, the molds must be scorching hot before the batter is spooned in. Most Southerners consider it a sacrilege and outrage to add sugar to any cornmeal bread, but I must confess that lately I’ve been sneaking about a teaspoon into my corn stick batter, and I still can’t decide which I like better.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir till well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Add the buttermilk and stir till well blended, then add the shortening and scallions and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Grease two or three cast-iron corn-stick molds and set in the oven till the molds are scorching hot. Spoon the batter into the molds and
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