Awendaw, like pilau and rice pie, is a dish specifically Lowcountry, named for an Indian settlement north of Charleston where both native American and African traditions survive to this day. Lucille Grant, one of Charleston’s most celebrated cooks, was born and raised the daughter of a fisherman in Awendaw. They grew okra and caught shrimp, then strung the heads of the shrimp and the okra pods—for use in soups—in the attic of their house, where they quickly dried under the tin roof. The technique is West African. Between Awendaw and Charleston, the Mount Pleasant basket weavers still make rice fanner baskets from marsh grasses the way they have been made for centuries.
I offer no improvements to Sarah Rutledge’s recipe for “Owendaw Corn Bread,” which she published in The Carolina Housewife in 1847. This is our classic spoon bread.
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a mixing bowl, add the butter and beaten eggs to the hominy and mix well. Gradually stir in the milk, then the cornmeal. Pour the batter into a
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