You can’t cook cornbread sittin’ on the front porch!

I can just see those McCracken girls now: Anna, Martha Lou, and Betty. They’re sitting on the front porch, fanning themselves, swatting flies, and trying to catch a little bit of breeze on a hot Georgia afternoon.

“JohnDaddy” would be home soon from working road construction. He expected supper ready and on the table when he got home. No excuses. And supper always included cornbread.


It’s probably helpful to know that growing up Mama cooked three different kinds of cornbread. What northerners call cornbread, we called “egg bread”. With egg bread you could probably slip off to the porch for a minute.

Not so much with “spoon bread”. These are little spoons of cornbread batter fried on the stove, kind of like croquettes. You have to watch them like a hawk so you know when to flip them. The trick is to get them golden brown on the outside and done in the middle. No porch sitting for these little jewels.

Once in a while Mama would make a hoecake of cornbread. They’re similar to a crepe, thin enough to tear into pieces. (It’s easier to sop up potlikker that way, although any kind of cornbread will work just fine.) Since hoecakes are thin, there’s no sitting on the front porch for these either.

I think all my growing up, learning to cook life I heard Mama say, “You can’t cook cornbread sitting on the front porch.” Of course we didn’t have a front porch, but I did tend to get distracted easily. 

Dear Reader, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve scorched more than one pot of soup or sauce because I (virtually) snuck off to the front porch. Has that ever happened to you?

And then you end up with a ruined pot of soup, the house stinking to high heavens, no supper, and a pot that has to be scraped clean. Oh….that’s why Mama said, “You can’t cook cornbread (or many other delicacies) sittin’ on the front porch!”

 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
​James 1:25 MSG

Lord, it’s so easy to slip off to the front porch. I think it’s just for a minute, and then the cornbread starts to burn. I don’t want to be a scatterbrain; I want to be your woman of action. Forgive me and help me to stay in your kitchen, no matter how hot it gets. Thank you for loving me.

0 thoughts on “You can’t cook cornbread sittin’ on the front porch!”

  1. You are so right about cornbread. You have to watch and turn it at just the right moment or you may wind up with a surprise vittle for supper.

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