Georgia Cornbread: A Simple,Tasty Treat.

Georgia Cornbread

A few weeks ago, my brother and I went to visit our friend Hank. He’s a very generous older gentleman who is trying to get rid of things, not accumulate more. So in an effort to do something nice for him, we decided to bring him something to eat when we came over. It took me a while to figure out what would be the best thing to bring, especially since I wasn’t too sure about what he would like and I didn’t want to make him feel like he was ordering up something (if I asked him what we should bring).

So after thinking about it for a while, it finally hit me that this Montana guy could make a batch of Georgia Cornbread. While it’s not much to look at, it’s simple to make and tastes great–my mom has been making it the last few years as a quick dessert for family gatherings. The recipe she pointed me toward is from a lady named Barb Gertz from over at, and from her short bio there, she knows her stuff.

Georgia Cornbread
Georgia Cornbread

I think it’s a really weird thing to call what is basically pecan pie in cake form. It doesn’t include any corn at all but since it’s un-frosted, it looks similar to a pan of cornbread.

Instead of using my fancypants [amazon asin=B0002Y5X9W&text=KitchenAide Professional 600] mixer, I used my new [amazon

asin=B005GYRXA0&text=Ninja Kitchen System Pulse] blender, just to see how it would work as a quick, self-contained mixer.

Later I’ll do a more general , in-depth review of the Ninja Pulse, but at this point, I’m glad my wife got it for me for my birthday. It

Ninja Kitchen System Pulse
My Ninja Kitchen System Pulse

is a great multi-purpose blender and smoothie maker. It’s really powerful and I’m impressed that its so well-built. I expected something called the “ninja” to be total junk, but the thing isn’t just made of standard cheapie plastic–it’s very durable and I think it’ll last a long time.

All that being said, I should have used the Kitchenaid for mixing  and the Ninja to chop up the pecans. The Ninja had a hard time mixing the cornbread batter (the batter is extremely thick, especially once you add the pecans). It worked, but a few days after making this, I made another batch using the Kitchenaid.

They call it a mixer for a reason–it worked perfectly.

My Kitchenaid is their beastly model–I use it to knead bread dough and to make meringues more than anything. I don’t make a lot of stuff like this Georgia Cornbread, but I tell you what. If you don’t have a Kitchenaid mixer, get one. You might not need the gigantic one I have, but they make good stuff. If you plan on using a mixer to knead bread, you should seriously consider the Pro

KitchenAid Professional 600 Mixer
KitchenAid Professional 600 Mixer

model since it has a re-settable fuse inside that temporarily blows if the thing gets bogged down and overheats–which mine did once while kneading a heavy-duty wheat bread. It’s not a big deal since you just let it cool off for a bit (then it works again). Cheaper models don’t generally have safety measures like that and will just burn up (I don’t know if this is the case with the Kitchenaid Artisan or the Heavy Duty models, which are both smaller and cheaper than the Pro 600).

So all in all, try out the Georgia Cornbread–you can certainly mix it by hand, but the batter is so thick that you’ll have a dead hand pretty quickly. You can also modify the recipe pretty easily–I made a batch with a handful of peanuts and some coconut in it. That turned out too.

I’m curious if any of you have had something similar to this stuff. Did you have it growing up? Is it a Southern thing, like I have read?

Sharpening Your Knives the Easy Way

Kitchen Knives and Gatco Sharpener

Sharpening knives can be tricky, especially if you don’t do it very often (which most people don’t).

Gatco Knife Sharpener
Gatco Knife Sharpener

I’ve watched YouTube videos on sharpening, and I’ve tried all the classic sharpening methods over the years. My knives have always been pretty sharp, but I always knew they could be sharper. I think it’s because I don’t do it often enough to develop some level of knife sharpening skill.

Recently, an extremely generous friend gave my brother and I a number of quality kitchen knives. Some are American, some German, but the best are Japanese. I have had my Cutco chef’s knife for maybe 5 years and use it all the time, so it takes  a beating–I use my ceramic hone on it fairly regularly, and as of last year, I started sharpening it with my brother’s [amazon asin=B003774RF2&text=Gatco knife sharpener].

I’m not going to go all cuckoo over the Gatco, but the thing works very well. It’s hard to describe how it works, so I’ll just show you in this little video clip I took of my brother using it on my [amazon asin=B005FNPY7G&text=Cutco chef’s knife]:


Basically, you clamp your knife into the holder, then figure out what angle your edge is. You just select one of the sharpening rods

Gatco Sharpener In Action
Gatco Sharpener In Action

and guess at the angle your knife was ground at. So far 22 degrees has been most common. But you can easily tell the angle of your edge without using the sharpening system–if you have the right one, go for it. If not, put the rod in other positions until you get the right one. From there you just run the sharpening rod along the blade edge, letting the system do all the work for you.

My brother’s kit includes coarse, medium, and fine stones, as well as one designed for serrated knives. The thing works well.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to spend $90 on a sharpening set like this to do a good job. I AM saying that something like the Gatco is an excellent way to sharpen your expensive knives, especially if, like me, you don’t have the skills to use traditional sharpeners.