Norma Jean Darden was a model in the 1970s, gracing the pages of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Essence, as well as the runways of Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy and others. Today, she is the owner of two restaurants, Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too and Miss Maude's Spoonbread Too, as well as a catering company, Spoonbread Inc. In 1979, along with her sister Carole, she authored one of the most enduring African-American cookbooks, Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine. Based on their family recipes and history, it's still a bestseller today. I have had brunch at Miss Mamie's on many a Sunday after church in Harlem and, I must say, it doesn't hurt that it's right around the corner from my hairdresser! Although I've had spoonbread, I must confess that I've never actually tried strawberry wine but that will definitely change in the near future. The Spoonbread recipe below is direct from their website.
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons butter
3 large eggs, well beaten
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slowly add cornmeal to the boiling water, stirring constantly until thick and smooth.
2. Add butter and salt and cool to lukewarm. Then add eggs and milk.
3. Beat for 2 minutes, then pour into a greased casserole and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Spoon out while piping hot and pass the butter!