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Cornbread II: Me and my Jiffy'

By By Robert St. John / food columnist
Oct. 8, 2003
Robert St. John is the executive chef/owner of the Purple Parrot Caf and Crescent City Grill in Hattiesburg and Meridian. He can be reached at or at (601) 264-0672.
The e-mails are pouring in.
Scattered among solicitations for Viagra prescriptions, no-more-wrinkle solutions, spam e-mails that offer to help eliminate spam e-mails, and advertisements for medications that promise to enlarge various appendages, were multiple e-mails complaining about last week's cornbread column.
The contention stems from the small detail of me and my Jiffy.
In the column I stated: "With all of this righteous talk of cornbread, I must awkwardly admit one of my deepest, darkest, culinary guilty pleasures I am an in-the-closet Jiffy cornbread junkie. Yes, Jiffy, the just-add-egg-and-oil, made-in-Michigan, straight-out-of-a-box-and-into-your-oven cornbread. Yankee cornbread."
The e-mails and calls began as soon as the first newspaper hit the streets. One caller threatened to hit me over the head with her cast-iron skillet.
What's the big problem with sugar? Normally Southerners can't get enough of it. One would think they would instantly drop into a diabetic coma after taking a bite of cornbread.
Many people agreed that sugar in cornbread is good. Others employed the oft-used Grizzard philosophy that sugar doesn't belong anywhere near a batch of cornbread.
Four out of five doctors agree: lack of sugar in some patients causes sudden impulses to hit the shift key for no apparent reason. Nevertheless, I will agree that sweet cornbread is not suitable for cornbread dressing.
Another country heard from
This octogenarian who has "eaten awful bad cornbread" proceeded to give me a recipe for cornbread. Word to the wise: never accept a drink from a urologist and never prepare a recipe from someone who claims to be an expert on bad food.
Harry from Clinton said, "Telling us that you like Yankee Corn Bread' is akin in these parts to admitting in writing that you parade around your home with ladies panties on your head."
Harry, have you been peeking in my windows?
Grass roots campaign
As Bubba would say, "I don't believe I would have told that." "Do you know how to bring a guy down to earth or what?" Wendell S., Jackson.
The people in Geese are too busy eating lamb to worry about sugar in cornbread. If only I had Emeril L's money and Paul P's knowledge and experience. "Jif" is peanut butter, which, by the way, has sugar in it.
Growing up, I ate Jiffy cornbread. It's what my mother bought. I could try to squeeze out a little sympathy for the fact that my mother was a single mom working as a school teacher and didn't have the time to make scratch cornbread, but I won't play the single-parent card and stand by my upbringing.
I like Jiffy. It's made in Michigan. I like my truck, too. It's also made in Michigan. I'll bet a lot of these so-called anti-sugar cornbread folks are driving around in "Yankee" vehicles made in Michigan home of Jiffy cornbread. But I'll stop here before an angry cornbread fanatic puts sugar in my gas tank.
As I was writing this column, two new e-mails arrived: one that promised to reduce my debt, another which promised to improve my credit rating finally something I can use!