If you check your cast iron pots and pans, you are most likely to discover that they are made by Lodge Manufacturing. Beginning in 1896, Lodge has been passed down from generation to generation creating an American cookware legacy that many companies can only dream of having.
In the years since my family relocated to this area (while I was in my last years of high school), Lodge Manufacturing has been a household name. After all, they provide jobs for many in this community as well as supporting the schools and civic organizations. I graduated from high school with it’s manufacturing facility just across the street where some of my classmates would be starting to work the very next week.
Mr. Lodge’s mother-in-law attends church where we do, and gave me my first pieces of cast iron as a wedding gift!
Each spring, our area (Audley & I live just six miles from South Pittsburg) goes cornbread crazy as The National Cornbread Festival, sponsored by Lodge & Martha White takes place for three days in April. Already this week the roads are shutting down as venders are setting up to sell their crafts, foods, entertain us with music from every walk of life, and of course my favorite event of the weekend, the National Cornbread cook-off !
The cornbread cook-off takes a while, but is well worth watching. Contestants from all over the US are chosen based on the recipes they have submitted earlier in the year.
Last year I watched fellow blogger Prudence Pennywise compete and become a finalist in the cook-off. It was really awesome meeting another blogger and seeing her success!
In years past winners have made dishes such as a Buffalo Chicken cornbread with a blue cheese salad and Bacon & Gorgonzola cornbread sliders with Chipotle mayo.
This is not your Grandmother’s cornbread!
As for other highlights of the Cornbread Festival, Sister’s on the Fly (they have been featured in Mary Jane’s Farm mag.) will be set up all weekend, and Saturday night there will be a classic car show at the old Drive-In diner in town. A carnival is set up for the kiddies, buttermilk chugging contests for the adults, entertainment galore, and if you want cornbread…… you will find every kind of cornbread you can imagine to purchase in Cornbread Alley!
Of course I don’t know what your weekend plans are, but South Pittsburg is just two hours north of Atlanta & Birmingham, 1 1/2 hours east of Nashville off of Interstate 24 and an hour and half east of Huntsville on Highway 72.
It really is worth the drive to check it out!