Celebrating Cornbread & Lodge Cast Iron Giveaway

In South Pittsburg, Tennessee, a little town of 3000, cornbread is a big deal.  I know this from experience as I graduated high school right across the street from Lodge Manufacturing.
{You might have heard of them; they make cast iron skillets.}
Founded in 1896, Lodge is one of the United States oldest cookware companies.  Most off of their products are made right in that little town of South Pittsburg.  Nothing like buying local & American made!
Photo from Martha White via Facbook
Each year, for the last sixteen years, that little own of 3000 expands to over 25,000 as people from all over the Southeast come in to experience a little of that small town, made-in-the-USA goodness through the annual National Cornbread Festival.
Sponsored by Lodge and Martha White (also an American owned and operated company), the National Cornbread Festival has been featured in Southern Living, Taste of Home, The Food Network, PBS, and assorted newspapers all over the country.  The crafts, entertainment, food, and carnival are just a part of the fun, but the real focus of the festival  is the National Cornbread cook-off!
Hopeful competitors from all over the US send in recipes from which 100 are taste tested and ten are chosen for the actual live cook-off during festival weekend.

While watching the cook-off live is not as exciting as scripted television, it is quite interesting to watch these cooks prepare their recipes and send them off to be judged right before your eyes.

I like reality, not a scripted version, so I guess that’s why this appeals to me so much!

This year one of the judges was from our own blogging community, Christy Jordan from Southern Plate.
Christy is just as warm and real in person as she is on her blog.
Based on the description of some of the recipes entered in the cook-off this year, I would have gladly traded places with her, but only for tasting purposes.  I just saw the ingredients and smelled them baking, I couldn’t imagine having to taste them and pick a winner!
I was amazed at the creative flavors that filled the cornmeal based dishes; peaches & cream sweet, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Mexican, Greek, Cajun and down-home dumplin’s.
{It’s not your grandmother’s cornbread!}
Watching the competition was inspiring. Each contestant had to provide their ingredients and mixing pieces.  I like that; they can have what they are used to using at home on hand for competition which is sure to add a sense of comfort.  The only “requirements” of the cook-off are each recipe must contain at least one cup of Martha White (is there another brand?) cornmeal and must be cooked in Lodge cookware.  There were some well seasoned pieces on that stage.






When it was all said and done, Melanie McCoy from Knoxville, Tennessee placed first with her Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa.
National Cornbread via Facebook
You can find all of the recipes on The National Cornbread Facebook page.  They should be on the website soon as well.
When you have had your fill of cornbread, buttermilk chugging contests, live entertainment, and crafts, you can venture outside the boundaries of the festival for more fun.  For the last several years, Sister’s on the Fly have set up camp just behind the festival.  They are glamour camping at it most girly and so much fun to visit with.


And if you have traveled with the man in your life, there is plenty for him to do as well.  The classic car show “drive-in” at the historic Dixie Freeze will keep him occupied for hours.


The National Cornbread festival is held the last full weekend of April every year in gorgeous South Pittsburg, Tennessee (just 30 minutes West of CHattanooga).  Mark your calendar now for next year!
And now for the giveaway!
While at the festival this weekend, I brought back a couple of items for me, and to share.  
First is a National Cornbread Festival cookbook containing all of the winning recipes from the last 15 years of the festival, as well as some of the 4-H & celebrity cook-off winners.  
Second, I have a 6-inch Lodge cast iron skillet to giveaway and finally, Martha White cornbread and muffin mix.
You can earn up to three entries:
1) Leave a comment on my blog telling me how you like your cornbread, or the most creative thing you have made in your cast iron cookware.
2) Like Southern Table on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling me that you did so.
3) Become a follower of Our Southern Table and also, let me know in a comment that you have.
I will leave the giveaway up through Saturday, 5 May.

16 thoughts on “Celebrating Cornbread & Lodge Cast Iron Giveaway

  1. What a lovely give-a-way, so nice of you to do this! Let's see – I love cornbread made slightly sweet, and just dripping with butter and honey – the way my Mom used to make it! Nothin' tastes better!


  2. Woohoo…what fun, a giveaway contest! How nice of you to offer and not only provide prizes but a lovely tag-along on your trip to the cornbread festivities. I work at an Army and Air Force Exchange Service bx and we sell a LOT of Lodge Cast Iron. People love that it comes pre-seasoned now and so easy to cook healthy meals.

    Now don't laugh but the most creative thing I've cooked in my cast iron skillet is a tofu-veggie stir fry. After having gastric bypass, I need all the iron in my diet possible and my dietician highly recommended cooking everything possible in cast iron for the health benefits.


  3. Oh oops, I forgot to add how I like cornbread. Well-before losing weight I loved it dripping butter and honey but now I like it made with Splenda and a heaping helping of sugar free jam.


  4. I love cooking with cast iron. I also like cornbread, but I do like it on the sweet side. What a fun event! I have cooked a lot of things in my cast iron. Have you tried making a Dutch Baby in yours?


  5. Oh how cool! So, I see that I am rather stodgy with my skillet use as I only make cornbread (yes, I have a favorite recipe and a favorite method and I do use sugar),skillet cookies, and scones in my pan. (I am already a follower and I don't do Facebook so I guess this is my one chance for the goods. ;D )


  6. I love cornbread but I am at a complete loss when it comes to trying new recipes with it. I never even though there was a cookbook out there on cornbread…yum!


  7. I just love cornbread. I love with just plain old butter on it. I have a cornbread casserole that I really like and last week made homemade gluten free cornbread that was pretty darn good. I do not own anything cast iron, though I would like too (C:


  8. My favorite way to eat cornbread is smothered with honey in butter…or smothered with super spicy chili…or with real corn and jalapenos mixed into it…or cubed and fried as croutons for a summer salade. I just really like cornbread. 🙂 I also love the cast iron skillet you are giving away. I have always wanted a piece of cast iron to cook with. Awesome giveaway. I loved reading about the festival. How fun.


  9. Pingback: Building Raised Beds | Fiddle Dee Dee

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