I love it when my partner, Tom, announces, "You're responsible for the corn bread."
This says: I trust that what I am creating needs something really something Southern Comfort sop-wise and I need for you to do it.
When it comes to cooking, my wound is geography. Barbara Kingsolver can have her fear of putting air in tires ever since she saw a tractor tire blow up Newt Hardbine's Standard Oil sign.
I have Corn Pone.
People of Somewhere Else, listen. In every Southern home there is a cast iron corn pone skillet displayed, fiercely elegant. Typically hanging on a wall. It is a thing of Lucretia Clay beauty. The Women of the House NEVER used it to actually make corn bread.
They save it for their gay sons to some day grow up and try to make it real.
"Michael," Tom's grandmother says in my dream thought tonight, from whom our corn pone came, "You can DO this, I never could, it STICKS."
"Michael," my own Matriarchs say, as I once again try to season the damn thing and it still STICKS, "If you ever want to know one thing, know this about life...."
"Yes," I reply, even tonight, as once again the corn pone sticks but it still is delicious because that's what I do and what Tom wants: