re: Jim H.
May I add my two cents, if you make it yourself? You'll preheat your oven to 400, so grease an 8 or 9" iron skillet and put it in the oven while it's pre-
heating. Your pan and the shortening will get really hot. When your batter is ready and your oven is at 400, take the pan out of the oven and pour in the batter. Bake as usual, about 20-25 min. This method gives the bottom of the cornbread the most wonderful, crisp and cruncy texture. pat
Here's a link to a low country recipe for cornbread from the Baltimore Sun. I noticed it as my husband has been trying to replicate his 94 year old southern grandmother's cornbread for a few years now but can't get it quite right. It looks very similar and doesn't look like it will produce that sweet cakelike cornbread that he won't eat. Since you are also not interested in the sweet variety, this may help you if you are planning on making it!
The link for cornbread is pretty much my basic recipe, but I'd like to add that the cornmeal called for probably was white. It's hard to find unless you order it, so I reluctantly use stoneground yellow.
Sometimes I use yogurt instead of buttermilk for an especially moist result. The whole milk Straus is great, but it doesn't matter a lot. Sometimes I use a combination of yellow meal, blue cornmeal (can get at Real Foods in Berkeley), and a little polenta, with some all purpose flour.
When I do these things, I increase the egg to two. All these variations are really good, just keep to the main proportions.
Oh yes, and olive oil is good for a fat in the batter (not too srong an olive taste) if you put butter in the black iron skillet. We like a lot of butter in the skillet so it runs up over the batter and flavors it. If you have some fresh sage, lay some leaves in before you pour in the batter.
If you use 3 teaspoons of baking powder (Rumford) you can skip the baking soda and you'll get more of a "tang" in the cornbread, which is nice. My deceased grandmother is raising her eyebrows at all the variations, but I know she would love them.
The point is, play with this basic recipe for some extra fun and delicious results. Hmmm. Think I'll stir up a batch to go with my braised rabbit tonight.