Cornbread Pan Sandwiches – and remembering what to reach for first

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Mama Reed was a good person. She worked hard all of her life raising up ten good hearted, hardworking kids. She ran a farm, took care of her family and anyone else that needed taking care of whenever the need arose and she had the ability to do so. She grew a garden to raise food for her family and canned whatever she didn’t use. She went to church and lived her life according to the principles taught there seven days a week rather than just the one.

 

As she grew older, her children moved away and had children and even grandchildren of their own. My mother loved to spend time at Mama Reed’s house because as they visited, she’d put Mama to work helping out in the kitchen – and Mama got to learn how to cook! Isn’t it funny how we see some things as jobs but when we give them to kids they see them as opportunities for fun?

 

As the kids moved away, they all had a habit of calling to check on their Mama. She’d answer the phone and they’d say “How are you doing today, Mama?”…

 

Well, without many people to talk to, in her later years Mama Reed fell into a habit that all humans are prone to do without realizing – and rather than her usual “Fine, how are you?” she began answering the question with a litany of aches, pains, and complaints.

 

Without her even realizing it, this had become a habit.

 

Boy, have I been there!

 

Sometimes, our aches and pains get so loud in our lives that they drown out the sound of our blessings, and we forget that there is a volume knob on each one. We often have to consciously reach and turn down the aches and pains and then give the blessings so much attention that we hear them all the more louder.

 

One day, when my grandfather was over visiting his Mama, she answered the phone this way and he sat there while she went through her list of complaints on the phone. When she hung up he said “Mama, if you keep doing that people are going to stop calling you. All you do is complain about things. People care about you and they want to help you when they can, but you’ve got to do more than complain.” This took her aback.

 

You see, Mama Reed was never one to whine or complain in her life and she hadn’t realized that she’d started doing it then. Of course we have things we need to complain about and sometimes we talk about things because we need people to support and encourage us, this isn’t about that. This is about asking ourselves, when someone asks about the state of our life, do we immediately look for the blessings or the curses?

 

Mama Reed took her son’s advice to heart and the next day he received a call from his brother. “I just called Mama and when I asked how she was doing, she said ‘Just fine, how about you?’”. He said “I almost hung up, I thought I’d got the wrong number!”

 

Mama Reed just temporarily forgot, as all of us are prone to do, to reach for her blessings first and when she realized she’d left the path she had intended to be on all along, she corrected her course.

 

If someone called me and you today and asked how we were, if we were to answer “Just fine! How are you?” would they think they had the wrong number?

You know, you can tell a lot about a person by how they answer the question: “How are you today?”

When given a chance, which do you reach for first: your blessings or curses?

After you mull that one over, how about reaching for a cornbread pan sandwich? They are sure to be counted among your blessings on the supper table :)

 

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

 

You’ll need: An onion, two packages of corn muffin mix*, Spicy Brown Mustard, 5-6 slices of cheese, a few slices of ham or some other lunch meat of your choice.

*You’re also going to need whatever the corn muffin mix package calls for but I’m not listing that here because between all of us, there is no telling what brands of corn muffin mix we may come back with so the instructions will be different. This is the package size that makes six cornbread muffins so that is the size you should try your best to get. Then we’ll prepare that mix according to package directions.

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Mix up corn muffin mix according to package directions. 

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Chop your onion, and add it and the spicy brown mustard.

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Stir that up really well. 

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Spread about half of it in the bottom of a greased 8×8 or 9×9 pan. 

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Top with ham slices. If you need to get creative in tearing them up so the spots are covered, go for it :) 

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Top with your cheese. 

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

 

Pour the rest of your batter over the top and…

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Spread it to cover everything. 

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until nice and golden brown on top. 

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting. 

Cornbread Pan SandwichesServe warm. 

Enjoy ! 

For a quick supper, These go great with Simple and Delicious Tomato Soup and are also great with Sweet and Sour Green Beans (which I make ahead of time and keep in my freezer!).

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Cornbread Pan Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2- 8 ounce packages corn muffin mix (the size that makes 6 muffins), plus ingredients called for on package to make batter
  • 5-6 slices American Cheese
  • 5-6 slices ham lunch meat (or other lunch meat of your choice)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Spicy Brown Mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare corn muffin mix batter according to package directions.
  2. Add chopped onion and spicy brown mustard to batter, stir until well mixed.
  3. Spread half of batter into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Top with ham slices followed by cheese slices, cutting them to fit if needed.
  4. Top with remaining batter and gently spread to cover.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cornbread is golden. Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!
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“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

~ C. S. Lewis

Submitted by Debbie Strum, thanks Debbie! Submit your quote by clicking here. 

 

Jordan Family Adventure!

We have a lofty goal of taking our kids to as many states in the USA as we possibly can and this summer’s state is ARKANSAS!
Can you believe we’ve never been there?

To get more details and leave your suggestions,

click here to visit our Arkansas Event Page on Facebook.

We’d love your ideas!

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Comments

  1. Terry says

    Branson – see the Sights & Sounds show –
    Your not far from where the Little House on Prairie books were written. I found one of the family homes from an on-line web site.
    Little Rock
    Hot Springs

  2. Jennifer says

    What wonderful words to remember as we get into our “golden years”. As our children learn to depend upon themselves and we begin to simplify our lives, our focus becomes inward instead of the outward. We need friends like Christy to remind us to re-focus! Thank you!

  3. Kaitlyn says

    Mrs. Christy ,

    Thank you for another wonderful recipe I can’t wait to try it !! Thank you for reminding me what I really need to be focusing on and to keep a positive outlook on things!! I also wanted to let you know how awesome you are for being so positive and it radiating sunshine into all of our little worlds. Thank you so much for just being you !! Can’t wait for the next time I get to read another of your wonderful stories they make life brighter. Much love and hugs from Morris, AL

  4. Rhonda says

    Ms. Christy, thank you for sharing this story with us, it’s a wonderful reminder to think of our blessings first. I can’t wait to try this recipe as well, it sounds yummy. God Bless you, Ms. Christy.

  5. Michelle says

    New Holy Land
    Address:935 Passion Play Rd, Eureka Springs, AR
    Directions:A couple of miles east of town. Take US 62 east to Passion Play Rd
    Phone:479-253-9200
    Worth a Detour
    It’s like walking through Israel I’m told, Also walk down Eureka Springs it’s is more quaint than Gatlinburg, TN and then you have to go to
    The Shepherd of the Hills in Eureka Springs and in that same area is a beautiful all
    Glass Chapel set in the hills.
    I don’t get on FACEBOOK so I’m sending my comments here.
    Can’t wait to make the cornbread sandwich, yum yum

  6. Frani W says

    Can’t wait to try the cornbread pan sandwiches! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It is often so easy to forget our blessings!
    Chuckled a bit at Mama Reed’s sons comment. Blessings

  7. says

    What a sweet story. I have a mama who has fallen into the same habit as your Mama Reed. Of course, my mama is 85 and she does most often remember to add the good stuff too. This recipe sounds yummy and I can’t wait to try it. (Funny Jiffy is up here in Michigan only a few miles from where we live – in temporary exhile I like to say.)

  8. Debbie says

    Cornbread sandwiches sound great! I love Jiffy cornbread – just enough sweet. I am thinking these will be great tailgating sandwiches in the fall. Thank you for another great recipe!

  9. Kathy W. says

    Thank you for always saying something that touches me – whether funny or heartfelt! I love your recipes (I live in a little town a stone’s throw or so from you) and I feel fortunate to know that there are people like you and your family around.

    I have got to try this recipe……….my husband likes my cornbread (I think the reason he married me was because I make cornbread like his grandmother used to) so I am wondering if I could use substitute my cornbread recipe for the Jiffy mix? He doesn’t like “sweet” cornbread at all. Then I am wondering if with the addition of the mustard and onion masks the sweet flavor.

    Take care and have fun on y’alls trip! :)

  10. elaineraye says

    Those look delicious and my mind I am already mulling over variations. I am a big fan of swiss cheese with ham so that sounds good to me. That mustard might just want a little horseradish added! How about deli chicken white meat with provolone and dill flavored mayonnaise? I could even go wild with sandwich style pepperoni and mozzarella spread with a little pizza sauce. I think these cut into small bars might be great little appetizers as well.

  11. says

    When asked how I am, I have two answers depending on the day. My grandma always said “as well as can be expected”. My other answer is “blessed more than I deserve”. That one tells you right quick where the other person stands depending on their reply! Sometimes even changes your “friends list”.

      • Peggy says

        Your blog was so timely today as it addresses a dilemma of mine for quite some time. You see, I have been severely disabled for 16 years. Somewhere around year six or seven the doctors just gave up on me and told me to put my affairs in order. Being in my 60′s now it was quite the shock at the manner by which I have been turned away more than I’ve been invited in by the doctors of today. It is just a fact that I have had to learn how to accept that times change and somethings you can do nothing about it. Illness has prevented me from keeping up with all the latest technology, so I often feel out of the loop. I live an isolated existence, maybe seeing another person once a month. My phone doesn’t ring so I don’t think I’m putting anyone off by whatever complaint du jour I experience, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t fretted over just this topic so often. If it weren’t for journaling, who knows what twists and turns I might have made, they have been a lifesaver because they enable me to express my feelings, giving credence to them, yet without burdening others with them. I don’t believe in “stuffin” our feelings as the stress of that only makes things worse. But journaling has enabled me to “let it go.” And that has been key for me. I’ve got about several hundred journals that hopefully someone will want to read after I am gone. I just felt that I had to validate my existence in some way, but I didn’t want to be seen as some bitter old woman. I often have said that I see myself neither as a victim nor a martyr, just someone fighting to survive the best I can. I enjoyed your site today, it was my first day here, but I will come back.
        Peggy

        • Eva says

          Know just how you feel, I have spent over 40 years of my 62, trying to find out what ails me, I keep getting bits and pieces fixed, but then something else goes wonky, my mother was told when I was 12 or so that “it was all in my head” I didn’t want to go to school so I made up the pain and illness. One of the worst things was the lack of energy for so many of those years. I only felt really well the year I got pregnant, and went downhill after that. Kept on going to the drs, and being told there was nothing they could find.
          I eventually found out that I have a genetic heart defect (the lack of energy that came and went) that was at 60, while they were looking for what had caused the high blood pressure that eventually led to the heart defect they found a bad gall bladder, but I’m still experiencing problems, and while the heart problem is under control, the high blood pressure is no longer high, the gall bladder is gone, I still have the same stomach troubles, and several other things.
          But I keep on going to the dr in the hopes that eventually they will find out why, so I guess the takeaway on my life is don’t give up! There really does have to be a reason, its finding the person who can figure out what it is.
          Perseverance Pays

          “Orin” I said, “we’d better be looking down that trail. We’re about to run out of time.”

          “We’ll do it together,” he said. “I wish Tyrel was with us.”

          “‘If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride,’” I quoted at him. “A body shouldn’t heed what might be. He’s got to do with what is.”

          “There’s a whole lot of mountain here, and you and me packed a rifle over mountains before either of us was knee-high to a possum. Anyway, it does no good to pack up an’ run. A body has to stay in there and fight. No matter how many times you get knocked down you got to keep gettin” up until the other man quits.”

          “Easier said,” Orrin commented.

          “Well, I knew a man who was defeated by just about everything. He failed in business back in 1831. He was defeated for the legislature in 1832, failed in business again in 1833, was elected to the legislature in 1834. His sweetheart died in 1835. He had a nervous breakdown in 1836, was defeated for speaker in 1838, defeated for land officer in 1843, defeated for Congress in 1843, elected to Congress in 1846, defeated for re-election in 1848, defeated for the Senate in 1855, defeated for Vice President in 1856, and defeated for the Senate in 1858.”

          “I’d of quit,” Orrin said.

          “No you wouldn’t. I know you too well. This man didn’t quit either. He was elected President in 1860.”

          “What?”

          “Sure. His name was Abraham Lincoln.”

          William Tell Sackett talking with his brother Orrin in Treasure Mountain by Louis L’Amour.

          This quote helped my husband through a bad time, and he actually had me print it on business cards for him. So just remember that its possible to do things even when everything seems to conspire against you.
          Eva

  12. Laurie says

    These looks delicious! I love to make sandwiches with cornbread, but never thought about baking it all together. So excited that I have all the ingredients to make them tonight!

  13. says

    What a great story. I’m a firm believer in quickly answering the question “how are you?” with a positive note, and then allowing the other person to tell me really how they are. I find that if you’re quiet, they will list it all out. I’m honored they unload on me.

    Why have I never heard of cornbread pan sandwiches?! These look so tasty!

  14. Ginger says

    I went right home last night and made this. I even went with your suggestion and made the tomato soup to go along with it. Both were a big hit! Thanks so much for a wonderful new addition to my recipe binder.

  15. Philippa says

    This looks like a good idea for a different breakfast. I do the cooking for someone, and I was just trying to think of something to get me out of the breakfast rut. The person I cook for will love this.

    In high school I had a friend who was a little difficult. Whenever anyone asked how she was, she’d *always* frown and say, “Adequate!” She also always asked, “What’s good about it?” whenever I said, “Good morning,” to her. In retrospect, I feel sorry for her.

  16. Bonny says

    One of the many great things about your recipes, Christy, is that they’re adaptable. I can make this with homemade cornbread batter (find a Jiffy copycat recipe with an online search, if you like), and I can make variations such as replacing the ham with:
    scrambled or sliced hardboiled eggs
    turkey and Swiss or gruyere cheese
    cooked ground beef with any cheese
    cooked ground pork with chili powder and Chihuahua cheese
    and so on. Thank you, Christy!

  17. Michelle Nelson says

    Think you could use any batter bread instead of cornbread? We are a house divided (sweet/nonsweet cornbread) do you think a batter white bread might work?…maybe beer bread?

  18. redawna says

    You have to make plans to go to the passion play in Eureka Springs! They also have a potter there that is dressed as Jesus that does a presentation — I got cold chills the first time I saw it! A must see!

  19. Jenn Searfoss says

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe, Christy! ..and the reminder about being positive! As soon as I saw this recipe on Facebook I wanted to try it. The only issue I had was that I needed to make a few substitutions… since my family is gluten-free, doesn’t eat pork and I have food allergies to anything in the onion family. So, I pretty much just used your recipe as a guideline to make my own version. Here’s what I used.. homemade (from scratch) gluten-free biscuit dough (enough to make 10 biscuits), Spicy Brown Mustard (I left out the onion), cubed chunks of pre-cooked turkey breast from Costco, and shredded mozzarella cheese that I had on hand. I still baked it at 400 degress for 25 minutes (until it was brown and cried uncle) and it was DELICIOUS! In fact, both my husband and 13-yr-old son asked me to make it for dinner again tonight! Yummy AND Easy!!! I LOVE IT!!! Thanks again!

  20. Sharon Carson says

    Thanks for such a unique and interesting recipe, Christy! This will be making an appearance on my picnic table for our Labor Day camping trip. My husband ,kids and I camp with family members and a good friend I went to highschool with. Her four kids are much more willing to try something new that I’ve made, than my own two girls, and I think these pan sandwiches will most likely be a hit with them. Each camping family in our group takes a turn making breakfast and dinner for the rest of the group and we all eat together. I’ve already started looking in your book,(which is absolutely beautiful, BTW), and your new magazine, as well as this website, for the rest of the recipes I’m going to serve. You can tell your family and friends in Alabama that you practically “hosted” a camping dinner for ‘friends’ in New Holland Pennsylvania on Labor Day weekend. Yeah, it’s stretching the truth juuuust a little, but I won’t tell. I hope in spite of your current convaliescence, you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

  21. Tracy says

    I finally made this the other day and was it ever delicious! My sweetheart ate 2 huge hunks for supper (with some of your yummy refrigerator salad that I had left over) and then took another big hunk for lunch the next day! He even shared a bite of it with his buddy…(I think it’s to make him jealous of what a good cook I am..teehee). Still praying for you, Christy…your sweet spirit just soothes my soul…and seeing God pour His blessings upon you…well, words just won’t do. Hugs!

  22. Branwyn says

    The sandwich recipe is interesting, and I plan to try it. However I’m pretty sure the reason that old lady stopped telling people what was the matter in her life was because she’d received the message loud and clear that no one wanted to hear it. Life is hard and lonely for the elderly and they often feeling, for good reason, that they’re being passed over and disregarded by younger people with busier lives. Who has she got to complain to but her family? Frankly, I’d smack the tar out of anyone who told my grandmother to stop complaining and focus on her blessings. How you do you know that her troubles aren’t outweighing her blessings at the moment?

    • says

      That “old woman” was my mother’s favorite grandmother and a very dear and treasured person to everyone in her family, as I conveyed in this post.

      We come from a long line of people who tend to look for the good in life, and Mama Reed was one of the main ones who taught us that lesson. In our family, we lift each other up and point out the good when our eyes fail to see it. Mama Reed taught her children to do just that and expected no less in return. That one conversation helped her to realize she had started focusing on the bad and enabled her to focus on the good again. She was grateful for it.

      But some families are not like that and neither are some people. I’ve seen entire families who love nothing more than for one person to start singing “woe is me” so that they can all join in until every voice has risen up together in unison for one big “woe is me” choir. It is comfortable and easy to wallow in it and wrap oneself up in all that like a security blanket. Someone coming in and pointing out that there is a ray of sunshine beamming through the choir loft window is not welcome.

      I get that. I’ve lived with that and I’ve lived in that. By the grace of God, I had wonderful ancestors like Mama Reed though, who had wisdom to know better, to rise above, and to share how they did it with me, and also to give me a swift kick in the right direction should I need it.
      We are a different sort of family, but we are by no means a rarity.

      And while I’ve never once heard a story of anyone in my family smacking anyone, I have a feeling Mama Reed would be tempted to do so should any young whippersnapper call her “old woman” ;)

      The man you would have smacked was my Papa Reed, who passed away a few months back. He always had a smile on his face and took great joy in his goats, his dogs, his beloved wife, and his grandchildren. He missed his Mama terribly and in the days before he passed away he told us she had come to visit him. You’d be hard pressed to find a more devoted mother and son, one who loved his Mama enough to return the wisdom that she had instilled in him – and a Mama who would come and personally hold her boy’s hand to walk him up to Heaven.

      • Bonnie says

        We lost my mother 2 years ago and in the month before she passed she went back in time. She had a very hard life but she was a strong person. She was only 9 when she lost her mother. There were 4 children younger and she was the one who took care of them. It broke my heart to hear her worrying about having enough food for them and protecting them from a abusive father. When she was herself she would tell me she had talked to her mother. I believe her Mama came to help her home.

  23. Tracy says

    Unfortunately, I come from one of those families that always focus on the negative things in life and I struggle daily to see the positive. That is one of the reasons that I come to southernplate.com and read the recipes, stories, and even the comments. I am determined to only surround myself with people that encourage instead of discourage. But the reality is that there are always going to be the nay-sayers and the folks that get down and out…and sometimes it takes all we’ve got to rise above those people…and I am thankful that I can come here and without fail, find a story or daily message or just a silly comment that helps me keep my “happy” feeling going! Forgive me for replying twice to this recipe but like I said, sometimes I just read comments…and sometimes I just feel like replying so that my I can spread some of the positive that I’ve taken away from here!! Thank you for sharing your family, Christy.

  24. jo says

    I enjoy reading your recipes. This is the first time I am visiting your website. MY SAYING is I AM TO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED. Years ago I received a business email and this SAYING was after the sender’s signature and I have said this SAYING to myself in many situations ever since.

  25. Kat says

    I made this for my family last week, and they loved it. That went so well, I made it again on Sunday for a potluck. Then, because I was just on a roll I took another batch to a school event, lol. This is a great versatile recipe, I made it with different cheeses and meats, and we liked all of the combos I have tried so far. My personal favorite was sausage links sliced up with cheddar. A great way to use up a small amount of leftover meat.
    Thanks for the budget friendly recipes!

  26. Donna says

    Sounds yummy. I’m gonna have to try this!!

    I thought that was a cute story about Mama Reed. I know my Grandma said she would change things up just to see is people we’re really listening to her. Boy they can teach us wise lessons if we only listen.
    Blessings to yours!!!!

  27. Vicki Cox says

    The first cornbread sandwich I ever had was in a cafe in the small Northeast Texas town of Jefferson. It’s a quaint, old historic town with lots of historic homes, antique shops and great places to eat. This cafe is famous for their cornbread sandwiches and they are yummy! I’m going to try your recipe because I bet it is delicious!

  28. Peggy says

    I can’t wait to try this with my gluten-free version of cornbread for my gluten sensitive hubby!!! He misses sandwiches so and most gluten free breads are not that good or are far more costly than we are willing to pay for bread. He will be so excited!!!

  29. Eva says

    This is a great sandwich, haven’t made it yet, but am going to try it out, my momma was a biscuit or cornbread baker, she made bread, but when it was out, she made biscuits or cornbread instead of starting another batch of bread. She had her problems and sometimes it was just easier to make the quick breads than try to bake regular breads.
    I am going to put all the ingredients in a bag for the cornbread recipe, and fry up some bacon, and scramble some eggs at my daughters and make up the batter and cook this up for supper for them one day this week. Of course I will bring half the pan home for us for supper!

  30. Samantha says

    Christy, THANK YOU for another great dinner! I made this tonight and we just loved it. It was so quick and easy, yet so darn good! I used my husband’s favorite cheese, a jalapeno cheddar, and it came out great. We had tomato soup and a spinach salad with it. What a perfect dinner. Thanks, as always!!

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