Boone Tavern Spoon Bread

Boone Tavern Spoon Bread
Boone Tavern Spoon Bread

This dish was frequently made by my grandmother, Audrey Vellence Hale Farley (1908-2001, affectionately known as “Grandmam”) and the recipe handed down to many friends and family. I was interested in the provenance (with its quaint instructions of removing from the “fire” and using an “electric” mixer), and have learned it is apparently a well-known recipe from a hotel in Berea, Kentucky (the hotel is run by Berea College hospitality students). You can read more about it here. And there is this video which suggests the recipe is over 100 years old:

One of Grandmam’s 6 brothers attended Berea College for a short period, and she and my grandfather (Willis Hite Farley, 1906-1983, “Grandaddy”) made several trips to Berea over the years to search for antiques to restore and use in their home. Hard to know exactly when she got her hands on this recipe, but she clearly recognized it as a great dish and it is one of my favorites.

Below is the recipe as written out by Grandmam.


  • 3 c. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/4 c. cornmeal
  • 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 eggs 1 tsp. salt


Stir meal in rapidly boiling milk – cook till thick, stirring constantly. Remove from fire; cool. The mixture will be cold & stiff. Add well-beaten eggs, salt, baking powder & melted butter. Beat 15 minutes with electric mixer. Pour in well-greased casserole. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

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