Central Presbyterian Church's Anniversary & Cornbread Casserole

This weekend, Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin celebrated its 170th Anniversary.  It was founded in 1839 and exists today in a beautiful stone building with a grassy courtyard and a sanctuary crowned by vaulted beams and stained glass.


Saturday night, the church hosted a celebratory dinner (free!) in the fellowship hall and out on the courtyard, and Sunday's services were opened up with traditional Scottish bagpipes.

I was officially introduced to the congregation - being in front of crowds is always a little scary - and now my membership is official.  After the services, the young adults group hosted a picnic in Eastwood park.

I'm really happy that we found this church - I know that a young adult group that can talk about gay acceptance in church, flip cup, and the connection between spiritual beliefs and current events, is a good fit.

The picnic was a potluck, so I took fruit salad and cheesy cornbread casserole.

Since it was a presbyterian church's anniversary, it only seemed fitting to pull a recipe from a presbyterian cookbook.  My grandmother gave me a copy of her church's, (Little Rock Second Presbyterian) cookbook, Second Servings, with recipes compiled from all of the members.  Ever since eating brunch at Z'Tejas with my step-mom and step-sister, I've been craving cornbread (which they serve in an iron skillet as the free bread).  So, this recipe seemed perfect:

Delux Cornbread Casserole (submitted by Carolyn Neal)

1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix

1 can creamed corn

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 stick melted butter

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the mix, creamed corn, whole kernel corn, eggs, sour cream, butter, and salt.
2) Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
3) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the center is firm.  Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese on top.
4) Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minues.
5) This caserole can also be cooked for 30 minutes, set aside until ready to serve, and then cooked the additional 15 minutes, (which is what I did prior to transferring it to the park).