The Food Corner


by Paul Cormier of Salamanders in Kemptville

A reader who enjoyed the Maple Johnny Cake sent me a mail asking if I knew anything about a Nova Scotia Corn Bread. Well, turns out I do and it’s called a Spider Corn Bread. A “spider” is a black cast iron frying pan and refers to the pattern in the cover of the pan. The one we have on our Elmira Oval cookstove at our farm is a McClary #9 Drip Top Spider. I hope you have one in your kitchen because they are indispensable for things like a quick fry rib steak or, of course, this recipe. They are quite inexpensive to buy. 

Spider Corn Bread  


  • 1 and 2/3 cups of cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup of white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of butter


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and beat the eggs and the sugar together
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk and add to the egg mixture
  3. Ass one cup of milk, the cornmeal and the flour
  4. Place your spider frying pan on the stove and melt the butter in it
  5. Run the butter up the sides of your pan to coat it inside 
  6. Pour in the cornbread batter and add the other cup of milk without stirring it in
  7. Pop in the oven for a half hour or so, with the lid on the pan (if you have a lid) 

When your Corn Bread is done, there should be a streak of custard through it. You can cut it into wedges to serve with plain butter, or with Maple Syrup, or some Maple Sugar (the maple season is coming up soon). This is another recipe that goes well with dark coffee or an English Breakfast tea; however, a hot chocolate is also nice (don’t forget the marshmallows).  

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