BEANS: Rinse beans in cool water; pour into a pot, cover with water by 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Add water to pot as needed. Beans should have a thick broth. Toward end of cooking time, add salt and pepper and season to taste. Don’t over-salt. For a variety try adding chili powder, garlic or Tabasco. Serve in a bowl with cornbread. Can serve with small bowls of grated cheese, chopped onions, chopped fresh jalapenos, sour cream, and/or cilantro.
CORNBREAD: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat shortening in an iron skillet, muffin pan, or other baking pan. Combine corn meal, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, and egg. Add baking powder and baking soda. Stir. Add ¼ cup melted shortening, stirring constantly. Pour into hot pan, smoothing surface with spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.