I started with a pound of salt pork. If you buy the whole pork, cut it into 3 or 4 pieces. I bought the pre-sliced. Put it in a quart of water and simmer with lid ajar for 2 hours, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and add 1 more quart of cold water and let come to room temperature.
Wash your peas and be sure and pick out all the hard ones & pieces. You can use frozen peas or dried peas that you have soaked overnight or 4 to 5 hours. THOSE fresh peas are better.
Put the peas on to simmer for 15 minutes in the salt pork water. During that time cut up an onion, a pod or two of garlic and about a 1/2to 1 cup of celery with leaves.
1/2 t. Tabasco, & 2 T. Pepper. Simmer covered 2 hours or until peas are tender but not mushy.
TA DAH- Peas
Preheat oven 450 deg.
Put iron skillet in oven with 1/4 c. shortening in it & melt shortening and get pan hot (be careful & do not burn shortening or start a fire)Roll the melted shortening around in the pan to grease it well. OH YES-I ALWAYS USE A HEAVY WELL SEASONED IRON SKILLET.
Sift together 2 c. cornmeal/ 1 t. baking soda/1 t. salt/1 T sugar (Optional if you don't like your cornbread a little sweet-omit). Put in large bowl & make a well in the center-like below.
Pour 2c.buttermilk, 2 beaten eggs, & melted shortening into the well. Mix well (check that you have not left unmoistened cornmeal mixture) and pour into hot pan.