My grandpa’s recipe for cornbread goes like this: cornmeal, milk, eggs, salt, “1/4 C sugar (more is better)”. He grinds his own cornmeal, from corn he grew himself, and I can tell you that the resulting bread, when dripping with honey, is food of love. More makes everything better.

I thought of him on Sunday when I stirred together my lazy, luscious cornbread to dip into soup. It’s filled with cheese and chives and chiles, a mix of sweet-spicy-tangy-hot. It starts like this:

And ends like this:

My instructions for the best cornbread, made from a Jiffy mix:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers, or spray pan with cooking spray. My papers are nut cups from ABC Baking Cake Decorating in Phoenix.

In a large bowl, assemble the following ingredients:

1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin mix, 1 egg, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated or finely chopped, 2 Tablespoons chopped chives, 2 Tablespoons green chiles, roasted and chopped, and the kernels from one ear of corn. If you’d like to use frozen corn, use 3/4 cup.

Stir together, fill muffin cups half full, and bake 20-25 minutes. Makes about 8 standard-size muffins and 12-14 mini muffins.

And if you want to stir together some honey and butter (four tablespoons room temperature butter, one tablespoon honey, and a very large pinch of salt), then pleasure awaits you:

It’s been raining here in Phoenix. The nights come earlier and the mornings are filled with wet, silvery light. Our boys have been lost to football. And if you go outside at night, autumn is all around. This is a fine way to celebrate this season: soup+cornbread+football-filled Sundays … with sweaters on the way.

P.S. My favorite tomato soup recipe is here:

And you know how I feel about cheddar corn chowder.

And if you’d like to know more about how I roast my own Hatch chiles, those instructions are here.

What is your favorite soup recipe? I’m trolling for some new ones to try.