Spoon shortening in cast iron skillet and place in oven while preheating to 425 degrees.
In medium bowl, sift together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add buttermilk and mix to combine. Allow to set for a few minutes while oven is preheating. Remove skillet from oven and pour mixture into the hot oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serves 8-10.