Cook cornmeal in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in salt, pepper, and drippings. Stir together buttermilk and hot water; gradually whisk into cornmeal mixture. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Whisk in additional buttermilk for desired consistency.