My boys and I were studying early American history this year and kept coming up against the food hasty pudding. The boys finally asked me "just what is that?" and I must be honest I had an idea, but wasn't quite sure. A quick google search told me that it is cornmeal mush. For fun, I thought I would give it a try. Not too hard just cornmeal, water and a touch of salt.
Well, believe it or not, my boys loved it! Even my picky youngest asked for seconds. I did have some leftovers and it triggered a food my grandmother loved, fried mush... or in classier circles polenta. I took the leftovers, put them in a loaf pan and then in the fridge. The next day, I sliced it and slowly pan fried it in a touch of olive oil. Again, another hit.
With gas and food prices soaring, I am always looking for a quick, easy and CHEAP way to feed my crew. While we wouldn't make a steady diet of hasty pudding like our forefathers, it is an economical option for a side dish or different breakfast.
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Slowly add 1 cup ground cornmeal, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until the mixture begins to thicken and boil, approximately 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 35 minutes longer stirring occasionally. Serve as is, or add gravy or syrup.
Side note...this is called hasty pudding because in the days of cooking over wood fires 40 to 45 minutes was a microwave meal!
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