Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some food that we continue to eat

In about 1963 when I was 8, I have fond memories of my Dad cooking a couple of dishes. Not on the same day of course, but he did cook for us ocassionally and he always made the same two things.

Fried Cornmeal


White beans with ground beef and tomato sauce

And I loved both, very much. I have not had the Fried Cornmeal since I was a kid. But basically it is prepared something like this: ( I can only imagine these were my Dads thoughts)

1. Start the night before.
2.  Pour a large amount of dry cornmeal into a bowl ( use a big bowl, there are lots of kids that like this stuff  and you will want some too) 
3.  Cover the whole mess with milk, and then add enough additional milk to have about 2 inches of milk hover over the cornmeal. 

The next morning, the cornmeal will have taken up all the milk. Heat a large cast iron skillet on the big burner with a large "glop" of bacon fat. When melted, swirl the fat to cover the bottom of the pan.

"are you making fried cornmeal?" "Yes" - our Dad was not a big talker.

Break up the cornmeal into about 5-8 big chunks and pour into the pan. Let each side cook until crusty and brown, turn and cut with the spatula and continue until it is hot, brown and crusty. Add more bacon fat if the pan looks dry.

(you kids settle down in there, your mother is sleeping)

Turn and brown, turn and brown until the kids won't let you turn and brown any longer or you run out of bacon fat.

Dish it up (save some for me) and send them in to eat in the living room.

Serves 5 noisy kids and 1 Dad, who usually made some eggs to eat with his. Oh and he poured maple syrup over his fried cornmeal. Some of us had syrup, but me, I like salt.

I made this once, well I tried, and it was not like what dad made. I probably was concerned about the amount of fat I was using or something like that. So fried cornmeal will always be a happy memory food, but the beans and ground beef.................

...well, I have beans soaking right now.

Beans with ground beef and tomato sauce is delicious, frugal and reheats well. A wonderful wintertime dish, and I can't wait to enjoy it again. 

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and visit, I surely do appreciate it! Yesterday was another long 12 hour day and my gosh I was tired. Stop in later and I will have a sweet treat to share.



noble pig said...

I am so intrigued by fried it like polenta that is more intact. Anyway, it sounds great.

Melynda said...

Fried cornmeal is a lot like Polenta, only not as creamy. The cornmeal is softened by soaking up all the milk. But it is the grease that makes it great. It takes fat of some kind to brown and flavor food, however since there are so many "sides" on the chunks of cornmeal to brown, it takes a lot of "grease" to get the job done. Funny thing, "grease" is an old fashioned term in today's standards.