Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hasty Pudding

Hasty pudding is not hasty. Perhaps the name is ironical.

IMG_3112.jpg picture by seshet27


Put two quarts of water into a clean dinner-pot or stew-pan, cover it, and let it become boiling hot over the fire; then add a tablespoonful of salt, take off the light scum from the top, have sweet, fresh yellow or white corn-meal; take a handful of the meal with the left hand, and a pudding-stick* in the right, then with the stick, stir the water around, and by degrees let fall the meal; when one handful is exhausted, refill it; continue to stir and add meal until it is as thick as you can stir easily, or until the stick will stand in it; stir it a while longer, let the fire be gentle; when it is sufficiently cooked, which will be in half an hour, it will bubble or puff up; turn it into a deep basin. This is eaten cold or hot, with milk or with butter, and syrup or sugar, or with meat and gravy, the same as potatoes or rice.
~WHITE HOUSE COOK BOOK: A SELECTION OF CHOICE RECIPES Original and Selected, During a period of FORTY YEARS' Practical Housekeeping [1887]

Verdict: This was really difficult to make without lumps. You really do have to put it in a pinch at a time. It was kind of glutinous, but it tasted fine. I also took it off the heat just a few minutes after I had put the last few pinches of cornmeal in. It is just like cream of wheat or oatmeal, only corn flavored. I topped it with butter and plum jam. If you are in need of a hot, filling breakfast, and are a fan of cream of wheat, this may just be the recipe for you to try.

*Probably a spurtle.


Betsy said...

Sounds like polenta to me. Next time stir in some romano or parmigiano reggiano cheese. Cool it, slice it and fry it. Mmmmm.

Jana said...

Yup, it's pretty much polenta as well. Another example of simple ingredients being interpreted many different ways!

Nonna Beach said...

I agree...really sticks to your ribs too...
Hasty Pudding is actually in a song the American troops used to sing during our long fought battle against Great Britain for independence...It's called "Yankee Doodle" !

Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Capt. Gooden,
And there we saw the men and boys,
As thick as Hasty pudding,
Yankee Doodle keep it up,
Yankee Doodle Dandy,
Mind the music and the trump,
And with the girls be handy !

BTW, the words may not be exactly right 'cause I learned this song in Elementary school, 50 years ago !

Jana said...

Thanks to this recipe, we know know that the men and boys of the camp of Capt. Gooden were thick enough for a pudding stick to stand up in. Another mystery solved!

Kathleen said...

It's a shame I loathe cream of wheat, given that I own a handy spurtle.

Jana said...

It IS a shame. But that does not mean you can't push it off on others! That is a perk of being a mom, isn't it?