“What keeps me motivated is not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents.” – Michael Chiarello
It’s fascinating to me how certain foods can trigger childhood memories. Food brings forth strong emotions and reading a dish on a menu or hearing someone talk about a certain dish can transport us back to being young; maybe a good memory, maybe not so good! One not so good for me is about liver and onions. I always did like it until the day Mom and I were invited to a lady’s house for lunch and she served liver and onions. I knew Mom didn’t care for the dish but she choked it down. One bite and I gagged. It was cooked tough as shoe leather. I have not eaten liver since and I’d swear my mom never did touch it again either.
Now for one of my favorite childhood dishes, fried cornmeal mush! When Mom or Grandma made it, it was a huge treat. The aroma of it sizzling in the skillet was mouth watering. Hot from the skillet, placed on the plate with a dollop of butter and a swirl of maple syrup, it was heaven - delicious beyond words!
Bill’s idea of mush when growing up was not so good. He had it served as a warm cereal with milk and sugar for breakfast. I had never heard of that and refuse to try it and for him; he feels the same way about my fried mush. He just doesn’t know what he’s missing!
I think the next time the family is gathered for a meal, food will be the topic of conversation: what is your favorite childhood food, what food reminds you of someone else; grandma, grandpa, an aunt or uncle, a friend, what food do you love? That should get something started!
I hope you try this mush recipe. Have you had it served this way, fried and topped with butter and warm maple syrup?
Mom’s Fried Cornmeal Mush
2 ¾ c. boiling water
1 c. stone-ground cornmeal
1 t. salt
1 c. cold water
Mix cornmeal and 1 cup cold water.
Add gradually to boiling water and salt, stirring constantly.
Cook, covered, on low heat until thick, stirring frequently.
Place in greased loaf pan.
Next morning, place small amount of oil in skillet.
Cut cornmeal loaf in slices, roll in flour and fry until golden.
Serve with butter and maple syrup or powdered sugar.
Pam's note: This is much better when using stone-ground cornmeal. See the November 1, 2009 cornbread post for info!
Yummy in the tummy!!!