Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recipes: Antique and Modern

I just got back from the Pacific Northwest and spending a couple of week with Mac. It is good to keep in touch, but especially good to touch. It was a little cool, but all in all, very nice weather.

I shared a recipe with Mac and would like to share it with the blog. I think it is a lot of fun to know how our ancestors cooked and equal fun to convert those recipes.

This is simple recipe for a simple, inexpensive dessert. Indian pudding, then and now.

INDIAN PUDDING (1828 recipe)

1 cup (not quite full) molasses, 1 cup (not quite full) cornmeal, 1 egg, 1 heaping spoonful of butter or fat, salt, ginger or cinnamon to taste, all beaten together. Full quart of sweet milk put on to boil and the ingredients stirred in. Take from fire and add not quite a full cup of cold milk. Pour into pan onto lumps of butter. Bake one hour. Extra good.

This is the way they did it. I tried it like this.

INDIAN PUDDING (today's recipe)

4 cups plus 2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cups molasses (a New England friend uses Maple syrup, yummy)
2 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger or cinnamon (I tried using both together, taste similar to pumpkin pie)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Heat 3 cups of milk in top of double boiler (can use microwave). Mix 1 cup of milk and cornmeal. Stir into hot milk. Combine the molasses, beaten eggs, butter salt and spice and add to cornmeal mixture. Cook over low heat intil mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and add remaining 2/3 cup milk. Pour into a buttered 2 quart casserole and bake 2 hours. Serve warm or cool with whipped cream

This is the sort of thing Mom would do with us, when I was little. We'd look at old recipes for pies, cakes, pancakes, bread -- anything you can think of, really, that people have eaten for generations. Then we'd make the recipe together, and experiment with ingredients and amounts.  So it was extra fun and a little like time traveling to make Indian Pudding together in my mom's RV kitchen.*