Sunday, November 7, 2010

Indian Pudding

An old fashioned Thanksgiving Day dessert from my New England childhood. I'm pretty certain this is a regional dish. History, legend or folklore say it celebrates the Indian's gift of corn to the early settlers ~ works for me! One caution ... it is not pretty to look at really but what counts is that wonderfully, spicy burst of flavor on the tongue. Best served IMHO with at least one huge scoop of French Vanilla ice cream aaaaaaaaaaaaand much as I like it as a dessert, I also enjoy for breakfast too. :>)

4 cups whole milk ~ keep 2 cups aside
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter (yes real butter!)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat 2 cups milk until very hot and pour it slowly over the cornmeal in a double boiler and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and creamy. Add all but the other 2 cups of milk and mix well. Spoon into a well buttered 1 1/2 quart baking dish , top with the remaining milk and bake at 275 F for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until set.

NOTE ~ some people put the dish into a pan of hot water to bake. Others just cook it as it. Either way works fine. Ideally it's baked very slowly in an old fashioned bean pot. I used to do it that way but in one my many moves I lost my maternal grandmother's bean pot but Billo's (Den's late mom) 1 1/2 qt Corning ware casserole dish works just fine and is really lots easier to clean than the bean pot was.

I will make this for Thanksgiving and again at Christmas. Good gracious I hope my jeans still fit me in the New Year!

Tis Comfort Food Season

"All things in moderation" is a good thing to keep in mind as I begin the seasonal food chaos that is certain to raise hell with any discipline I managed to maintain the rest of the year. Ah well, the only truly wise advice I have about this is share, share, share! Now let's get on with it and cook something really, really good.

Yesterday I did a trial run of Anadama Bread, a mouth-watering tasty treat I've not made in a very long time. Thanks go to Janny-Fanny for the reminder. This bread is far easier than a lot of others you might attempt. Why? It's a batter dough which means no kneading whatsoever ~ joy!

In a large bowl pour 2 1/2 cups boiling water over 1/2 cup corn meal, 1 tablespoon butter (I used light margarine and it's fine), 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup molasses ... any kind will do tho' full flavor yields a darker bread. Stir until smooth (ie., no clumps of corn meal) and leave for about 30 minutes. Stir in 1 cup flour that you've added 1 envelope of Rapid Rise yeast to and stir well. Add 3 1/2 cups more flour, a cup or so at a time, stirring to make a smooth, sticky batter.

Spray 2 bread pans with non stick, plop dough into, smooth the best you can and cover with plastic wrap (also sprayed with non stick) and let rise in a warmish, draft-free spot until it's more or less doubled and bake at 350 F for 45 - 50 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on rack, cut into and enjoy with margarine or butter. It's also yummy toasted which is how I had it for my supper last night and my breakfast this morning. :>)

A word on yeast ... just buy Rapid Rise. It's so simple ... no proofing! Add it to the dry ingredients and it's fool-proof every time.

Note to my ME friends, The Brothers in Alfred have a most wonderful bakery. When I was there in September they had Anadama bread for sale. I'm sure it's a finer loaf than my recipe but then again, your kitchen won't have that wonderful freshly made bread smell. Ha!

Next up ... Indian Pudding as promised to my FB friends.

As always, thanks for stopping by and do plan a warm and wonderful, full of family fun, stress-free holiday season this year. I plan to. ~ Amber aka Mz Chiclets