I have a really good memory. At least that is what family tells me. I can remember the tiniest detail of people and travels from years past. I get these sudden images that flash in my mind. Among them are memories of my grandmother. She made me this dish once - at her cabin in the Laurel Mountains. My mom also made it for me, along with that mysterious food "scrapple", reputedly containing all parts of the pig - even the squeal. I would eat it all for breakfast, but mush was my favorite. Delicately crispy on the outside, creamy warm on the inside and dripping with real maple syrup.
Mush used to come in these little tubs in the refrigerated section of the grocery. But why anyone would bother buying the pre-made stuff when it's so easy and cheap to do it yourself is beyond me. I was thinking of adding fresh corn to it also. You might call this stuff polenta. I call it delicious.
Fried Cornmeal Mush
4 cups water (set 1 cup aside)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying
Combine cornmeal, salt and one cup of cold water in a bowl and combine well. Bring remaining three cups of water to a boil. While boiling, pour cold cornmeal and water into the boiling water and whisk to smooth any lumps. Cook on medium low to low heat for 20 minutes or until cornmeal becomes a thick smooth paste. Be careful with the heat as it cooks and stir constantly, because it can bubble like hot lava as it thickens.
Pour hot cornmeal into a Pyrex loaf pan and refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook the next morning, invert pan onto a dish or cutting board and cut 1/4 inch slices. Dredge in flour and fry in skillet with hot vegetable oil until golden brown on both sides.
Serve with butter or with your favorite syrup.
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