December 20, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - Corn Mush & Christmas Memories

Merry Christmas!!! As I mentioned last week – I’m hoping that you’ll share a holiday food memory this week in addition to/instead of a recipe. So many recipes during the holidays are about family traditions, and a vast number of the recipes that I use now are passed down from generation to generation.

I’ve told you all before that my dad was a military brat. Each of the kids in my dad’s family was born in a different city – and the first two were born in Canada. You see, my grandma was from Bonavista, Newfoundland and she didn’t leave there until she had met & married my grandfather and his duty station changed. She grew up on a farm, and was the second oldest of 12 kids. It’s a story for another day – but she essentially raised the youngest seven of her siblings.

Anyway, as a kid I only got to spend Christmas with my dad’s parents every other year. I’m sure that’s true of so many other families too. It’s just fair that way! We would have these HUGE Christmas dinners with my aunts, uncles and a few dozen cousins – plus any of my grandparents friends of neighbors that weren’t feeling like cooking.

As fabulous as those dinners were – they never made the impact on me that breakfast Christmas morning did. My grandmother would start making the “star” of the show Christmas Eve. Canadian Corn Mush. I’ve learned that corn mush is pretty popular in the south too…especially in farm areas. Or maybe it’s just a farm thing no matter where you hail from?!?! As the oldest grandchild, I got to “help”. It’s probably because my brother and I were the only kids that didn’t get to see her all the time, but that time alone in the kitchen with her made me feel so special.

These days, I don’t make the recipe too often. But every time I do, I can still feel her in the kitchen with me.

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

Corn Mush

3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon butter
Hearty pinch of pepper

Flour to dredge (pre-frying)

In a medium pan, bring the water and butter to a boil.  Then, bring the heat down to medium and add in salt, pepper and cornmeal.  Stir constantly until the mixture get thick (oatmeal consistency) and pour into a greased 9x13 pan.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cut the mixture into 1 inch fingers and dredge in flour - being careful to shake loose any extra flour.  In a skillet, melt butter and then fry each side on medium for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve with maple syrup. (I like these with some scrambled eggs, too!)

What's cooking in your kitchen?

P.S. I’ve yet to figure out WHY the U.S. Coast Guard had my grandfather stationed in Newfoundland, Canada. It’s one of life’s mysteries. :-)


  1. Thanks for hosting this every week! Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!!!

  2. The story of your Grandparents and the Corn Mush is just precious. I truly understand the feeling. Thank you for hosting us and your kind comments on my blog. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Ive never had corn mush before, it sounds a bit like polents!!! Thanks for hosting the roundup!!!! Merry Christmas!

  4. That is a lovely story about your Grandma - I love the memories we all have around food. I've posted about one of my late Auntie Irene's recipes and the memories I have of her. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  5. Love hearing CHRISTmas stories and traditions! :)

  6. Well, my family has their own traditions and they stick pretty firmly to them. Kielbasa, cold salads and ham. They had not deviated from this for years until I started making homemade pierogi to go with it, and then a sweet potato casserole which my father loves...and now this year my husband is making a lasagna as well. Oooh, scandalous! ;-) I can't wait to see how my family reacts to that one!

  7. Linked up with a leftover idea for the holidays. Thanks for hosting.

    Around My Family Table

  8. thanks for letting me link up. The recipe you shared today is one that my husbands grandma used to make him as a boy

  9. On Christmas eve we have seven fish dishes as we are Italian. My grandparents have been gone for years but each time we celebrate and fry fish I think of them:-)

  10. One year (many years ago) I lost my recipe box when moving. I was devastated. I managed to replace most of the recipes but there were a few that I couldn't. I searched everywhere for several years for one favorite recipe but never found the exact one. Then one year for Christmas I received one of those community cookbooks. On the first page I opened to was my lost recipe. What a happy girl I was that Christmas!

  11. Thanks for sharing your story! Every year my family hosts a shrimp dinner. It's usually around the holidays, but in reality it can range anywhere from November to January. We boils 25+ pounds of shrimp. It is always a great memory!



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