"Bayou Bill" Scifres
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Indian Pudding
Copyright © 2004 by Bill Scifres
SOME HISTORY AND A RECIPE FOR INDIAN PUDDING
 
If the title of this piece sounds suspiciously like a recipe to you, your thinking cap is on straight. But it is more than a recipe. The story behind the recipe dates back close to a century in Connecticut, and probably even further back in the annals of American history.
 
Alta Gochnauer, a native of North Branford, Conn., works at the Carmel (Ind.) Racquet Club. She often treats patrons of the club with her homespun confections and other snacks.
 
Recently Alta, who swats a pretty mean tennis ball, brought in Indian Pudding. I had a chance to sample it with a liberal dousing of half-and-half.
 
"Magnificent," was my reaction, and when Alta reeled off the simple ingredients therein--and the history of this tasty dessert--I asked for the recipe.
 
Alta recalls her grandmother (the late Hazel Hill of Branford) making this dessert when she was a child. Her grandmother was 91 years old when she died in 1986. Alta says her grandmother, in turn, had eaten Indian Pudding as a child, and that her father, Ward Hill, believes Indian Pudding dates back more than 200 years. This would mean this delightful desert probably got its name from the fact that it was a dish of native Americans of that area . . . that era.
 
The recipe:

Ingredients: 

½ (one-half) cup corn meal                      ½ (one-half) cup molasses (or sorghum)
1 quart hot milk                                        ½ (one-half) teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter                                    ½ (one-half) teaspoon ginger
1 egg (well beaten)                                    1 cup cold milk
¼ (one-fourth) cup granulated sugar         ¼ (one-fourth) cup raisins (optional)

Directions:

Heat quart of milk to scalding in saucepan . . . stir in cornmeal slowly, stirring constantly  . . . Heat to boiling and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 10 minutes). . .  Stir in butter and remaining ingredients except cold milk . . . Pour into well-buttered two-quart casserole dish and bake 30 minutes at 300 degrees . . . Stir in cold milk and bake two (2) hours (300 degrees).

Makes six portions.

Serve warm or cold with ice cream, cream, whipped cream, or hard sauce.

Leftovers, if they exist, should be refrigerated.


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