Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The rest of the meal

Computer issues are so crippling in our modern world. Shawn was up until 3 am this morning with tech support, (thank you, so much!) trying to fix my dear little netbook. So far, it seems to be working.

We had a bit of snow and the roads are a bit icy here in town. Not so bad here, but I hear the rest of the state is pretty snowed under. I don't know if my class will be able to make it to the Folk Center today, and I have left messages for all of them offering to postpone the class 'til next week, but haven't heard back. So here are the rest of the recipes, tested in our farm kitchen this weekend.

Corn meal mush

I cup corn meal (your choice of color)
1 cup cold water
1 tsp salt (optional)
3 cups hot water

Put the hot water and salt on to boil in a 2 quart pan with a heavy bottom. In a bowl, thoroughly blend the cold water and corn meal. Pour the cornmeal in over the water and stir with a wire whisk. When the hot water starts boiling whisk the blended cornmeal into the hot water. Continue to stir until it comes back to a boil. When boiling, remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Eat with your favorite topping - cheese, sorghum, honey, salsa - can be eaten for any meal, as a main course or side dish.
Pack the leftovers into a well greased bread pan, refrigerate. The next day, turn the mush loaf out onto a bread board, slice and fry in bacon grease for a real treat.

Ham and Beans
We get the best ever ham hocks from the Mountain View Meats on Hwy 66.

2 1/2 cups dried beans
6 cups water
2 ham hocks
2 tsp butter
4 cups water

Rinse beans well, pick out stones. In large, heavy bottomed sauce pan combine beans and 6 cups water. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minute. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans and return to pan.
Add remaining 4 cups water, ham hocks and butter to beans. Bring to boil and reduce heat. cover and continue to simmer for up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally until beans are tender. Add more water when needed.
Remove hocks from beans cool slightle and slice off meat. Return meat to beans, stir and serve.

Corn bread

1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp honey
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and blend well.
Put a large skillet into the preheating oven at 375 degrees with the butter.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and honey.
When the butter has melted, pull the skillet out of the oven and swirl around to coat thoroughly. Then pour the remaining butter into the liquid mixture. Blend well and then pour into the dry mixture, stirring as you pour.
When completely blended pour into skillet and bake about 25 minute or until cornbread is pulling away from edges of the pan.
Cool slightly, cut and serve warm with ham and beans.

Meat stew
16 - 48 ounces meat (in our house this is goat or lamb, traditionally it would be venison. It can, of course be made with beef or pork or bear or coon or...)
Tblspn Lard or butter
2 Tblspn Flour
Sweet potatoes
Dried green beans or any other vegetables in the root cellar.
4-6 cups water

Chop the meat into one inch cubes and put in large skillet or heavy bottom cast iron kettle with fat to brown. Stir occasionally while browning.
Chop all vegetables into one inch cubes. Peel the things you like peeled.
When meat is browned, stir in flour, sprinkling it over the top and blending well.
Add onions and carrots. Cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in water.
Add rest of vegetables, stirring often. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes or more until vegis are tender. Add salt, pepper and other spices to taste. This will vary depending on what meat, vegis and spices are available.

Spoon into bowls and enjoy with corn bread, biscuits or fresh baked bread.

These are basic settler foods here in the Ozarks. It's interesting that they are pretty basic foods in our modern farm kitchen in the Ozarks, too.

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