Old-Fashion Cinnamon Raisin Mush
Think crunchy, sweet porridge squares with maple syrup. When I was growing up this was called Mush, Cornmeal Mush or Porridge. Nowadays, no one eats mush, no one eats porridge...everyone has joined the culinary elite, everyone now eats, what is popularly refereed to as, Polenta (simply the Italian version of cornmeal mush). But no matter what you like to call it, I simply call it good! Whenever my mom or grandma cooked up a big kettle of mush to go with supper, all of us kids knew that we would have fried mush in the morning. There was always enough of the mush (simply a porridge of meal cooked in boiling salted water) for breakfast the next morning. The solid mush was sliced in slabs and fried crispy like bacon. It made a tasty breakfast. Some liked it with honey or sorghum molasses (maple syrup was a rarity), others were happy with the crisp, salty mush. If we were lucky, mom or grandma would make a special breakfast batch just for us, cooking the meal in milk with a little sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and would include some raisins and nuts, our favorite.
"Easy and so very good! This is a childhood favorite of mine and it's just like grandpa used to make EXCEPT for truly southern-style mush you start out by frying bacon, LOTS of bacon and you fry your mush in the bacon grease...ohhhhhh HEAVENLY!"- VikkiRay
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|1/2 teaspoonVanilla extract|
|1 cupCornmeal or polenta; coarsely ground|
|1/4 cupGolden raisins|
|1/4 cupPecans; or walnuts, toasted|
|1/4 teaspoonGround cinnamon|
|1 tablespoonCanola; or vegetable oil|
|1 Peach; sliced, or fruit of your choice|
Old-Fashion Cinnamon Raisin Mush Preparation
In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine the milk, water, salt and two teaspoons of the sugar. Bring to a boil. Sprinkle in the cornmeal slowly, whisking as you go, until all the grains have been incorporated and there are no lumps. Reduce the heat to low. Stir with a wooden spoon every couple of minutes, for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture starts to come away from the pan and the grains soften. Stir in the raisins, pecans, cinnamon and vanilla.
Rinse a 8- or 9-inch square baking pan (or a 9 by 4-inch loaf pan) in cold water, draining excess water. Mound the hot conrmeal mush into the damp pan and use a spatula dipped in hot water to spread the mush out evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Cut the mush into six squares (or slice loaf mush into 1/2-inch thick slices) and sprinkle the top with 1/2 teaspoon with sugar. Heat the butter and oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the mush slices (sugared side down) and fry about 4 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle the other sides with sugar and flip. and cook on the second side 3-4 minutes. If you need to fry the mush in batches, keep the first batch warm in a 225 degree F oven. Serve the warm cornmeal mush squares with warmed maple syrup and your fruit slices of choice.
My dad liked to slice plain mush, dip it in lightly beaten eggs, coat with grated parmesan, romano or gruyere cheese, fry until golden browned on both sides and serve with sour cream or yogurt. Yummmm!!!
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