"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Old Plymouth Indian Meal Pudding

Gentle Readers, this is the time of year when I can scarcely draw a breath for all of the cooking, shopping, and rushing around that I do. But I would be remiss if I didn't mention Old Plymouth Indian Meal Pudding, which I made for my book group earlier this month.

The above photo only resembles mine in color of pudding and addition of vanilla ice cream. Otherwise it was quite a different creature because this is a dessert that you bake (according to the recipe in the book) for two hours.

That's right. Two hours.

Why, you might be asking, does a pudding have to bake for that long?

I have a theory, and it goes something like this. Did you ever hear the story about the family who always served their Christmas roast with the ends cut off? It was an old family tradition--the grandmother had always made it that way, and so did the mother, and the daughters honored the tradition by likewise making it in the traditional family manner. But one day, a husband spoke up at dinner. "Why," he asked plaintively, "do the ends get cut off? That's the best part!"

So the daughters determined to get to the bottom of the tradition, and they called their grandmother who had retired to sunny Costa Rica. "Grandma," they asked, "how did that family tradition get started--cutting the ends off the Christmas Roast?"

"Oh that!" said the Grandma. "You silly girls--that was so the roast would fit in the pan!"

What does this have to do with baking a pudding for two hours? Well, my idea is that somebody left their pudding in the oven for and hour and a half, and when they realized their mistake, they poured milk on top in hopes of re-adding moisture and baked it for another half hour. The result was not bad, kind of half crusty and half chewy, and somehow it got passed down for generations and ended up in The Gourmet Cookbook.

So that sums up Old Plymouth Indian Meal Pudding. Not bad, kind of half crusty and half chewy. Not surprisingly (at least to me), this recipe is not to be found on Epicurious, so if you're just dying to make it let me know and I will post it here.


Good news!! I've just received a digital camera for Christmas! If I had more time I would find a photo and show you what it looks like but it's a Sony and it's pink. So now I can be stylish AND clever. Well, the clever part will come after I figure out how to use it. Until then I'll just have to be stylish.

Good luck with your Christmas preparations!


Anonymous said...

Hoping this reaches you and the recipe is still available....would love to try it. Loved the 'roast' story, still smiling. Thanks!

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

I'd be happy to post it! Give me a few days. :-)