Ground Corn, now what?
I went to the Wilson County Fair this year. Wilson Co is a neighboring county that is in transition from being a traditional rural county, to one with mixed heavy 'burb and rural. It is feeling some growning pains, but the Wilson County Fair is still true to form. There are all the contests like the best BBQ, best chili, best quilt, best photo, best basket, best garment, best honey, best produce, etc. There are the animals. Look at the pretty peacock above!
There is also one more thing... Fresh Corn Meal! Here is the machine that grinds the dried corn and separates the corn hull from the inside. It was a great invention. Inside the wood box is a stationary stone, and one rotating stone that breaks open each kernel and dumps the bits of hull and crushed corn into the hopper. The rotating stone is turned by the drive belt seen on the right of the photo The hopper separates the corn from the tough hull by sifting the small corn bits into a bagger, and the light fluffy hull stays on top.
The guy Fred Corley, who was showing off his equipment, was saying that he rehab-ed his grandfathers equipment. He put a new wood casing on the grind stones, but the stones are the original real deal. He changed out the drive belt from being horse driven to being motor driven. Other than that, the equipment looks as it looked over 100 years ago. He happened to have found the equipment in his father's garage. Fred's father used it a long time ago, but it had not been running for years. Fred was having so much fun sharing his family history and his family's long time tradition of corn grinding. He was just beaming when he was showing us the equipment, and talking about each original cast iron part. Fred has been "bitten" by the old world traditions, and he loves the old way of getting corn meal, and he loves that it is his family's equipment that grinds the corn. I asked him if his kids are going to carry on with this equipment when he gets old. He said his kids are not interested right now. My wish for his family is that one day, when he is older and has grandkids of his own, one of his kids comes buy and sees the equipment in Fred's garage, and then follow the family tradition of ground corn. Listening to the guy was certainly the highlight of my trip to the Wilson County Fair! So, I bought 3 lbs of this golden product right out of the hopper. I have put it in my fridge as I want to be able to keep this stuff and cook with it all fall.
I am home with my ground corn, and I want to do well with it. I have never had fresh ground corn before. What do I do with it? Anyone? Help! I am from first L.A. CA, then Boston, MA, 2 places with no tradition of ground corn. I want to learn the traditions of this ultimate local food!
My simplistic questions are:
What is this called? Ground corn, corn meal, masa, polenta, grits?
What can I make besides corn bread? Grits, polenta? Is that possible?
Do you have any recipes?
Can I use this in corn pudding?
Please help me! Thanks everyone!
technorati tagged with:
Nashville corn meal
Labels: Eat Locally