'What does mush taste like'?

schoolhouse_gwJanuary 21, 2010

That's the question the checkout boy asked me after he rang up my package of mush (the frying kind). I had to think awhile and then told him it was like a Frito corn chip only much milder. Couldn't come up with any other answer. He had never eaten cooked mush and milk either, but he had eaten cornbread.

Then an older gent in town came up behind me in line and I asked him to explain it to the kid. He was sorta of dumb struck and said "Well, it's kind of mild". ha. We were both stumped at what to say. Of course then I mentioned frying pan pudding and putting it on fried mush; and the old guy and me started talking about other stuff like pon hass(sp?) and souse; and then the kid could only wrinkle his nose! Pretty funny.

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glenda_al

Father owned local grocery store. He sold mush by the block.
Mother would fry it up, slices, for breakfast and pour warm syrup over it.

Fried Cornmeal Mush

2 3/4 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup cold water
Bring 2 3/4 cups water to a boil in saucepan. Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to the boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring frequently. When thickened, cover, turn heat to lowest settings, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Pour into a small loaf pan. Cool then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
To unmold the cornmeal mush, loosen edges with a spatula. Turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into 1/2-inch slices, dip into extra cornmeal. Fry in a small amount of hot bacon drippings or a combination of oil and bacon drippings. Turn to brown both sides. Serve with butter and hot syrup. Delicious with bacon and eggs, too. Wrap unused cornmeal mush in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 3:56PM
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Vickey__MN

Must be a southern thang???

Never had mush!

But I did try grits...once, and that was enough!

Vickey-MN

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:00PM
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suzieque

Is it like polenta?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:00PM
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schoolhouse_gw

glenda, my dad was the "mush maker" in our house. He had a knack for cooking it just right and getting it to set up. Want to know a secret? I've never made my own mush from scratch, think it's high time I gave it a try. I'll print off your recipe! Did you get a bowl of it before it was turned into the pan to set? We always got a big hot bowl of it with milk poured on it. If that didn't warm you up and stick to your ribs until lunchtime nothing did. Boy, this brings back some nice memories.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:13PM
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lilliepad

Suzieque-Mush and polenta are pretty much the same thing.They both have the same ingredients and are prepared the same way.I know it is called polenta in Mexican food dishes but I can remember my mother talking about having it for breakfast when she was a kid with sugar and milk,like cream of wheat.She called it mush. I have never had it but have thought of making it and frying it.Just never have done it.LOL

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:14PM
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jel48

Fried corn meal mush... yum!

I make it pretty much like Glenda's recipe only I'd leave out the sugar and add a half of stick of butter or margerine. I cook it until it's thick then put it in a bowl (preferably rectangle) to cool overnight in the fridge. Then I slice it and fry in butter or margerine and sprinkle a little salt on it while it's frying. I fry until it's nice and golden brown on the edges. I like it salty and no syrup, just plain! I'd never eaten mush in my whole life, until I married my first husband. His mom made it like this and he liked it without syrup and I loved it just the way he suggested.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:17PM
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carol_in_california

It is so interesting to talk to the kids who work in the grocery stores.....we were looking for waxed paper. The young man had no idea.
And another store I bought some popping corn.....the young man had no idea you could pop your own on the stove top.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:17PM
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glenda_al

Mother never made hers, cause my father always had it in the store, in the meat section.

Recipe is one I found. Never made it myself, and haven't had any since childhood.

Always fried slices with warm syrup.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:19PM
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azzalea

Not necessarily Southern--we're Northerners, and mush has been a staple in our house all my life.

Yes, whoever asked--it is like polenta, but polenta is served as a savory side dish. Mush is served for breakfast, usually with butter and syrup.

You all seem to be talking solely about fried mush, though. I eat a bowl of hot mush almost every morning in the winter. Just had it today. Do any of the rest of you eat it as a hot cereal? It's so easy and inexpensive. Just cook 1/4 cup cornmeal in 1 cup water (with a pinch of salt) for each serving, stirring constantly, until it thickens up, and spoon into a cereal bowl. YUM! I make the fried version a couple of times a winter, as a treat, but mostly we eat it as you would eat a bowl of oatmeal or cream of wheat.

As to what it tastes like? I'd probably go with describing it as a cereal that tastes a little like cornbread.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:21PM
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lilliepad

Glenda is that your recipe? Sounds easy enough.I may just try that on my bunch tonight.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:23PM
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marilyn_sue

I don't think it is a southern thing. We had mush cooked like cream of wheat or cream or rice growning up. Not too often did we have it fried, but others did. I like mush. I like it like Azzalea fixes it, sugar and milk on it.

Sue

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:33PM
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kayjones

Ohhhh, it tastes great no matter how it's cooked - I grew up on it!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:37PM
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glenda_al

Anyone remember milk toast?

I loved that in my younger years. Nice cozy warm feeling about milk toast.

Never made it myself. My mother had it ready for us to eat for breakfast before heading to school.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:43PM
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marygailv

Sounds like scrapple to me, except without the pork scraps. My mother used to make it occasionally, but I never have. I never learned how from her and I don't think it is anything my husband had ever had, but mentioning it has brought back fond memories. Being a recession baby (1929), I'm sure she was stretching her meat. Maybe we should put the recipe out for use now.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 4:54PM
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patti43

I think fried mush is a northern or maybe midwest thing. We always had it in winter. Bought from the grocery store, fried in bacon grease and served with butter and syrup. Yum!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 5:02PM
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mush

I'll never tell!
Mush :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 5:25PM
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gadgets

Ahhh, Mush, that was cute!!

Definitely not a southern thing, I'm in Ohio and loved when my Mom fried it up. She never made cornmeal though and it's only been in the last couple years I've done it and eaten like I would a bowl of oatmeal.

As for the difference between mush and polenta.......If I buy either one in the pre-formed loaf around here, I don't detect any difference in taste..........THE BIG difference is price. Block of mush is something like $1.29, but the polenta is over $3.00!!

Shirley

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 6:04PM
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donnakt_gw

Bob Evan's has it on their menu..fried with warm strup.. Yum:)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 6:39PM
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pris

"What does mush taste like?" Not mush of anything. (sorry, couldn't help myself)

But really, I'm from the south and I've never eaten mush. My mother did something similar with left over cream of wheat. She didn't throw out leftovers until she married my step father and he wouldn't eat them no matter how you dressed them up. (any left over) I tried slicing CofW and doing what she did but it didn't work for me. I can only think she added something for it to keep its form. Mine melted back into its mushy consistancy.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 6:40PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Yep, I grew up here in Ohio too. Like I mentioned before, Dad cooked the mush and I remember how it used to boil and bubble in the big pot. Also, like jel48 I'll probably leave out the sugar in glenda's recipe as I don't remember Dad putting that in.

The best cornmeal to be found in our area is the one ground in the historic Kistler's Mill, an original water operated mill near Shreve(Ohio).

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 7:19PM
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minnie_tx

When I was a little girl in Chicago my neighbors had MUSH I think I tried it once and didn't like it.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:05PM
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sue_va

Well, there is mush, and then there is Liver Mush. Liver mush is more or less the same as Scrapple. Had both growing up. Mush with milk and sugar added in your bowl if you wanted it. Or made into a loaf and sliced and fried. I didn't like mush. But I did like liver mush, all fried up crispy on the outside and served with a couple over-easy eggs. Folks around here who have German background call it Ponhaus. There is another name the Mennonites use but I can't think of it right now.

Really good Scrapple or Liver Mush is hard to find. I do like it if I can find some.

And yes, Glenda, I remember Milk Toast. Oh, so good with a little cinnamon or nutmeg sprinkled on. How about Coffee Soup? Anybody remember that?

Sue

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:18PM
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neenee

I'm from southern IL and my parents used to make mush. I now live in SC and I've never seen it in a grocery store. Except as polenta in the Italian section. We would slice it and fry it in butter. We'd eat it plain or with gravy on it. I love it. I've only made it once from scratch.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:23PM
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sandiefl

I have never had mush.It Sounds like something my Dad would probably have eaten.I do love my grits!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:36PM
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pekemom

When we were kids there was an "Our Gang" or "Little Rascals" where the kids were served mush and made awful faces, we asked Daddy what it tasted like. I'm sure he had it in Missouri growing up. He bought some and fixed it, it was like mushy corn meal or some type cereal, not great but certainly not horrible. Apparently in the show it was that the kids had it so much they hated it.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 9:05PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Here's the one pekemom. I went to find just the soundbyte "All the children have mush!" but found the episode as well:

Here is a link that might be useful: Mush

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 10:54AM
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schoolhouse_gw

Oops. Should have read a little further before I posted! ha.Sorry about that.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 10:57AM
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schoolhouse_gw

That's too bad. The sound cuts out during the best scenes and dialogue. Oh, well I tried!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 11:14AM
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sue_va

Don't be sorry, I watched the whole thing and loved t! Brought back memories of when I was a child and saw The Little Rascals.

Too bad our youngsters don't have that type of shows to watch instead of what is on TV now.

Thanks for posting it.

Sue

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 11:44AM
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marry

We really like fried Cream of Wheat! I don't like fried mush nearly as much.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 11:57AM
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schoolhouse_gw

Sue, not to hijack my own thread but one year my friend gave me this box set for my birthday. When I played it, it brought tears of sentiment to my eyes! It's really great, haven't played it in a long awhile but I just might now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Little Rascals music

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 1:29PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Scroll down at that site and you can sample some of the CD tracks.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 1:30PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Wow, I just looked at the price of that set. It didn't cost that much back in 1995!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 1:37PM
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soxxxx

My MIL used the same basic ingredients, but instead of frying it, she shaped it into flattened patties and cooked it like cooking pancakes. The family called them "hoe cakes." They were served at breakfast. When a child,my DD would ask her to make them everytime she visited.

Does anyone else remember "hoe cakes," and remember the recipe? DD has been searching for it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 2:42PM
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schoolhouse_gw

I remember hearing of "hoe cakes" but not sure what they were/are. Has your DD gone online to look for the recipe?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 3:10PM
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lilliepad

I make "hoe Cakes" all the time but never heard of them being made like soxxxx described.I make the batter like cornbread batter but a little thinner.Pour them on a hot griddle like making pancakes.I have also made them in a waffle iron.We use them as bread sometimes with beans.
The story I have always heard behind the name was from the South.Supposedly the people who picked cotton and worked in the fields made them on their hoe blade for lack of cooking utensils.Don't know if that is true or not.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 8:22PM
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glenda_al

My hoe cake is grilled on a cast iron griddle oiled with bacon grease.

My South Alabama MIL stood behind me, until I got it right.
Nope she would said, and I'd try again.

Hot water, stoneground cornmeal, salt. It has to be just the right consistency. Not too thin, not too thick, but just right.

My family loves the crispiness of the edges and with home made vegetable soup.

Thumbs down on Paula Dean's. Have had hers and it is more like pancake batter, yuck, MY OPINION only.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 8:31PM
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schoolhouse_gw

The hoe cakes lillie and glenda mention sound like the "corn (pan)cakes" Mom used to make. I'll have to ask her how she made them,if it was like pancake batter. Also on occasion we'd have the ones that were made from buckwheat. My memory of those is that they were brown and more dry and seems to me Dad was the only one who ate those.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 8:45PM
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kathleen44

Mush is porridge.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 9:06PM
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pekemom

Thanks Schoolhouse, I enjoyed seeing it again after all these years......

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 9:35PM
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jannie

Unfortunately, I don't like any hot cereals. Not cream of wheat,not oatmeal,not wheatena, not mush, not porrodge, nor cornmeal, not any of them.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 4:25PM
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schoolhouse_gw

We had no choice when I was a little kid. Mom and Dad couldn't afford to buy boxes of dry cereal, but I do remember eating Cornflakes sometimes so Mom must have bought it occasionally.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 6:51PM
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neenee

Schoolhouse, I make corn cakes too. Just thinner cornbread batter cooked like pancakes. I like them with butter beans. Or anytime, just plain with butter.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 11:52PM
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golddust

I grew up in California and my mom made fried mush with maple syrup for breakfast frequently. That said, she was raised in Indiana. Still I remember her buying it by the block at the store.

I think I'll have to make some soon. It sounds good.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 12:00AM
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wantoretire_did

Fried corn meal mush like Glenda's, but we put grape jelly on it. YUMMMM

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 6:06AM
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cheri2008

We had it as a kid, called it cornmeal mush, mom would make it like cereal for breakfast... If she made too much, or maybe it was planned that way, we would have fried cornmeal mush later, with maple syrup.... I remember she loved it... me not so much

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 7:26PM
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joyfulguy

"Mush is porridge", Kathleen says.

Among the oatmeals, there's large flake, quick (broken flake), minute, and steel cut, that breaks the flakes into small chunks and there's more of a texture of pieces retaining their shape than with instant, and there's Scottish, which to me sems quite a lot like steel cut.

Then there's farina, or cream of wheat, and another kind of wheat, and I've heard of one that's pretty well barley, but haven't tried it.

And there's 3-grain, 8-grain (which I think is substantially similar to Red Diver Cereal) and 11- or 12-grain cereal, which latter retain a coarser texture when cooked.

Which kind of porridge did you mean?

This unlettered extra-northerner has to ask, "Does "mush" bear any resemblance/similarities to "grits"?".

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 10:25PM
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monica_pa

Mush tastes like the name.....mushy.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 10:39PM
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susanjf_gw

when i as in the hosp with baby #1 they served wheat hearts cereal..can't find it back here (mi)...we eat cream of rice, wheat, and do have old fashion rolled oats...the very best oatmeal i've ever had was in wa state...a place there is fameous for their cereal and pancake batters...

i can find the block mush and love it..i dredge in a bit of flour and fry it...

does anyone mix leftover rice with egg and make rice patties? we serve with syrup as you would the mush...

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 11:13PM
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marilyn_sue

I have made rice pancakes with leftover rice. They are good too.

Sue

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 8:06AM
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