I was feeling a bit down today, and decided to cook a bit in an attempt to cheer myself up. Not too much, mind you–cooking, I mean! So right now I have yellow squash and onions simmering in a pot, “cooking down” with a little water, salt, pepper and a bit of butter. I’ll let it cook until it’s pretty limp or I’m ready for dinner, whichever comes first.
The smell of squash and onions cooking always reminds me of my mother and summertime on the farm. By this time of year we were inundated with squash and tomatoes, but there was never too much corn. I dug out Mother’s Sunday school class cookbook, looking for recipe inspiration. The cookbook was a fundraiser for the class; there are companies that still produce these today. Mother wrote inside the front cover, “For Connie, 1990.”
The recipes are not “authentic southern cooking” at all. These ladies were in their 60s and 70s then, and to them, fried chicken and homegrown vegetables were not “company” dishes. So many of the recipes call for Campbell’s soup, Jello, cream cheese, cake mix, and other convenience foods. I understand their point of view–when you were cooking three meals a day, every day, convenience was a wonderful thing! And you know what? It still is.
However, I was relieved to see that Mother’s contribution did not involve any of those, or even “oleo” as some of the recipes called it. Here is her corn pudding recipe, which I suspect she got from my sister Glenda. I don’t remember having this as a child, but it does sound good!
2 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 to 3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
Combine corn, flour, sugar and salt. Stir well. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl, mixing well. Stir into corn mixture. Pour into lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, stiring twice during first 30 minutes. Yields 6 to 8 servings.