Diverting the Squirrels
If your a gardener like me, then you have experienced the wrath of the backyard squirrel. I have learned after many failed attempts, if you can't beat them, then feed them!
Here at the Tinker Park each year we do just that. Boy Scouts gather corn from the field to fill the corn crib, hopefully diverting from the herb garden!
When the Tinker family first arrived here in what was formerly the Town of Boyle, or the West Woods as it was also called, they came and moved into a log cabin avoiding the first stage of the pioneer, cutting trees and living in a little one room shack. Their land had just to be cleared of stumps and the log cabin ready to be moved into for James and Rebbecca Tinker and their 6 children.
Corn was the staple of the pioneer family. It was prepared in a variety of ways from a breakfast corn cake to corn mush at dinner. Here are a few Pioneer recipes to try your hand at:
Makes 10-12 cakes
3 handfuls of cornmeal
1 handful of sugar
pinch of salt
enough boiling water to make a smooth batter (less than a cup)
1.Combine all the ingredients.
2.Add enough boiling water to make a smooth batter.
3.Bake on a hot greased skillet until browned on both sides. Enjoy!
1/2 lb salt pork
2 big onions, sliced
3 cups diced boiled potatoes
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cooked corn, fresh or canned
4 cups hot milk
1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste
chopped parsley garnish
Cut pork into 1/2-inch dice, try out. Add onion, cook slowly 5-10 minutes, stirring, until transparent but not browned. Add potatoes, corn, boiling water, hnot milk. Season to taste, serve with garnish. Other things to throw into this soup: cooked carrots, rutabagas, turnips, leftover beans, canned tomatoes. Leftover ham, chopped. Use a broth made from any bones instead of water. To make a thicker chowder, make a roux of 2 Tbs butter and 2 of flour, frizzled, stir this into 1 cup of the milk, cook and stir until thickened. Stir this white sauce into the rest of the liquid as you add it to the vegetables. Like most soups and stews, corn soup is mostly an idea rather than a recipe. What you put in it depends on what you have.
Filling up the truck
Hominy is whole kernels of dried corn prepared by removing the hulls-by soaking in baking soda or other mediums then boiling.
Here is a delicious hominy recipe. You can get canned hominy in the vegetable aisle of your local grocery store. This was a common meal for many pioneers.
2 cups hominy, drained
butter as needed
4 well beaten eggs
salt & pepper
1. Brown hominy in skillet over medium heat. Use about one tablespoon butter or cooking oil.
2. Put in beaten eggs with hominy.
3. Season with salt and pepper then stir.
4. When hominy gets a nice golden brown look, remove and serve.
CORN MEAL MUSH
2 c. roasted corn meal
7 c. water
1 tbsp. salt
Mix the corn meal in 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil the remaining water and salt. Add the corn meal slurry to the boiling water. Cook slowly until thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve as a hot cereal with brown sugar, butter and milk. Cool the leftovers in a loaf pan and save for slicing to fry in fat. Serve fried mush with molasses topping.
The view from the corn field