Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WIAW: A Childhood Favorite

When I was a kid, I loved spending time at my grandparent's house and eating mush. Mush was pre-cooked cornmeal fried up crispy and served to me smothered in honey. No one could make mush like a Gpa. Over the years, I learned to make mush just like he did and would have it as a treat every once in awhile.

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When I left Cincinnati, there were many favorites that would be left behind: LaRosa's Pizza, Skyline Chili, and Mush. I can order request some of my Cincy favorites and have them shipped to me (thanks to my wonderful friends and family), but I couldn't figure out how to get Mush since it was refrigerated and expensive to ship.


This past summer, while spending a weekend in Newport, RI, we stopped for breakfast at our favorite diner. For the first time I noticed Johnny Cakes on the menu. A Johnny Cake is a fried cornmeal flatbread that is claimed to have originated in Rhode Island. I was so excited to learn that I could order some mush whenever we went to Newport.

Then a few weeks ago I made another discovery: Polenta.  More cornmeal, this time with it's roots in Italy, Polenta is very similar to mush (so much so that I really don't what is different) and can be served fried. And oh-happy-day, it's gluten-free!


So, I finally tried some Polenta and it was like traveling back in time. It WAS the American cornmeal mush that I had as a kid. I couldn't believe it and it was so easy to make thanks to the pre-cooked rolls you can buy in the grocery.

I sliced the Polenta into 1/4" thick slices and fried it in a skillet. Some people use butter, but I used oil and tried to get it as crispy as I could. I served it just like when I was a kid, with honey on top.



What childhood favorite have you revisited (or would like to) lately?

Don't forget to check out other great recipes and food ideas at the WIAW linkup!







15 comments:

  1. When I was a kid, I loved spending time at my grandparent's house and eating mush. Mush was pre-cooked cornmeal fried up crispy and served to me smothered in honey. No one could make mush like a Gpa. Over the years, I learned to make mush just like he did and would have it as a treat every once in awhile.

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  2. oooh I made HAYSTACKS for the child last weekend. those so so so remind me of when I was little.

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  3. ok I've never made polenta and we definitely didn't eat it when I was little. But I have had it at a few restaurants, I just wasn't sure how to cook it at home!

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  4. A childhood favorite my mom used to make for Christmas were bake while you sleep cookies...I LOVED them! I really need to revisit that!! Also I'm thinking of asking my Mom to make another traditional food Welsh Rabbit (a hot cheese spread not rabbit) I miss it!

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  5. I've never heard of mush like that but it actually sounds good. Oh childhood favorites. Let see...homemade pizza, enchiladas, taco salad, beef stew - everything that makes enough for 4+ people, but is tough for 1 person :)

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  6. Yum, that looks delicious. My grandpa used to make me oats with brown sugar and my mom used to make me no bake cookies!

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  7. I love sharing childhood favorites with the kids!

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  8. I know there are different ways, but I like it for breakfast.

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  9. I grew up hating polenta. My Italian grandmother made it all the time. It was nasty but now I absolutely love it. So easy and delicious!

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  10. OMG I love food memories. I love when I bite into a food and I remember something from when I was little. Sadly, I cannot eat any of the tasty foods I used to devour when I was younger, but smells also give me these flash backs, I cherish them! :)

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  11. I keep reading about how awesome polenta is, one of these days, I gotta try it!

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  12. I've never had polenta!! It sounds delicious, but I'd rather not know what I'm missing out on... since I don't want to get addicted :)

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