November 13: National Indian Pudding Day
Indians and pilgrims are a popular theme for Thanksgiving. From hostility to hospitality, they set aside their differences to share the bounties of their harvest together. Peace and prosperity are possible when people focus on the positive and strive toward the common good.
Indian pudding was on the menu at early Thanksgiving celebrations in New England. Derived from the English hasty pudding (porridge), this version uses what the North American settlers called “Indian mush” (corn meal). The cooking method is not hasty at all—slow stirring and baking are required to make this dessert.
Prepare Indian pudding on National Indian Pudding Day. And when hosting a harvest meal, try adding this traditional treat to your table for Thanksgiving.
(Adapted from Months of Edible Celebrations)
- ¼ cup corn meal
- 3 cups milk, divided use (2 cups hot, 1 cup cold)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup molasses
- whipped cream and ground nutmeg (optional garnish)
In a pot over low heat, boil two cups of milk, being careful not to burn the bottom. When hot, gradually add in the corn meal. Stir constantly and slowly for about 15 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon.
Stir the spices into the corn meal mixture. Add molasses and the remaining cup of cold milk. Combine well. Pour into a casserole dish.
Bake in a preheated oven at 275 degrees F for two hours. Remove from the oven, cool slightly and serve in pudding cups or dessert dishes. Garnish with whipped cream and ground nutmeg, if desired.
- Thanks to RB, who is part-Cherokee from Oklahoma, for the Native American shawl used as a prop for the main photo. He presented it to Islander as an appreciation gift for being his first communion sponsor many years ago.