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Welcome back to Tenacious Genealogy! Today’s post is another historical food recipe – this time, cheese pudding. Yum. (Actually, it is quite a delicious dish as you’ll soon see.)
Cheese pudding… the same name for so many different things… When I first googled the term to see what the recipe looked like, I got stuff like this. Basically, a sweet or savory (depending on the cheese used) souffle-like dish, sometimes made with bread.
This is not the cheese pudding that I’m highlighting today.
Cheese pudding (whether a sweet/savory souffle-like dish or not) has always been an inexpensive food recommended for families wanting to feed a lot of people for not a lot of money. In fact, the cookbook this recipe comes from is specifically a collection of recipes that a homemaker/housewife could use to feed her family without breaking the bank. (Interestingly enough, this cookbook is a step up from a previous cookbook which promised to feed large families for only fifteen cents!)
Needless to say, this recipe costs more than twenty-five cents today, however, depending on where you buy the ingredients, it is still a relatively inexpensive meal.
Two other things to note before I dive into the recipe:
2) When looking at this recipe, I did not anticipate it being as filling or tasty as it ended up being. The best way to describe the taste of this cheese pudding is that of mac and cheese, but if the noodles were made from masa harina (the type of corn flour used in corn tortillas and tamales) instead of durum wheat flour.
Into two quarts of boiling water, containing two tablespoons of salt, stir one pound of yellow Indian meal, and a quarter of a pound of grated cheese. Boil it for twenty minutes, stirring it occasionally to prevent burning; then put it in a greased baking pan, sprinkle over the top quarter of a pound of grated cheese, and brown in a quick oven. Serve hot. If any remains, slice it cold and fry it brown.
My translation of the recipe:
1/2 pound of cheese, grated
Bake in the oven until the cheese on top is all melted and starting to brown on the edges. (About 15-20 minutes.)
And there you have it! A savory meal for a family of six in the 1870s that is surprisingly filling (the whole dish has about 36 grams of fiber and 55 grams of protein, which probably part of the reason why).
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