Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Corn Casserole. Corn Pudding. Cornbread. Corn Pone...What IS Corn Pone?

I am Jack's thrilling recipe.

It's okay if you don't get that reference. If you do, well, it means you have both interesting movie taste and culinary curiosity. The other day I made corn casserole. Now, if you've ever been to a church potluck - and I mean a low-church, baptizin' in the crick, Gospel singers visit every few months to provide special music church potluck - you've had corn casserole. Some people call it corn puddin'. In some regions it's probably considered corn bread ("Hi, I'm the South, and if you ask for cornbread down here, you could get one of a hundred different things, including what looks like pancakes from the gas station down the road."). And I don't really know what corn pone is, I just remember an annoying song about it in the musical "L'il Abner" that I saw on AMC when it still showed old movies and not random things like "Beaches" or whathaveyou.

And I grew up loving church potluck corn casserole. The Episcopalians that I've seen don't know about it. They were thrilled with it, like a new plant form or something, delighted but slightly confused. "What IS it?" they breathed with wonder. But that's because Episcopalian potlucks are...different. I literally attended one where there was lamb and mint jelly. Lamb and mint jelly. I discovered I don't like lamb, which made me feel kind of philistine, but then I felt immediately world wise again when I remembered the reason: I ate so much sheep in Mongolia that I have met my life quota. Mutton is strong and greasy - I'm glad I'm not describing a person here - so anything remotely smacking of mutton is off my preferred menu.

Oh, and I've been to Mongolia. Let me tell you about it some time.

Anyway, the only place I ever got corn casserole was church potlucks, usually stuck between a Crockpot full of meatballs and Crockpot full of chicken and dumplings - in the hot stuff section, away from the broccoli salad and taco salad and Jell-O salad. But then I started wanting corn casserole because I hadn't been to a church potluck in a long time where there had been any, and I thought, shoot, I'll bite the bullet and find a recipe myself. So, naturally to my generation, I went online.

And this is what I found. And everyone who eats it loves it, and I swear it takes about a second and a half to make, and it reheats well, and in general it's just a lovely side dish - whatever you decide to call it. I don't know if it goes with lamb or not.

CORN CASSEROLE (puddin', bread, whatever)
2 beaten eggs
1 15 oz. can of creamed corn
1 8 oz. container of sour cream (but I buy the 16 oz. so I can have extra for stuff)
1/4 c. melted butter (that's half a stick)
1 can drained corn
1 (8.5 oz.) package of dry corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 2 quart casserole dish
*Combine eggs, creamed corn, sour cream, melted butter. Stir in whole kernel
corn, muffin mix.
*Bake for...depends on your oven. Bake for 45-65 minutes while you make other
things for main courses.
*Let stand five minutes before serving.
*Optional: you can add a cup and a half of cheddar. But though I love cheese,
I've never found this to vastly improve the corn casserole. Also, you
can add a half a cup of chopped onion. This makes it more savory and
a more "adult" flavor, so the kids might not like it as much. But if
you've eaten my corn casserole, you likely haven't found either of
these ingredients in it. I skip them.
Now, I don't plan on posting recipes often, because Pioneer Woman seems to have the corner on that and does it beautifully and by the way her recipes are aMAZing. But Mom's been asking for this recipe and I keep forgetting to give it to her, so here you go, Mom, and everyone else.
Feel free to reminisce about your favorite things you only eat at potlucks.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Love you, Mom

Emily said...

Mmmmmmm...church potlucks...drool.
My recipe for corn casserole is pretty much exactly the same, except I add a tablespoon of sugar into the mix. It's sweet and tasty and desserty and goooooooood.

Now, come over and make me some lime chicken quesadillas. Or chicken pot pie. Or scones. Sconehenge?

Carrie said...

I love your corn casserole. It's simply divine. And corn-filled.

You don't even like Grandma's lamb?

Anonymous said...

You said to feel free to reminisce - one of the things I love at church potlucks is those (probably unhealthy) fluffy "salads" made with jello, Cool Whip, fruit, etc. Sometimes they're orange-flavored with mandarin oranges in them, sometimes they're cherry or something else. If you ask someone for the recipe, they say "oh, it's so EASY!" and rattle off ingredients and process, which of course you can't remember later. Where do they get these recipes? I could follow your lead and look them up online, only I don't think they'd be findable as "fluffy orange stuff", etc.
Another thing that I love at potlucks is the savory meatballs. Ditto on the recipes.
Oh, and Shelby makes an AMAZING dip for nacho chips - cream cheese (which I think is mixed with something) layered with salsa, shredded cheese, etc. And, once again, ditto on the recipe.
Love you much, Mom

Anonymous said...

P.S. I looked up corn pone on an on-line dictionary. They defined it two ways:
(1) corn bread, especially of a simple or plain variety.
(2) derogatory slang for what might also be called a red-neck or hick, especially from the south.
Hope you're having a great day! Mom