Put yellow corn meal into an iron kettle or saucepan over a moderate fire; stir until of an even rich brown color. Serve warm or cold with hot or cold milk or cream. The donor of this recipe says: "When I was a child this was considered a great dainty, but I do not know how it obtained its name or where we learned to make it."
The different preparations of grains may all be parched the same as sweet corn and corn meal in the preceding recipes. If more convenient they may be done in the oven but the flavor is not as good. Some of them are tender enough to be eaten dry or in milk without any further preparation; others are better to be ground before adding the milk or cream, and some need to stand in the milk, hot or cold, for a time, before serving, while others (rice especially) require cooking after parching. Some are better cooked in milk.
To pop: "Wet the corn slightly and let it dry on the stove; put it in the popper while it is hot and in four minutes every kernel should be turned inside out, crisp and tender."-From a clipping.
Put together the poorly popped kernels of corn and all the remains, cover with cold water and soak until soft, perhaps over night. Then add milk and cook in a double boiler 1/2 hour or so. Serve with cream or more milk if necessary, or, cook in all water and serve with cream. These left-overs may be ground and soaked in milk until soft.
Dry slices or pieces of bread in the oven and brown delicately, grind through the food cutter and serve in milk or with cream.
"Some people degrade these foods by calling them mushes, a horrible name, by the way; the good English word porridge is much better, and porridge is not gruel."-An Editor.
Unless cereals are steamed, they should be cooked in a double boiler or something that answers the same purpose.
A flat or round wire batter whip is the best for stirring the grain into the water, as that keeps even the finest flour from becoming lumpy.
The very most important thing in making porridges is to have the liquid boiling when the cereal is put in. If it stops boiling while the grain is being added there will be a raw taste to the porridge, no matter how long it cooks.
Put the required amount of water, with the salt, 1 teaspn. to a quart of water, into the inner cup of a double boiler. Heat the water to bubbling boiling, sprinkle the measured grain in so slowly as not to stop the boiling of the water, stirring continuously. Let it boil up well, and if a coarse grain, cook over the fire until it thickens, then set into the outer boiler containing perfectly boiling water and keep it cooking rapidly the required length of time.
Do not stir after the grain thickens. Watch that the outer boiler does not become dry. Grains for breakfast may be cooked while you have a fire the day before, then all that is necessary in the morning is to set the inner boiler into the outer one containing boiling water and heat it through. If there should be water standing on top of the porridge, pour it off before heating, but under no circumstances stir the porridge, or add any more water while heating, or a pasty, tasteless dish will be the result.
When the porridge is to be re-heated, a slightly larger proportion of water should be used, and for steaming, a smaller quantity.
One advantage in steaming is that the cereal (after being started over the fire in some suitable utensil) can be turned into an earthen dish and set into the steamer, warmed in the morning and sent to the table in the same dish.
Farina, cream of wheat and similar cereals are more palatable and nourishing if cooked in part milk. These finer preparations may have milk or cream stirred into them just before serving.