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Old-Fashioned Cornmeal Mush


We know folks up North who put sugar on their grits, but grits are one of the few things Southerners never sweeten. When it comes to mush, however—made just like grits but with their finer counterpart, cornmeal—it’s another story. Mush can be cooked up and fried, but our recipe makes a soft breakfast porridge that has the creamy, beaded texture of cream of wheat and the bright, thrilling taste of heirloom corn. If you like grits with sugar—or even if you don’t—you will love this buttery mush with maple syrup and hot milk. Chewy dried blueberries make it a party.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and a whisk.

    • 5 ounces (1 cup) Antebellum-Style Course Cornmeal
    • 2 cups spring or filtered water
    • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    • 1 cup whole milk or half-and-half, heated and frothed if desired
    • Real maple syrup, brown sugar, or sorghum or cane syrup, for serving
    • Dried blueberries or raisins, for serving
  1. Place the cornmeal and water in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, about 5 minutes. Continue to whisk as the mush simmers and thickens, about 2 minutes more. The mush should have the consistency of a hot porridge—thick enough to drop heavily from a spoon, but still fluid, and by no means sludgy. Whisk in the salt. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter. Serve immediately with the milk or half-and-half (plain or frothy) and maple syrup, brown sugar, or sorghum. Don’t forget the dried blueberries.

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