“Kitchen Krafts: Hasty Pudding,” Friend, July 1988, 47
Yankee Doodle, keep it up.
Yankee Doodle dandy,
Mind the music and the step,
And with the girls be handy.
“Yankee Doodle” became a popular Revolutionary War song in the American colonies, and it is still popular today. A British army surgeon, Dr. Richard Schuckburgh, wrote the song to make fun of the badly dressed and poorly trained American soldiers in the French and Indian War in 1755. Later the Americans adopted the song as their own, singing it in camp and whistling it in battle. After the retreat from Concord, British general Thomas Gage is rumored to have said, “I hope I shall never hear that tune again!” The words of the song tell us a little about life in America during that time. Here is one verse of it:
Father and I went down to camp,
Along with Captain Goodwin,
And there we saw the men and boys,
As thick as hasty puddin’.
Corn had been a basic food in Colonial households since the Indians had taught the early settlers how to grow corn and grind it into cornmeal. Hasty pudding is simply cornmeal mush. Because hasty pudding was easy to make and nutritious, it became a popular food. Some people didn’t have much else to eat!
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal
Boil water with salt in kettle.
Sprinkle cornmeal over water, stirring constantly.
Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve as oatmeal, with milk and molasses, honey, sugar, or raisins.
Pour prepared hasty pudding into loaf pan.
Cool in refrigerator until firm.
Cut into slices 3/4″ (2 cm) thick.
Fry slices in greased skillet until brown and crusty on both sides.
Serve with maple syrup or molasses.