November 21, 2012

The Great Corn Debate

Baked corn. Corn casserole. Corn pudding. Scalloped corn.

Whatever you call it, I LOVE IT.

A huge memory of my Mom's holiday dinners was her baked corn. The problem is that no one in the family ever thought to ask her how she made it. When I was little I would help her by throwing in the crushed up crackers (I'm good at crushing crackers) and I sort of remember her cracking eggs into it (I'm not good at cracking eggs, unless you like crunchy corn). But that's really the extent of my memory of the corn making experience.

So every year at holiday gatherings, the discussion always turns to whether or not our latest version of baked corn tastes like what we remember. And it never does. Not exactly. Not even close.

I turned to Pinterest to find some new corn recipes:

This one from Pioneer Woman used fresh corn right off the cob.

Paul Deen uses Jiffy Mix in her casserole.

Chocolate Covered Katie makes a light version of the corn.

At All Recipes I found a recipe that calls for crackers, but it's still not THE ONE.

And there's always Stouffer's frozen version, which would just be cheating, but I can't even crack an egg properly, so who am I to judge.

If I can be philosophical for a moment, I think the problem is that when you're trying to recreate a feeling from a recipe you are destined to fall short. The warmth, coziness and love in my Mother's kitchen can not be resurrected by a vegetable.

So corn or no corn, I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!


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18 comments:

  1. Nothing ever tastes as good as Mom's,no matter how hard we try. And, I'll include my grandmother on that too!

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  2. I am on the hunt for a great recipe, too...every year it's an experiment with gluten free! I'm going to check out some of your links to see how they would adapt- thanks! Have a great Thanksgiving, Pam!

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  3. Sniff, sniff. You are so right. You can never replicate the taste you remember.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Pam.

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  4. I made this all the time but now looking for GF receipe.

    I just throw it together no recipe

    1 can cream of corn
    1 can corn (drained0
    2 eggs
    Some milk
    Soda crackers crunched up and mixed in.
    Bake at 350 until the crackers start to look like a crust....not brown. You can add liquid while it is baking if you think it is too dry.
    I am going to miss this.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

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  5. My grandmothers coconut pie recipe went with her. None of us can make it like her.
    Heck I never bake pies. So I know exactly how you feel about the elusive corn recipe. I am attempting my moms cornbread dressing. It also will never be like moms. Maybe we should start new traditions?

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  6. That's ok!!! I'm sure your family will love anything you prepare with or without crackers ;)
    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving sweets!!
    xoxo Liz

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  7. You are right about a "feeling." Of course, we always attributed Grandma's fabulous German Potato salad to the old Dutch oven she used! She even brought it to dinners and served it from the pan! And in our house, we called it "scalloped corn." Good luck in your search!

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  8. You right about that. No vegetable or fruit can recreate a feeling. However I do have to tell you that my mother in law makes the best potato salad. I have been with her in her kitchen when she makes it and even helped make it under her instruction as well as my sister in law and husband. Not one of us can make that potato salad and have it taste like hers. We have all tried many times.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead

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  9. So many of us are echoing the same sentiment, that part of the taste is governed by the memory. My Dad's grandmother made potato pancakes that no one could recreate and my mother makes the best meatballs. I have her recipe, but mine aren't like hers, nor is my sauce.
    Maybe there is a big kitchen in heaven...

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  10. Happy Thanksgiving! I've never had baked corn. My mother and her sister used to cook what they called fried corn, which was cooked in a skillet with water and butter until the water cooked down. Have to use corn cut from the cob by hand, too. My favorite corn!

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  11. We do need a recepie for memories. My great grandmother's city chicken and shamrock rolls; everything my grandmother made. And we'll enjoy ourselves to the max tomorrow, again.

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  12. When my grandmother lay dying in the hospital, I penned down her recipes that she only knew. There are still things only she could do... get out any stain, save any houseplant...there are so many things I will never get right.

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  13. Yours is the baked corn...ours is the apple cobbler my mother made. It had a cross between a dumpling and a biscuit on top and we could never figure out how she made it. I bet I have tried 40 recipes over the years. She baked it in a big old roasting pan full of cinnamon and spiced apples. YUM....xo Diana

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  14. Baked corn not a tradition here, and I think I have cooked more Thanksgiving meals than my Mom.

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  15. Happy Thanksgiving! Have a blessed day. Thinking of you, Pam!

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  16. Hope your day and the casserole were great!

    M :)

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  17. I wish I would have written down more of the details from the recipes my mom made. It just never seemed important to do when I was young, and she was still here to ask. I guess I just couldn't imagine not being able to just call her and ask. Little did I know.

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