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Corn and the Civil War

Corn Meal Grilled Cush Cakes, recipe and other links below 
As part of my series on corn I want to talk about the most well known dish during lean times on the Civil War battle field. Confederate forces called it cush. Sometimes spelled cush, it consisted of corn meal and bacon grease with many variations and it looks and taste allot like bacon flavored polenta. A shortage of cooking utensils represented the greatest challenge cooks faced on the battle field thus leading to production of simple dishes like cush. Seldom did soldiers have access to mixing bowls, kettles, pans, and or skillets. On occasion a company might have a cast iron frying pan on hand that they took turns both using and hauling on long treks. Some made cooking utensils from the halves of captured canteens. Others mixed ingredients in turtle shells, calabashes, shirt tails and other surfaces. Some cooked bread dough wrapped around a ramrod of a rifle over a fire. We know that others also wrapped corn based dough with other ingredients in a corn shuck and cooked it in the ashes of a fire like tamales. And as you can imagine meat and fish was frequently barbecued, wild game like square, possum, or rabbit on the points of sharp sticks, and soldiers also roasted foods on top of flat slabs of rocks placed on top of hot coals.

Corn Series with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=corn+series

Corn Series: Hoe Cakes

Corn Series: Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico 1692