Coconut Indian Pudding

Simpler than you think.

But first, thanks to Yinzerella of Dinner is Served 1972 for letting me tag along to a screening of Soul Food Junkies at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore.

After the screening there was a Q&A with the filmmaker and some experts on farming, food availability, vegan lifestyles and sustainability (none of which is exactly the “point” of the documentary, but any of which could provide a piece of the solution).

It’s heavy stuff and I’m going to need to unpack it for a few before I write a ton about it, but offhand, it underscores a problem that isn’t limited to the black community: even when we can get healthy food, we don’t always know what to do with it. The Harris Teeter near me sometimes sells beetroots with the greens cut off. The “produce guy” thought he was doing us a favor.

But wait, there’s more! We also visited Attman’s, a Jewish New York-style deli with a century of history behind it. Yinz had mentioned wanting to try their chopped liver, and I followed Dori’s “shrimp and grits” rule–that there are some things you only put on a menu because they’re good. So I had the Lombard Street, a double-decker sandwich with hot corned beef and pastrami on one layer and chopped liver and Russian dressing on the other.

I’m almost glad it’s in another city or else I’d have gone back for dinner. Thanks, Yinzerella! (I’m going to try to convince her to visit America Eats if I can figure out the logistics.)

Indian pudding is just pudding made with Indian meal, and Indian meal is just an old-timey word for cornmeal. So this is actually a cornmeal pudding.

Here’s another version from the March 7, 1918 edition of The (French Lick, Indiana) Springs Valley Herald:

Coconut Indian Pudding.–Mix together one tablespoonful of fresh grated coconut, two tablespoonfuls of Indian meal, one tablespoonful of minute tapioca, one-half cupful of molasses, one-fourth of a cupful of sugar, one tablespoonful of shortening, one quart of milk and salt to taste. Pour into a buttered dish and bake two hours. Serve hot with cream.

We learned about Minute tapioca in the post for tapioca cream from De Soto, Kansas.
From a box sold in Winsted, Connecticut.

Coconut Indian Pudding

1 Tbsp. coconut
2 Tbsp. Indian meal
1 Tbsp. Minute tapioca
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
1 qt. milk

Baking dish and finish in oven.

Cream tapioca with strawberry jam and small cookies.

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