Sunday, October 6, 2013

Harvest Recipe: Homemade Hominy

The world "Hominy" is derived from the Powhatan language (an Algonquin language) from Virginia and a group of people that I descended from through inter-marriage in Jamestown.  The word rockohamin, became the the English loan word hominy (it is also worth noting that within the Powhatan Confederacy [actually known in the Powhatan language as Tsenacommacah or Tsenanacomoco, meaning "densely inhabited land"] a large tribal entity known as the Chickahominy was a member.]  In the Nahuatl language this is known as Nixtamal and in some places posolli, it is from the former that the process of making hominy is referred to as nixtamalization. When dried hominy is ground, it then becomes grits, a real staple here in the south!  When the fresh nixtamal/hominy is ground, it then forms the basic dough for the very ancient corn tortilla, which is tlaxcalli in the Nahuatl ["Aztec"] language.  So this basic recipe is important.  There are slight variations on the making of this treated corn, but all involve a type of alkali.  In this case, it is clean wood ash (this is the old southern native way of preparing the corn, used in a very large way by the Tsalagi (Cherokee); the wood ash is the alkali in the boiling water (in Mexico, slacked lye is used, that gives a distinctive smell that corn tlaxcalli have). This particular recipe comes from nice little southern cookbook by Rubye Alley Bumgarner entitled The Sunset Farms Cookbook; it contains a very large number of Tsalagi recipes!  The recipe assumes that every one has a wood burning stove--these are obviously rare now, but if you have a fire place (or know someone who does) you can made the clean ashes yourself, just be sure not to use any chemicals to start the fire.  The most used wood ashes are made from hickory wood.  Or you can buy some wood chips and make these in a clean grill, again just don't use any chemicals.  Sometimes pit barbecue places will give out ashes.  As a last resort use the slacked lye available in hardware stores.

Homemade Hominy

Shell one quart of corn and place in cooking pot (a black iron one is best). [Add water to cover] Boil for 1.  In a white flour sack tie one quart clean wood ashes from stove; add the bag to the pot of corn.  Cook slowly all day [Adding more water as needed] Wash and drain the corn, place in cold water.  The hulls will come off and come to the top where you can remove them. [It helps to rub the kernels between your hands.]  Stew washed, drained corn in bacon drippings or butter to serve.  [Or can or dehydrate completely to store.]


  1. Hey....Those corn dogs sure look spooky, but good enough to eat. I have been enjoying this blog.....S

    1. I am so glad you are enjoying it! I personally have never had a corn dog mummy....I am wondering if that is Kewpie Mayonnaise on them...