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Maple and Mush

March 25th, 2014

Last monday I finished my first batch of maple syrup and yesterday I finished my second. Both were two cups shy of a gallon, so I’m well on my way to getting a decent harvest this year. My goal is always five gallons of syrup, but I’ve only been able to get that much one year. Usually I end up with about three gallons, this year looks to be the same with the less than stellar weather.
homemade maple syrup
Usually I make pancakes when I finish the first batch of syrup, this year I decided to make my favorite – fried mush.
fried mush 1
I had some local corn meal in the freezer, so I whipped up a batch. Every time I make it I’m amazed at how much one cup of corn meal grows into! This is frugal eating at it’s finest – especially with free homemade maple syrup.
fried mush 2
People often ask me the success to cooking mush without having it stick to the pan – patience. Put a little coconut oil, lard or ghee in a cast iron skillet and then add your mush. Don’t even think about peeking until you start to notice it getting brown around the edges. You’ll know it’s ready to turn when it will move on it’s own in the pan. If you try to turn it too early it will stick and all the crunchy goodness will stick to the pan.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy maple syrup?

19 Comments to “Maple and Mush”
  1. Norma on March 25, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Definately with pancakes and icecream……….yum….yum…..
    Never had corn mush………don’t even know what it is…..
    I live in southern hemisphere…….so no maple trees here………

    Reply to Norma's comment

  2. Kathi cook on March 25, 2014 at 6:32 am

    On my oatmeal or plain yogurt

    Reply to Kathi cook's comment

  3. Marina C on March 25, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Mush!? I never hear of it, but it looks a lot like a polenta cake, and sounds yummy.
    I love maple syrup on pancakes and waffles, especially apple pancakes: regular pancakes with an apple grated in, with the skin on, at the last minute.
    I wonder how the native Americans figured out maple syrup, I bet there is a nice kid’s book about that.

    Reply to Marina C's comment

    • Susy on March 25, 2014 at 7:57 am

      It is polenta, by a more humble name :)

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. daisy on March 25, 2014 at 6:42 am

    That does look like polenta, as Marina mentioned. Is a recipe to be found somewhere? That would be delicious with a nice fried egg on top.
    Waffles and pancakes usually receive their fair share of syrup here, although I have used it in baking as well.

    Reply to daisy's comment

    • Susy on March 25, 2014 at 7:59 am

      1 cup corn meal
      4 cups of water
      salt to taste (I use about half a teaspoon)

      Put 3 cups of water and salt in pan to boil, mix 1 cup corn meal with 1 cup water & let sit. When water boils, whisk moistened cornmeal into water and cook for 7-10 minutes until thick. Spread in glass bread pan and chill overnight. Slice and fry until golden in a skillet. Easy Peasy.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • whit on March 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm

        I’m surprised there’s no diary in the recipe, but going to give this a try. Our recipe uses 4 c. liquid (milk-water split).

        to whit's comment

  5. Myra S. on March 25, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Tickled to see you making mush and calling it that, Suzy! :) I love it fried with syrup too. A lesson in patience, fur sure. I like it before it sets up just in a bowl with some butter and sugar too.

    Reply to Myra S.'s comment

  6. PennyAshevilleNC on March 25, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I think that may be what our Mom called Ho Cakes? I never thought of them with maple syrup- now I have to try it!
    This weather has been surprising down here, it is snowing again this morning… speaking of, I used Brian’s trick to tie knots at the end of my laces on my LLB boots. Wow, what a simple life hack! Love it.

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

  7. Sara on March 25, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Yum! I think my favorite is pancakes with applesauce and maple syrup on top, it’s a craving I get, especially if I’ve got a cold–and then I add elderberry syrup too :)

    We are tapping for the first time this year and hopeful for any syrup at all, it’s a slow start for sure.

    Reply to Sara's comment

  8. Henry on March 25, 2014 at 9:36 am

    We are still in a deep freeze here in VT. We have had a couple of short runs and I have made 1 gallon of syrup thus far. This week/weekend is looking better for sugaring.

    Reply to Henry's comment

  9. Songbirdtiff on March 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I really must try this soon!

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  10. whit on March 25, 2014 at 10:02 am

    We love maple syrup by the spoonful. But, since you shouldn’t do that too often, we eat it on almond meal waffles, use it as the sweetner in homemade granola and yoghurt, and I really like it on eggs and sausage. When I make the Irish creamed carrorts (boiled carrots drenched in cream, a little butter, and nutmeg) sometimes I put a little maple in there too. It’s also good in the cafe y leches I drink too. Makes me wish we had trees to tap.

    Reply to whit's comment

  11. Heather Fontenot on March 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

    This looks delicious. I love maple syrup on ice cream as well, freshly made.

    Reply to Heather Fontenot's comment

  12. Nebraska Dave on March 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Susy, maple syrup goes on pancakes, French toast, waffles and sometimes oatmeal. I haven’t had mush since my grand mother made it. Fry bread was another one of my grandmother’s specialties as well. The pioneer generation knew how to cook things that didn’t cost much and it would fill up a hungry belly.

    Have a great fried mush day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  13. Reid on March 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Pumpkin pancakes!

    Also, our tradition Thanksgiving morning is to have mush. MMMMMush! It is also good with homemade chokecherry syrup.

    Reply to Reid's comment

  14. Amy on March 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Your syrup looks so beautiful with the light shinning through and the nice jars! ENJOY

    Reply to Amy's comment

  15. Lemongrass on March 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    In the Caribbean it is call coo coo and can be eaten with a fish or meat stew………..that is without the sweetener. Next morning the left-overs would be fried and eaten for breakfast. Coo coo was a dish that the enslaved Africans living in the Caribbean enjoy and we still enjoy it all over the Caribbean, with a twist here and there. Instead of water we sometimes use coconut milk. I need to make some for breakfast tomorrow………..will have to use honey instead of maple syrup. I love, love corn in any fashion.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  16. Colleen on March 26, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Waffles and french toast.

    Your jars of syrup are beautiful.

    Reply to Colleen's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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