Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Maize in Milk: A Christmas Story of the South >> Page 337

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 337

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription MAIZE IN MILK337
hominy the color and the flavor are alike against it. It must be
the genuine semi-transparent flint, ground at a water-mill, white as
snow, and swelling out in two huge platters at convenient places
upon the table. A moderate portion of each plate is provided with
this vegetable, boiled to a due consistency, neither too soft like mush,
nor too stiff, hard and dry for easy adjustment with a spoon. It
requires long experience on the part of the cook to prepare this dish
for the just appreciation of an adept. There must be no rising lump
in the mass; there must be no dark speck upon the surface. The spoon
should lie upon it without sinking below the rims, and hominy should
always be eaten with a spoon or fork of silver. I name all these little
particulars, as I assume the time to be approaching fast when Great
Britain and Ireland, and one-half the continent of Europe will be fed
out of the American granaries, and when hominy will arrive at its
position of true dignity and distinction in the cuisine of the Old
World. The Carolina breakfast-table would be a blank without
That of "Maize-in-milk" had its usual bountiful supply on the
present occasion, and was not without its variety of breadstuffs. There
were loaves and cakes of wheat, corn and rye, all the growth of the
plantation Colonel Openheart not being one of those conceited wise-
acres who rely only upon the cotton market and neglect every other
interest. It may be that he relied still too much upon the profits and
prospects of the cotton market so as to indulge in a too ready habit of
expenditure, but he never was that purblind proprietor who forgets
the farm in the staple —a class of people still quite too large in
Carolina for their own and the good of the country. His table re-
joiced in its rice cakes and waffles also, among his breadstuffs—rice
being also one of the grains of his own production. But of these,
enough is said already. Among the meats on table, to say nothing of
cold corn beef and boiled venison, we must spare a passing sentence
to the sausages and black-puddings. Christmas on the southern plan-
tation is emphatically the sausage season. Then it is, as old Mr.
Bond was wont to say, that every negro is heard to whistle, and
every mouth looks oily. But perhaps it is not every reader who
knows what black puddings are. Well, we shall not pretend to en-
lighten those who are unhappily ignorant. It is enough to say that a
black-pudding is something in the nature of the Scotch haggis, so