Ah, yes cornmeal hash by any other name is well Confederate Cush of course! Did you know that this Rebel delicacy (created out of necessity) is also known by many other names?
It’s true. Here are some other names this concoction is known by; Mush, Palanta, Polenta, Corn Pudding, Hasty Pudding, Grits, Porridge, and Suppawn. Find the full list detailed by region here.
Obviously both, the North and South, had access to many of the same things in their rations. However, some were more accessible to the North than the South (and visa versa). Even then access was, at times, limited. Either by weather, time, distance, in-season, out-of season, or by cut-off supply chains. But somehow, the Confederate Armies managed to make do with what was available to them. And make do they did, by foraging, being creative, resourceful, and downright survival driven experts.
Yes, the Yanks were too. But I’m trying to stay focused here. Everyone knows how much I love history and how easily I am distracted with all the little tidbits that go with it. So I’ll add here, that the Union did have an advantage of pre-war commissaries already in place and continue onward ok. 😀
Thought Cush is known by many names, to the Confederate soldier is was known as Cush. And depending upon how much water you added, it could be as thick as hash or as thin as soup. Though it was purely a sustenance, it became (largely in part) known as one of the greatest staples of the Confederacy. When fried, it became the Confederate alternative to the Union Hardtack, as it could be carried in the haversack and eaten at a later date.
Picture courtesy of Hog and Hominy: Culture, cooking, travel, and traditions
The picture above is of the fried variety of Cush. The recipe I will share today is more of he hash or soup variety depending upon how much water you want to add and the consistency you want to achieve.
Confederate Cush: FRESH
- Salt pork
- Salt pork grease
Cut up salt pork into small chunks and fry it in a canteen half, frypan or tin-can.
Remove any excess grease.
Keep enough pork grease in the pan to fry the cornbread batter to be placed on top. (Cornbread batter – look here for that recipe)
Mix up cornbread batter and place it over the cooked salt pork in the pan.
Continue to cook until the cornbread is cooked. (Stirring occasionally to keep from burning on the bottom.)
End result – depending on desired consistency – should resemble hash or soup.
Confederate Cush: WITH LEFT-OVERS
- Pre-cooked Salt Pork
- Pre-made Cornbread (Johnnie Cakes)
Cut pre-cooked cold salt pork into small chunks.
Place them into a greased pan, skillet or tin can to heat for a few minutes.
Place enough water into the pan and let the meat stew until thoroughly warmed.
Take the leftover cornbread and crumble it into the skillet.
Heat the entire mixture through until hot and all the water has been absorbed.
Remove from heat and eat.
This recipe I found during one of my “tidbit” adventures. You know the kind. Look for one thing, and one click leads to another, and another. 26nc.org is where I ended up. You can find this great recipe and many other great tidbits about the civil war soldiers there. I highly recommend it!