Front Matter Why This Story was Written The Leaking Speedwell Searching for a Home After the Storm Wash Day Finding the Corn Attacked by the Savages Building Houses Miles Standish The Sick People The New Home Master White and the Wolf Inside of the House A Chimney Without Bricks Building the Fire Master Bradford's Chimney Scarcity of Food A Timely Gift The First Savage Visitor Squanto's Story Living in the Wilderness The Friendly Indians Grinding the Corn A Visit From Massasoit Massasoit's Promise Massasoit's Visit Returned The Big House Burned The Mayflower Leaves Port Setting the Table What and How we Eat Table Rules A Pilgrim Goes Abroad Making a Dugout Governor Carver's Death Bradford Chosen Governor Farming in Plymouth Cooking Indian Corn The Wedding Making Maple Syrup Decorating the House Trapping Wolves and Pigeons Elder Brewster The Visit to Massasoit Keeping the Sabbath Holy Making Clapboards Cooking Pumpkins A New Oven Making Spoons and Dishes The Fort and Meeting-House The Harvest Festival How to Play Stoolball On Christmas Day When the Fortune Arrived Possibility of Another Famine On Short Allowance A Threatening Message Pine Knots and Candles Tallow From Bushes Wicks for the Candle Dipping the Candles When James Runs Away Evil-Minded Indians Long Hours of Preaching John Alden's Tubs English Visitors Visiting the Neighbors Why More Fish are not Taken How Wampum is Made Ministering to Massasoit The Plot Thwarted The Captain's Indian Ballots of Corn Arrival of the Ann Little James Comes to Port The New Meeting-House The Church Service The Tithingmen Master Winslow Brings Cows A Real Oven Butter and Cheese Settlement at Wessagussett The Village at Merrymount The First School Too Much Smoke Schools Comforts How Children Were Punished New Villages Making Ready for a Journey Clothing for Salem Food for the Journey Before Sailing for Salem Beginning the Journey The Arrival at Salem Sight-Seeking in Salem Back to Plymouth

Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Ways of Cooking Indian Corn

I must tell you of a way to cook this Indian corn which Squanto showed to Captain Standish, and now we have it in all the houses, when we are so fortunate as to have a supply of the wheat in our possession.

It is poured into the hot ashes of the fireplace, and allowed to remain there until every single wheat kernel has been roasted brown. Then it is sifted out of the ashes, beaten into a powder like meal, and mixed with snow in the winter, or water in the summer. Three spoonfuls a day is enough for a man who is on the march, or at work, so Captain Standish says, and we children are given only two thirds as much.

Mother says it is especially of value because little labor is needed to prepare it; but neither Sarah nor I take kindly to the powder.

The Indians also steep the corn in hot water twelve hours before pounding it into a kind of coarse meal, when they make it into a pudding much as you would in Scrooby; but mother likes not the taste after it has been thus cooked before being pounded, thinking much of the fine flavor has been taken from it.

Sometimes we make a sweet pudding by mixing it with molasses and boiling it in a bag. It will keep thus for many days, and I once heard Captain Standish say that there were as many sweet puddings made in Plymouth every day as there were, housewives.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Next fall we shall have bread made of barley and Indian corn meal, so father says, and I am hoping most fervently that he may not be mistaken, for both Sarah and I are heartily tired of nookick, and of sweet pudding, which is not very sweet because we have need to guard carefully our small store of molasses.

We girls often promise ourselves a great feast when a vessel comes out from England bringing butter, for we have had none that could be eaten since the first two weeks of the voyage in the Mayflower.

Squanto often tells us of a kind of vegetable, or fruit, I am not certain which, that grows in this country, and is called a pumpkin. It must be very fine, if one may judge by his praise of it, and we are looking forward to the time, when it shall be possible to know for ourselves.