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Nov 5, 2008 11:05 AM

Any fans of "gritted bread"?

Staple food of my childhood. During that period in late summer when the field corn was not dry enough yet for cornmeal, we often made gritted bread.

The not-quite-dry ears were rasped across a 18" long, 6" wide flat sheet of tin pierced with nails (with a rough surface much like a large nutmeg grater).

The milky, starchy, semi-ground corn mass then was mixed with eggs, some flour, a dash of soda, and baked in a pone in a well-greased pan. Crusty/crispy on the outside, a little gooey and slightly sweet on the inside, with excellent corny flavor.

This was a wonderful foil for other summer garden truck served as a meal: quick pickles, sliced tomatoes, gravelled potatoes, maybe some chicken-fried venison if we were lucky.

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  1. That sounds really good. What are gravelled potatoes? They sound like the perfect accompaniment to "gritted bread."

    1 Reply
    1. re: hennybee

      Sorry it took so long to reply. Off the grid for a while.

      "Gravelled taters" are something you'll have to have access to a garden for. When the potato plants are not quite ready to blossom, you can dig around the base with a potato fork (or use a strong-tined pitchfork), being careful not to skewer any taters. The best ones will be the size of a marble up to the size of a ping-pong ball, no larger. Regardless of variety (other than fingerlings) they should cook up incredibly sweet and delicious. The new potatoes available in the grocery are not really comparable.

      Some of the German-tradition families put a white sauce on the potatoes, but I regard that as gilding the lily. Just boil them up soon after bringing them in from the garden. A little butter can be added and mash them on the plate.

      Even after this you can replant the plant and get another crop.

      As for gritting corn, buy a ski mask, the kind that covers your face. In late August, choose a corn field...... Or make friends with a farmer!

    2. Yes, please... Tell us what gravelled potatoes are. It sounds like you grew up with some good country cookin'. Now I'm wondering where to get not-quite-dry field corn. When my mother told us we weren't born in a barn, we didn't know what we were missing!

      1 Reply
      1. re: CJW

        I was curious about the gravelled myself so did a search. I may be completely off but it looks as though gravelled potatoes are imature new potatoes "gravelled" up with a fork, then cooked in a white sauce.

        Hopefully I'm doing this right and the link for this book review (My Appalachia) will work. Its where I found the info on gravelled potatoes. Interesting.

      2. Wow, when i was growing up (a long time ago) in north central texas, my grandmother who always had a huge garden would make "gritty bread" just as you have written it except that i remember that she added the grated corn to her cornbread recipe. It made a moist almost chewy corn bread that was yet another reason we loved to go to grandma's house. The first was the 40 and 50 pound watermellons some of which were yellow meated. yum yum

        1. You paint a nice picture. What, please, is gravelled pots?

          1. Meandering around the Top 10 Roundup for 2008 and came across this delightful post. I just love reading stories about home cooking like this! It's historical as well as useful. Thanks for the great post!