1 pound pumpkin or butternut pulp
4½ cups water
1 cup maize meal, mealie flour, polenta, grits, or corn flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar (optional)
Serves 3. Takes 50 minutes.
Remove seeds from pumpkin and discard or use them for something else. Remove 1 pound pumpkin pulp from pumpkin. Cut pulp into ½” cubes. Add pumpkin cubes and water to pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Boil at high heat for 10 minutes or until pumpkin cubes are soft. Stir occasionally. Add maize meal, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until maize meal thickens and has the consistency of porridge. Add water if necessary. Mash with potato masher until there are no pumpkin cubes. Stir with spoon until well blended.
1) Some 2,000 years ago the top warriors of Swaziland would gather around a truly long serving rectangle full of pumpkin porridge, the food of the warrior class.
2) Naturally, all assumed that the person sitting at the north end of the serving rectangle was the warrior with the most authority; the one with the authority over life and death over the rest. The warriors with the second-most authority sat next to the man at the northern end. As you went further south, prestige ebbed further until the poor man would get told mean knock-knock jokes, get sent out for snipe hunts, and drink milk from expired cartons.
3) Then in 914, Wickus, aligned the serving rectangle east-west instead of north-south. That way, no one man would be closest to the north. No single warrior could hold the power of life and death. Unfortunately, it also meant the whole northern half of the table could claim to have lethal authority and the southern side of the table would go on snipe hunts. Things simmered until 916, when Obed led the southern half in rebellion. They’d been saving expired milk cartons for two years. The food fight got stinky in a hurry. The gasping northen warriors gave in. Felix the Wise arranged the peace. He sat the warriors around a round rotating serving table. All would have an equal time sitting at the north. The northern eater would rule fairly and kindly knowing he’d soon be a southern eater. King Arthur stole the idea of the Table Round, but never gave credit to Felix the Wise. Meanie.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.