Sunday, August 14, 2011

Making Hominy II

So far, my experiments in making hominy are big flops. The first batch might have eventually turned to hominy, but I had no clue it was going to take hours and hours of cooking. It looked like a big glop, and it was 2:00 a.m. I abandoned it.

Boiling the corn in the lime solution.

The flop. Maybe Sandy's chickens will like it!

The second batch kind of got there. I only used a quart of corn instead enough for an army (2 quarts). The better part of valor I thought, since my confidence in the finished product was slowly sinking into the mire. I tried boiling the corn for 15 minutes and then letting it soak for 6 hours. Then I started cooking it. After about an hour, many of the kernels were falling apart and many of the kernels weren't soft. I stopped the cooking and rinsed and cooled the mess down. The skins came off with no problem by gently rubbing the kernels together, but the dark nibs wouldn't come out without picking each one out.

The skins have begun to come off, but the nibs aren't going anywhere, darnit.
A noticeable thing was that many of the kernels were dark and becoming rather translucent, and a lesser percentage were the nice bright yellow we're used to and what I consider the way I want hominy to look. I don't know how control that. Again, many of the were falling apart, and trying to separate good from bad was a bigger challenge than I felt like attempting. I couldn't get any good pictures that would show this.

I've got feelers out trying to find someone that's done this before, but am not having much success. Uncle Charles says he has some lye somewhere, and he'll bring me a can when he finds it. Perhaps using lye will work better than the pickling lime.

I can't find the link at the moment, but I found a page by a woman relating her granny's method, using baking soda or lye if she had it. From what I could tell, Granny simply soaked the kernels for days, at least two, at which point she could remove the skins and nibs. I assumed she cooked the hominy to soft after that. I'm going to try that method.

I'm going to go ahead and post this, along with pictures, and continue the learning process. Once I've gotten to where I can do it, I'll make a recipe page for easy reference. One thing I've learned is that sorting corn is a big pain in the patooty.

The feed corn. A 50-pound bag at $9.50.

What I'm calling grist. This is the dust and small particles sifted out of the 50-lb. bag of corn.
I used a sifter with small pea-sized holes for this. This was the first step.

Sorting the corn - the second step. Pick out all shards, cracked kernels, and the smallest ones.
I'm assuming if you grind your own cornmeal, these could be saved for grinding.
Sorted and rinsed corn.

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