Dried Corn & Chestnuts
(A Pennsylvania Dutch
Thanksgiving side dish)
This is a very traditional Thanksgiving side dish in my family. Growing up in Indiana my family was blessed with the produce from two chinese chestnut trees that my Father had planted in 1950.
Our supply of dried corn came by mail from my Grandmother in Neffs, Pennsylvania. Unfortunatly John Cope's dried corn isn't available in Colorado stores,
and the chestnuts are imported from France and also difficult to find. One must plan several weeks ahead to special order these items.
The chestnuts magically appeared in a local market marked down to "only" $2.99 per jar. I immediatly purchased three jars and reserved them for future Thanksgivings.
James Speed Hensinger
7.5 0z. bag John Cope's Toasted Dried Sweet Corn (There are also tin box packages available for gifting. Contains the same product.)
5 cups cold milk
2.5 Tbs. melted butter
1.5 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 well-beaten eggs
25 whole chestnuts, roasted, peeled, skinned, and quartered. (Fresh is bestter than jarred.)
OR 1 7.4 oz. jar whole roasted chestnuts (cut in quarters)
(Minerve brand from Source Atlantique, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632-2508) (Source for your store to special order) (Amazon source)
(or Google for "whole roasted chestnuts").
Pre-heat oven to 375. Cooking time is 1.5 - 2 hours.
In a 6-8 cup covered bowl, soak the corn in 2 cups of milk overnight in the refrigerator.
On day of serving, add the butter and stir.
Add remaining ingredients and stir
Pour mixture into a two quart buttered baking dish
Place in oven un-covered
After 20-30 minutes stir gently to re-levitate corn.
Check for doneness. (Top browned slightly and a wooden toothpick or skewer comes out clean)