Isn't this pretty? It's about as pretty as a kooky '50s apron, all colorful and well-loved.
I think the corn loaf pictured here probably dates back to the 50s or earlier. Pat Fusco wrote a, well, I wouldn't call it irreverent, but she wrote a kickass story for the Pacific Sun on funeral food! In certain regions of the country, funeral food (the covered dishes you bring to a grieving family) can be quite competitive. Prettiest, most nourishing, like that.
Makes me suspect scenarios like, "Sorry about your uncle, but wait till you try my Chocolate-Caramel Maple Doodles. When you're ready, hon. I know it's hard."
I couldn't resist this multicolored pan of comfort food from Pat's article. We had everything on hand except for the evaporated milk. We followed the recipe exactly. It seemed a bit odd to me, to be including a little dab of sour cream in there, when you're already flavoring it strongly with cheese. And why add water and evaporated milk? You could just use milk, unless the recipe is from the old ice box days and there was no more ice so the milk went bad, but wait. Where were you storing the sour cream? So it was a little nutty, but fun to try. The minute we pulled it out of the oven, we were all over it like starving zombies. Eat, eat. Snorf.
It was really tasty -- so many flavors -- but horrifyingly filling. (We ate a lot.) Toward the end of our snorfing, we realized this was a dense, nutrient-rich thing, and that, sadly, some of the cornmeal grains remained raw and gritty.
Cranky said, "Would you make this again?"
I said, "Over my dead body."
We wrapped up the leftovers for another day. And the darned thing came back to life!
Think about it. If you're taking this corn loaf to a bereaved family, they are certainly not eating it hot out of the oven, as we did. In fact, it might spend a night or two in the fridge, benefitting from moisturizing treatments.
The recipe works. If you treat it as funeral food.