Scientists believe people living in central Mexico developed corn at least 7,000 years ago. It was started from a wild grass called teosinte. Teosinte, also known as maize, looked very different from our corn today. The kernels were small and were not placed close together like kernels on the husked ear of modern corn. Central and South American Indians ground corn into flour, used the sugary corn leaves as a type of chewing gum, and enjoyed the corn as popcorn long before it became a favorite American snack. As the Indian people migrated north to the eastern woodlands of present day North America, they brought this corn with them.
The Native Americans gave corn to the earliest European settlers during their first winter here, which probably saved them from starvation. Native Americans planted their corn kernels with a piece of fish that acted as a fertilizer. The settlers also learned to make many foods prepared by the Native Americans from corn, including bread, fried cakes, pudding, and soups. Corn was even used as money and traded for furs and meat.
Corn was an important part of the diet of many Indian groups. They also used all parts of the corn plant. The husks could be braided and woven to make masks, moccasins, sleeping mats, baskets, and corn husk dolls. Corncobs were used for ceremonial use, for fuel, and for game darts. The origin of corn is told in the stories of many Native American groups. These tales have been preserved as they were told and retold over many generations.
South of the border corn pie
- 1 can of whole corn, drained
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of sugar or maple syrup
- 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
- Non stick cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Put all of the ingredients except the cheese into a large bowl and mix together.
- Lightly spray an oven safe casserole dish with non stick cooking spray, and pour the mixture into the casserole, placing the lid on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the cheese on top.
- Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.