In the U.S., it wasn’t until 1863 that President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday, urged by Godey’s Lady’s Book editor Sarah Josepha Hale, for which we are all thankful.
Make this traditional dessert ahead of time and let it cool while you use the oven for the turkey. Reheat it in the microwave and serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Add ½ cup raisins, if you wish.
Preheat oven to 250° F. Bring 2 cups of milk just to a boil in a saucepan. Put the cornmeal in the top of a double boiler and pour the scalded milk over it, stirring constantly. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cornmeal is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients (except the milk) and stir until smooth. Pour the mixture into a buttered 1-½-quart baking dish, pour the remaining 2 cups of cold milk over the top, and set in a pan of hot water. Bake for 3 hours, or until the pudding is firm. Serves 8.