For this edition of Recipes from the Archives, I made a seasonally- and regionally-appropriate treat – Janet Harris Goldiere’s Corn Pudding, from the Davidson Senior Center’s 1985 printing of The Davidson Cookbook.
Davidson Senior Services (later the Davidson Senior Center), open to all town residents over the age of sixty, began operating in September 1977 in the railroad depot building on Jackson Street. The Center sponsored programs (including an income tax assistance service and a Senior/Student Friendship program), day trips, connected volunteers with seniors, put out a yearly newsletter (Tracks), and published three printings of a cookbook (The Davidson Cookbook). The Center closed in spring 2004, but a variation of the Senior/Student program continues to be operated through the Davidson College Presbyterian Church and the College Civic Engagement Council, now known as the Adopt-a-Grandparent program.
As the Cookbook explains, the community-sourced recipes reflect “the unique quality of life in our town, a hospitable place where the old landmark ‘Depot’ houses a lively program of activities and services of older townspeople through DAVIDSON SENIOR SERVICES, the official sponsor and beneficiary of this cookbook project.”
Janet Harris Goldiere (1898 – 1991) was a North Carolina native – born in Macon, in Warren County, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1919, just as the school changed its name from North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College to Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina. As a student, Janet Harris was a member of the Cornelian Literary Society, Classical Club, was a substitute on the sophomore field hockey team.
Janet Harris taught French in public high schools for twelve years, and married Augustin Victor Goldiere (1895 – 1965), a professor of Spanish and French at Davidson College, in 1930. A.V. Goldiere received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He served in the U.S. Ambulance Service in France during WWI, and first arrived in Davidson in 1922, while working on his graduate degrees. A.V. Goldiere taught at the College for nearly 40 years, until retiring in 1963.
Both Goldieres were very active in the Presbyterian Church; Janet served as the President of the Women of the Church and A.V. was President of the Men of the Church of the Concord Presbytery, and he also served as a deacon and elder of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church. Janet participated in several Davidson community organization – she was a member of the Quadwranglers Wives Club, as well as serving as the vice-president and then president of the Davidson Civic Club in 1930s, when the club motto was “Do Something For Davidson.”
After A.V. Goldiere’s death in 1965, Janet Goldiere remained in Davidson. In 1974, she won the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Service to the Community, which each year recognizes a member of the senior class and a member of the community “who have given unselfish service without due recognition” (according to award text from the Davidson College Catalog, 2009 – 2010). At the close of the personal information sheet she submitted to the Davidson Senior Center, Goldiere noted: “Nothing unusual except, perhaps Christmas in Russia with UNC-G and UNC-CH college groups in 1974.”
As further proof of her community spirit, Janet Goldiere served on the Board of Directors for the Davidson Senior Center, and contributed several recipes to The Davidson Cookbook. I chose to make her Corn Pudding – a classic Southern side dish.
I purchased eight ears of sweet corn at the Davidson Farmers Market, and doubled the ingredients in Goldiere’s recipe in order to make more pudding. The recipe is simple – the only area that requires interpretation was the note to “start it at 350° and cut back to 325°” as this doesn’t specify when to lower the heat. I chose to bake the pudding at 350° for the first fifteen minutes, and then reduce the temperature for the remaining 45 minutes. I ended up leaving the pudding in the oven for a few additional minutes, in order to brown the top lightly.
The resulting corn pudding is delicious! The final product is less cake-y or bread-like than some corn puddings, due to the ratio of corn to flour and eggs. This corn pudding really calls for fresh, in-season corn, which is the highlight of the dish. I highly recommend making traditional corn pudding recipes like this one in the summer!