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This family recipe has been handed down from Nora Presnell Farnworth. Nora herself wrote, “this is a whole dinner in itself and makes an excellent winter dish.”

Hot Tamale Pie


2 cups yellow cornmeal

6 cups boiling water

1 medium onion

2 cups hamburger

2 cups canned tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon pepper

salt to taste


Cook cornmeal in salted water until thick.
Chop onion and cook in butter until brown and tender. Add hamburger and cook until the red disappears. Add tomatoes, pepper, and salt.

Put in baking dish with alternate layers of cornmeal and meat mixture, with cornmeal on top. Bake in moderate oven 30 minutes.


Nora Presnell Farnworth prepared hearty meals for her busy farm family. Her thick homemade cookbook is filled with more dessert recipes than anything else. Her recipes sometimes lack complete directions because she took for granted that most people would know the basics of cooking, canning, and preserving from scratch. She was the mother of 7 children, and lived from 1893-1977. Nora was my maternal great-grandmother.

I hope you enjoy this family recipe. Until next time!


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