My mom and grandmothers made this. I can remember it all my life. Being from the south, you saw it with cooked turnip greens or white beans or boiled cabbage and potatoes. It took me years to be able to make it correctly. It suddenly came to me that "boiled water", meant more than water coming to a boil in the microwave!! When I started heating water in my teapot to use, then it finally "came together"!! It is forgiving in that you can keep adding the boiling water, a little at a time, or you can use as much cornmeal as you wish and add the boiling water to the correct consistency.Enjoy...
Put a teapot full of water on the stove to boil. If using a pot, I would probably use at least 2 quarts. You may or may not need all the water.
(*Note: You can use less cornmeal or more, depending on how many you make. Number it makes, depends on how large you make your "rounds".) Put the cornmeal in a large bowl. DO NOT USE a metal bowl as it will be too hot to handle. Make a "well" in the middle of the meal.
Put a skillet on stove with enough oil to fry. Just use your judgement on this. Depending on your skillet, maybe an inch. (I just never give thought to the exact amount of oil).
When water is boiling hot...rolling hard boil....., slowly pour a little in the middle of the meal. Be careful and not let it splash on you. Just judge by the amount of cornmeal you use. Stir the meal into the water. It will get very thick. Slowly add more water until it is the consistency of thick cream of wheat of oatmeal. (The picture pretty well shows the consistency you want it to be.)
Once your skillet with the oil is hot enough for frying, using a large spoon (I use a heaping tablespoon-actual spoon and not a measuring spoon), drop the mixture into the skillet, being cautious not to splash the oil on you. You can gently spread out a little if it seems too thick. Allow it to fry 'til it loosens from the pan. This should be a golden brown. Then turn it and cook 'til that side is a golden brown, or deeper to your taste.
Carefully remove from skillet and put on paper towel lined plate. Serve and enjoy...
Note: When adding the boiling water, if you get it too "wet" you can still use the the mixture. It will take longer to cook and will be thinner as the water cooks off, and be crisper. It will also "spit and splatter" at you when it hits and cooks in the oil. I realize this is not giving "specific" measurements. It really doesn't matter if you use a cup or meal or 4 cups, for a crowd. As long as you have plenty of hot, boiling water and add it slowly. I never use all the teapot of water when I make it. But I make for a smaller number of people now. Please let me know if you have any questions.