In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Add boiling water and shortening; stir until shortening melts.
Pour oil or bacon fat to a depth of 1/2 inch in a large skillet and heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Shape cornmeal mixture into flattened balls using a heaping tablespoon as a measuring guide. Fry each in hot oil, turning once, until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve at once with maple syrup or honey.
You can use bacon grease in place of the shortening, if desired.
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