Hoe Cakes

hoe cakes

I really wanted to follow a true colonial recipe for my first blog post, and what could be more authentic than hoe cakes in their oldest, simplest form. I scalded cornmeal with boiling water (a technique settlers learned from Native Americans), then baked the batter in small cakes on a pan greased with bacon fat. My source was a recipe in The Williamsburg Art of Cookery said to date from 1776:

“Scald one pint of Indian meal with enough boiling water to make a stiff Batter (about three Cups). Add one Teaspoon of Salt. Drop on hot greased Tin and bake in hot Oven thirty Minutes.”

“Tastes like rocks and sand,” pronounced my seven-year-old daughter. I didn’t think they were quite that bad — not as bad as they looked, anyway…

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