The other day I was watching Paula Deen on the Food Network. Well, I hate to admit it but I do love Paula and her penchant for BUTTER! Ya'll, Sandra and I do try to eat healthy. Soooo I hesitate to use Paula's recipes because of the high fat content, and I am not much on frying food. Oh, yeah, Ya'll, cookies don't count because Ya'll just have to use BUTTER to make a good cookie.....and honestly, I have never found a healthy cookie that was worth eating because they usually don't contain BUTTER!
Paula was talking about Hoecakes. They serve these delectable little cornmeal cakes at her Savannah, Georgia restaurant Lady and Sons.
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Okay, let's step back into history and learn where and how the Hoecake originated. Historically speaking, cotton was the main farm crop around 1745. The hoes designed for cotton fields were large and flat with a hole for the long handle to slide through. The farm hands at lunchtime would stop work and build a fire, then let the fire burn down to a bed of coals. The blade of the hoe was washed in a creek and the handle was removed. The workers would have brought a mixture of corn meal and salt in a mason jar with them to the field. They would use fat back to oil the hoe blade then place the blade on the hot coals. A little water was added to the jar until the texture was just right. This batter was then cooked on the hot hoe. Hoecakes were created.
Hoecakes are also called Journey or Johnnycakes. These were an early American staple food. These cakes were baked on a wooden board or barrel stave at an angle in front of an open fire.
Traditional Hoecake Recipe
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
oil for frying
Put the tea kettle on to boil. In a large bowl combine the corn meal and salt. When the water boils, measure it in a metal or tempered-glass measuring cup. Pour the boiling water over the cornmeal and stir it up. The cornmeal will swell up, absorbing the water, and making a very thick mash.
Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. You can use as little as two tablespoon of oil per panful, but it is a little easier to use 4 or 5 tablespoons of oil for each panful. Use your waistline and frying skill as the final judge. Now scoop up a little of the cornmeal mush (about 1/4-cup) and shape it into a patty. It will still be warm from the boiling water, so be careful not to burn yourself. You can let it cool down some more first if you like. Plop the patty into the hot fat, and get it to frying. Make some more, until you have a whole pan full. I usually cook about 4 or 5 at a time. When the underside is crispy brown, turn them and cook the other side. When both sides are crispy and brown, transfer them to a plate to keep warm, and start another batch. This recipe makes about 12 hoe cakes.
recipe from www.hillybillyhousewife.com
Paula Deen's Lady and Sons
Ya'll will need:
1 C. self-rising flour
1 C. self-rising cornmeal, or from a mix (recommended Aunt Jemima's
1 Tbls. sugar
3/4 C. buttermilk
1/3 C. plus 1Tbls. water
1/4 C. vegetable oil or bacon grease
Oil, butter or clarified margarine, for frying
Now, Ya'll these are the directions:
Mix well all ingredients, except for the frying oil. Heat the frying oil or butter in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter by the tablespoon into the hot skillet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula and then brown the other side. With a slotted spoon, remove each hoecake to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Leftover batter will keep in the frig for up to 2 days.
After much soul searching and waistline analyzing I think I will make the traditional hoecake recipe. If Ya'll hadn't noticed the traditional recipe has no added fat, Paula's has 1/3 C. added fat, 2 eggs and buttermilk. Need I say more.
Now Ya'll let's get busy cookin'. Oh, by the way, I put a pot of beans on the stove this morning. We will have brown beans, hoecakes and a green salad fresh from the garden with homemade Honey Mustard Dressing for lunch Ya'll hungry yet?
Unidentified workers in cotton field
"Texas leads the U.S. in cotton production and it is our leading cash crop, ranking only behind the beef and nursery industries in total cash receipts. Texas annually produces about 25% of the entire U.S. crop and plants over 6 million acres! That’s over 9,000 square miles of cotton fields." This information is from the Texas A & M Cotton Program website.
SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOTIn 1840, the hymn “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” was penned by Wallace Willis, the black slave of a Choctaw Indian.