Today I want to share a common recipe with readers. If you grew up in a rural area during the Depression or a time when money was less than usual, your mom/granny/auntie/ or that wonderful person who cared for you surely made HOE CAKES. I put my sample photo on Instagram only to find some similar ones showing a hoe cake dressed up. I made mine from cornmeal mix and made them thin as were the old-timey ones.
The two best ways to eat these, warm or cold, is to have on hand old fashioned butter like the brand put out by the Amish. Tastes like the kind my grandmother made when she churned. She made a lot of these hoe cakes. She put them on top of the wood stove, which held heat, and any time of the day, family could grab one, slather it with cane syrup or use the home made butter.
For a memory lift I warmed two and poured local-produced cane syrup, dark and thick, over the cakes. A treat that carried me back to age five. This is easy to make with a mix. However:
Hoe cakes, according to dear Mother, were made with plain cornmeal and water. Nothing added like baking powder results in a flatter cake. She related her job as a pre-schooler of taking lunch to her brothers and the field hands in a metal bucket. Most ate with nothing added, as utensils weren't handy in the cotton field. The field hands in the early 1900s had nothing more to eat than that for their evening meal. At lunch they ate a slab of meat and a couple of hoe cakes and kept working throughout the afternoon. When we kids were left to our own play, we stopped long enough in the afternoon to snatch a hoe cake, swat it across the butter still sitting on the dinner table, and run to finish our game. Biscuits from breakfast were available until noon. Biscuits were big enough for us to punch a hole with our forefinger and fill with syrup. Umm, makes my mouth water.
The next time you are in a restaurant and hoe cakes are on the menu, chances are the chef has dolled them to resemble a taste of corn bread smothered in seafood, roast beef, onions, and served it for a price that is ridiculous. Try them yourselves, give them a topping, and show them off at your next meal.