Corn Cakes


Mike Provance

TVWBB Super Fan
2 c self rising white corn meal {Martha White if you can find it}
1 egg
1/3 c oil
Mix egg and flour, Stir in buttermilk to make a smooth batter; Heat1/3 c oil in skillet; Pour oil into batter; Make em like you would a pancake.
They are good enough to stand alone, but put some pulled pig on it, sauce and slaw, close your eyes, and you will briefly be in Hillbilly Heaven

Where I was "raised", my family called these hoe cakes. Legend has it, poor folks took these to the field with them as they "hoe'd" crops. They would stick them in their pockets as snacks between meals.

This was a special treat as we grew up, if Mama took time to fry hoe cakes, instead of a skillet of corn bread. I think her's were made made with corn meal and water, no eggs. Either way..... good stuff.

If you really want a treat. Finish up a good meal of Q and hoe cakes, by taking one, slather it with butter, and cover it with sorghum molasses.
Saw Paula Deen on Food Network make a version of hoecakes. Her story was that hoecakes were actually cooked by workers out in the fields on a clean hoe.

I think I like Steve M.'s story better. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Steve M. Grew up watching Grandma mash butter into
sorghum and eat it on bread/cakes or whatever was handy every day of her life. Lived to be 98. I've been to Mule Town. Used to live in Franklin. Is Herbert's still there?
Chris - that's the problem with most of these cooking shows that try to suburbanize good country cookin'. They can usually get the recipe reasonably close (except they leave out the lard, butter and cream to make it "healthy"), but they butcher the background. Think about it, poor share-croppers, out in the blazing hot cotton/tobacco field working from dawn to dark, "Hey, I'm hungry, how about a snack? I'll whip up some batter with fresh eggs and buttermilk, you wash off your hoe and build a fire." (Sorry, few things irritate me more than somebody, who's not, trying to be Southern)

Mike - small world. Yes Herbert's is still in Franklin. We have a decent place or two in Columbia as well. Speaking of Mule town. I'm cipherin' (for you's guys, that's Southern for "some serious thinking") about a BBQ competition around Mule Day. Over 150,000 people already come into town that weekend. Don't have a clue how to begin.

My Grandpa did the same thing. A bite or two of something sweet "every" meal. He lived to be 96. I have inherited his sweet tooth.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Steve M.:
[qb]Sorry, few things irritate me more than somebody, who's not, trying to be Southern.[/qb] <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I agree that Paula Deen's story sounds questionable, but if you ever watch her on TV, you'll have no doubt that she's Southern.,1974,FOOD_11023_1670938,00.html

Nope, sorry, guys, but hoe cakes WERE cooked over fires, on shovels anyway. Guess hoe-cakes sounded better than "shovel-cakes". It was very common during the civil war when the troops were on the move (ie "journey-cake" becoming known as "johnny-cake", etc). It was also common in the dust bowl days, particularly amongst the "Okies" that had gone to California looking for work. If you look at some of the photography from the camps out there in CA during that time, you'll see them cooking what look like pancakes on the backs of shovels propped over a fire. My grandfather and his brothers used to cook them like that in Texas, just for the fun of it.

Keri C
Smokin on Tulsa Time (turkeys, turkey breasts, chicken, and BB ribs today... and I'm POOPED)
He musta meant ta say "cogitatin'", huh Don?

(Steve, we're just funnin'-- no offense intended.)
I'm going to agree with Keri here. A long time ago, we took our kids to a fall festival. They had recreated a lot of old time things. In one area, they were serving samples of hoe cakes that were being baked on a hoe, over a fire. They said that slaves used to do this in the fields. Steve M said above, he thought his mother's were only made with corn meal, water and no eggs.

I did an internet search and found an old hoe cake recipe, that called for corn meal, water, salt and (optional) sugar. I also read where a long time ago, people used suet or fat back, to grease griddles. A hoe may have been greased that way too.
My fellow WSMers (insert loud "Ha-rumph" and clearing of the throat)..... Let me just say "thank you" for bringing multiple viewpoints of hoe cakes history to my attention. This diversification of proper technique of preparing this humble mixture of corn meal certainly has broadened my horizons. Let me also say, opinions are like...... door knobs, everybody has one.

No harm, no foul.....never thought the hoe cake could generate such a lively discussion. I think no matter how you fry it, the world would be a better place if all ate more cornbread and Q.

Doing my part, from my lowly vantage point.
Well answered Steve. Cornbread and Q. Like PB&J, hot apple pie and vanilla ice cream,(and a big glass of milk), bbq and the WSM.
BTW, ya'll been watchin too many Beverly Hillbilly reruns. No harm - no foul /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Well all I know is that My Momma has some splainin to do. Was a baby born into a sharecroppers family round Dickson, Tn. way. Older sibs saved money and sent her off to college to git her a man. It worked. All this time she was feeding me hoe cakes and callin them corn cakes up there in West "By God" Va. Now I know what I was eatin all these years. Thanks