The Cornmeal. The Hoe

The dishes in which the South excel, and which may be called distinctive to that section, are those made of cornmeal, of gumbo or okra, and those seasoned with sassafras powder or twigs. The cornmeal used in the South is white and coarse-grained (it is called there water-ground), and gives quite a different result from that which is finer in grain and yellow in color, which is usually sold at the North. The hoe used for baking corn-cakes is an article made for the purpose, and not the garden implement usually asso.


Sift a quart of white cornmeal, add a teaspoonful of salt; pour on enough cold water to make a mixture which will squeeze easily through the fingers. Work it to a soft dough. Mold it into oblong cakes an inch thick at the ends, and a little thicker in the center. Slap them down on the pan, and press them a little. These cakes, they say, must show the marks of the fingers. The pan must be hot, and sprinkled with the bran sifted from the meal* Bake in a hot oven for about twenty minutes.

Hoe-Cake No. 1

Make the same mixture as for pone. Spread it on the greased hoe, or a griddle, making a round cake one-quarter inch thick. Bake it on the top of the range, turning and baking it brown on both sides.

Hoe-Cake No. 2

Use for these cakes, if possible, coarse water-ground white meal. Add to a quart of meal a teaspoonful of salt; pour over it enough boiling water to make it a soft dough; add also a little milk to make it brown better. Let it stand an hour or longer, then work it together with the hand. Form it into little cakes an inch thick, and bake on a greased griddle till browned on both sides. Serve very hot. They are split and spread with butter when eaten.

Kentucky Corn Dodgers

Mix a teaspoonful of salt with a cupful of white cornmeal. Scald it with just enough boiling water to dampen it; then add enough cold milk to enable you to mold it. Stir it well together, and form it into cakes three quarters of an inch thick in the middle and oblong in shape. Use a tablespoonful of dough for each cake. Bake them on a greased pan in a hot oven for twenty-five minutes.

Maryland Beaten Biscuit

Add a teaspoonful of salt and tablespoonful of butter to a quart of flour. Rub them together, then add a cupful of milk, and, if necessary, a little water, making a stiff dough. Place the dough on a firm table or block, and beat it with a mallet or rolling-pin for fully half an hour, or until it becomes brittle. Spread it half an inch thick; cut it into small circles, and prick each one with a fork. Bake them in a hot oven about twenty minutes.

Soft Corn-Bread

Mix a tablespoonful of butter with two cupfuls of hot boiled hominy or of rice; add two or three well-beaten eggs, and then add slowly two cupfuls of milk, and lastly a cupful of white cornmeal and a dash of salt. Turn the mixture, which should be of the consistency of pancake batter, into a deep dish, and bake about an hour. Serve it with a spoon from the same dish in which it is baked.