Take an earthen or tin pan, and half fill it with coarse Indian meal, which had best be sifted in. Add a little salt. Have ready a kettle of boiling water. Pour into the Indian meal sufficient hot water (a little at a time) to make a stiff dough, stirring it with a spoon as you proceed. It must be thoroughly mixed, and stirred hard. If you want the cakes for breakfast, mix this dough over night; cover the pan, and set it in a cool place till morning. If kept warm, it may turn sour. Early next morning, as soon as the fire is burning well, set the griddle over it, and take out the dough, a handful at a time. Flatten and shape it by patting it with your hands, till you form it into cakes about the size of a common saucer, and half an inch thick. When the griddle is quite hot, lay on it as many cakes as it will hold, and bake them brown. When the upper side is done, slip a bread knife beneath, and turn them over. They must be baked brown on both sides. Eat them warm, with buttermilk, sweet milk, butter, molasses, or whatever is most convenient. If you intend these cakes for dinner or supper, mix them as early in the day as you can, and (covering the pan) let them stand in a cool place till wanted for baking. In cold weather you may save trouble by mixing over night enough to last the next day for breakfast, dinner, and supper; baking them as they are wanted for each meal. Or they may be all baked in the morning, and eaten cold; but they are then not so palatable as when warm. They will be less liable to stick, if before each baking the griddle is dredged with wheat flour, or greased with a bit of fat pork stuck on a fork. You may cover it all over with one large cake, instead of several small ones.
In America there is seldom a house without a griddle. Still, where griddles are not, these cakes may be baked on a board standing nearly upright before the fire, and supported by a smoothing-iron or a stone placed against the back. Where wood fires are used, a good way of baking these cakes is to clear a clean place in the hottest part of the hearth, and, having wrapped the cake in paper, lay it down there, and cover it up with hot red ashes. It will bake very well, (replenishing the heat by throwing on from time to time a fresh supply of hot ashes,) and when taken out of the paper they will be found sweet and good. The early settlers of our country frequently baked their Indian cakes under the ashes of their wood fires; and the custom is still continued by those who cannot yet obtain the means of cooking them more conveniently.
This cake is so called, because in some parts of America it was customary to bake it on the iron of a hoe, stood up before the fire. It is better known by that name than by any other.