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Hoe Cakes for the President

Sue Neitzel

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Well foodies, I've been writing this feature for 7 years now! I've interviewed many of our locals, some famous for writing a book, feeding the homeless, or supporting their families by selling their goods. Pop up home bakeries have sprouted all over, meat producers offering a healthy choice and homesteaders who grow and raise fresh produce. There were also the private people who enjoy the craft of cooking, grill masters, brewers of beer and kombucha. Bakers of cake and those who give their goods to neighbors, storytellers, a rapper, fair food, and many more, all famous too! I've covered all the holidays, celebrated the seasons in food and have found tons of inspiration from the folks I've met. With Memorial Day just ahead, I thought I'd go back to the first article I wrote, and in a timely fashion, it's about our first President, George Washington. Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in service of their country. Martha Washingion was in service too, of the home and kitchen. 
Behind every great man, stands a woman, in the kitchen, cooking for her family on a daily basis, and Martha Washington made sure George ate well. Indeed, she did cook for the President, with breakfast being his favorite meal of the day and always served by 7 am in the kitchen at Mount Vernon.  Once baked on a garden hoe that had been heated in a fire, hoe cakes became a staple on the Washington menu, eaten without rush for the only relaxed meal of the day. George loved his hoe cakes swimming in butter and honey, and being the self-sufficient farmer that he was, raised his own corn for the cakes we now call pancakes. From the fire to the pan, hoe cakes are still the popular breakfast treat in the deep south, where this recipe comes from but doesn't disregard the true spirit of the original recipe.
Hoe Cakes
1 c. self rising flour
1 c. all purpose cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar, optional
2 eggs
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. water
1/4 c. oil
butter for frying
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a larger bowl, add buttermilk, water and oil, blend well. Add the eggs to the wet ingredients and stir well, then combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients in the large bowl and blend well. Heat oil over medium heat and drop batter by large spoonfuls into a hot skillet and fry till brown and crisp. Place on paper towels, serve with syrup or honey. 
Thank you to all the men and women who served our great country! 

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