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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cornbread Hoe Cakes

 
Since this blog is called 'Sweet Tea and Cornbread', I thought I might want to get around to talking about those things.  They are both pretty much staples of the southern table.  Hoe cakes are a type of fried, flat cornbread that look sort of like pancakes.  They are perfect with dried beans (pinto, white, mixed), soups, greens, and stews because they are so good for what really country, southern people call...soppin'.

The story is that the hoe cake came to be known as the hoe cake, because back in the day the field hands working in the crops had only some corn meal and water or maybe milk and their hoes to cook on over a hot fire. They would mix this mixture of corn meal and water or maybe milk up, clean their hoe off, and put it over a hot fire to cook the bread on  the flat surface.  Some even say it might go all the way back to the Indians who did make something very similar to the hoe cake, and many still do, called Indian fry bread or a Johnny cake.  However they came to be, done right, they are wonderful.

I see lots of variations on hoe cake recipes, but this is the recipe my mother taught me years ago.  I do add a couple of things she doesn't, but basically the same.




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Start by mixing together an egg, 1 cup self rising flour, 1 cup self rising corn meal, 1 cup milk or buttermilk, 1 Tbs sugar, and 1/2 Tbs baking powder.  If you use buttermilk, you might need to add 1/4 cup water because it makes it a little thicker.  Mix all ingredients well.


Heat vegetable oil in a skillet just to coat it on medium high heat.  When you pour batter in it should sizzle, but no smoke.  You can use a nonstick skillet or an iron skillet or a griddle if you have one.  I just use a nonstick skillet.  Don't crowd them because you have to have room to turn them.


Do not flip until they start to bubble and get little craters in them, then you can turn them without them falling apart.   They are pretty much done now and just need to brown on the other side.




Cook on the other side for about 3-5 minutes or until brown and you have delicious hoe cakes. Here is a helpful tip, do not be tempted to press down on these once you flip them.  They are not hamburgers and pressing on them will make them tough and dense not light.  It's a pet peeve of mine..lol.  I thought it must be a thing with just me, but I heard one of my aunts say that irritated the heck out her when somebody mashed on her hoe cakes after she flipped them. It's genetic...lol.  So many things are it seems.


Ingredients:

1 egg
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup self rising corn meal
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1 Tbs. sugar (optional, it's not enough to really make a huge difference)
1/2 Tbs. baking powder (you can leave this out, but it makes the hoe cakes rise up really nice)
vegetable oil
 
***If you cannot buy self rising cornmeal and self rising flour in your area, use all purpose and add  tsp. baking powder,  1 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp. salt.   If you can buy self rising, invest in some, it just makes better cornbread.

108 comments:

  1. These are a favorite of mine!!! This makes them look simpler to make than what I've experienced. Thank you for making a current reference to them.

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  2. My dad would make these and now I do, this is my favorite way to eat cornbread especially with stew!

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    1. I love them. mom always made extra so we could break em up in a glass about 2/3 of the glass and then poor milk over them. Great snack, also great as a meal to me.

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    2. mom would make these with stew or butter beans and peas and she'd make extra so we could break em up in about 3/4 of a glass then fill it up with milk. Would make a great supper all by there selves. Oh the good old days!

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  3. Try making with Alabama Corn mean in a white bag. I don't measure, so it's hard to tell someone how much to use. Can get at Wal Mart. mix in around a TBL Flour, 1 egg, tsp garlic powder, a little seasoning salt & pepper and see how you like it. Mother in Law from GA taught me how to make it, but like you, I have added some of my own ingredients. She just did the Cornmeal, water, salt & pepper. I am gonna have to try with a little buttermilk next time. Yummy! I can't fry enough for my bunch. Everyone keeps wanting more. Thanks

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    1. This is the ONLY cornmeal would ever use. She used a certain spoon and would use 7 hraping cornmeal and 6 heaping self rising flour...she also used just water, salt and pepper and then would deep fry them...they were so light and fluffy...size of golf balls...so good with iced tea...I could make a meal with just thaose 2 things....~~~

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    2. Add a little onion and you'd have hush
      puppies....right?

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  4. Do you have to use self-rising flour? I've never seen self-rising corn meal...

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    1. Look for Self Rising Corn Meal Mix, there are several brands such as Martha White, Aunt Jemima and White Lily come to mind.

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    2. Martha White makes it and calls it HOT RISE

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  5. Emily - I know Martha White brand makes a self rising corn meal... It's usually a white corn meal.

    My problem is that I now live in the Pacific NW and I can't find self rising corn meal... How much leavening should I use?

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    1. Do it the same way as you would make your own self-rising flour. 1 1/2 tsp. baking poder and 1/2 tsp. salt per cup. sift together and use as self-rising.

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  6. I loved Hoe Cakes when growing up in NC

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  7. I loved Hoe cakes when growing up as a boy in NC!

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  8. Replies
    1. No. Cornbread that looks like pancakes!!!

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    2. Try eating them with maple syrup, yum !

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  9. Is this what we call pancakes in the south?

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    1. Pancakes would not use the Corn Meal. Hoe Cakes are like Corn Bread and have the same grainy feel.

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    2. For pancakes you would omit the cornmeal. Hoe cakes have the same grainy texture as cornbread.

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    3. this is the same recipe as if you were baking cornbread.. I do not put sugar in my hoe cakes.. makes it sweet and I don't like sweet cornbread.

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  10. I use Martha White self-rising corn meal mix. Just add egg, tablespoon sugar and some milk.... easy as pie. I had some tonight! :)

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  11. I grew up on eating these with beans and rice and we had called it a meal. My Mom called them fritters...

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  12. Eat them plain or serve just like pancakes with butter and syrup? Just wondering cause there are probably endless ideas on the how to.

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  13. My mother made what she called "corncakes". We would slather with cow butter and drown with homemade molasses. Mmmm!

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  14. http://www.google.com/shopping/product/1841533057714409643?q=corn%20meal%20mix&hl=en&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bpcl=38897761&biw=1600&bih=775&sa=X&ei=yrSzUKzjMcPE0QHQiYCgDQ&ved=0CKUBEPMCMAg

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  15. My grandmaw put chopped onions in hers.I don't have her recipe and she passed away several years ago.But they sure was good i'm trying one of the recipes above with good sweet onions in it.

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    1. Try 1 cup cornmeal
      chopped onion
      dash of salt
      enough boiling water to mix but not enough for mixture to pour
      Drop by spoonfuls into enough heated oil to cover bottom of skillet
      Mash down with fork to make thin
      Makes thin crispy corn cakes

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    2. I put chopped sweet onion in mine & also my corn bread

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    3. this recipe sounds like what my momma called "corn pones"...hmmmm...gerry

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    4. Ahh! Hot water cornbread recipe! Thank you!

      That's how my great granny made them. Plain (not self rising) ground yellow meal (in a yellow sack with blue lettering I believe) and hot water to mix, salt and pepper. Then fried in her cast iron skillet in.jot lard. Slathered in butter and fresh onto the brown paper sacks she laid them out on.

      Every single meal growing up.

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    5. Thank you ladies for delightful comments and sweet southern conversation. I am here in Pacific NW, learning something of your food and culture! I would love to spend time in the South, just to learn your secrets and family food traditions!

      But, I'll do the best I can ! Love this Facebook page!

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  16. My Granny used to make them and they was like a taste of heaven

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  17. In some areas, mainly not in the south, I understand that they do not sell self rising corn meal or flour. Just add 2 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt to these and they will be fine with plain flour and corn meal.

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    1. Clarify please
      2tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt to BOTH the plain flour and corn meal
      or
      just to the whole recipe

      I'm 61 and I can not IMAGINE not having self-rising corn meal and self-rising flour available ! Thanks for the warning.! lol --- I definitely would have to research a place if I were going for an extended visit or to live !!! lol

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    2. In the northeast I could never find self-rising flour or cornmeal. I'd learned to make cornbread and biscuits as a child, so I had to get used to adding the baking powder and salt separately. But now I have certain favorite brands, which aren't self-rising, so even though I've been back in the South for a year, I still add the leavening separately.
      You do get used to it! :)

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    3. I'm from north Carolina and we DO sell self rising flour and corn meal.

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    4. North Carolina is considered the South last time I checked. The areas that do not sell self rising are NOT in the South.

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    5. You sure can find in ohio. .

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    6. No problem finding in ohio. .the flour or the corn meal..

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  18. Sarah Pickett, these are mainly eaten with savory foods as a bread. Foods like dried beans, collard greens, potatoes, soups, stews and such. I do understand that some folks put syrup on them, but we never did. They are primarily eaten with your meal as the bread. They are not the same as pancakes, they are mostly cornmeal based.

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    1. When making these I always eat with my meal as a bread but I also slather with butter and syrup or honey for my desert. I prefer the hoe cake to regular cornbread. There's nothin better with a bowl of Navy beans, greens, and good ole cabbage than a hot batch of fried up corn cakes. Daddy always had hoe cakes and buttermilk as a bedtime snack.

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    2. ummm... cabbage and cornbread, now I'm hungry!

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  19. I love your site! My grandma used to make these and she passed away last year. So now I can continue to make them. Thanks so much!
    Pam

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  20. Why do you add baking powder when both the flour and cornmeal are self rising? Never heard of this!

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    1. notice it is not adding much baking powder- this amount just makes them "lighter"/(fluffier-as some of us call it :). )
      But if you are one who is going to mash them down after flipping- might as well skip the baking powder ! :)

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  21. I'm putting some crushed red peppers in mine, and some sweet onions :) I think it sound delish!!

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  22. My husband is making pork chops in our electric skillet(yes, we still use one!)tonight, and he asked me to make some hoe cakes. I haven't made them in years, but I remembered you recipe, and it sounded just like the one my Granddaddy and my Mom made. So thanks for saving my day!
    Terri McGregor

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  23. Hmm...bowl of pintos with vidalia onions and chow chow, maybe some turnip greens, boiled taters and hoe cakes. Burp!

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    1. My thoughts exactly!!!

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    2. Robert that sounds right tasty, my mother never made hoe cakes but she did make hotwater cornbread to go with beans, greens and taters. She also made chow chow every summer with chopped green tomatoes, cabbage, onions, and hot pepper with vinegar, sugar and salt. She usually put up several batches every year and it was delicious. Her hot water cornbread was nothing but cornmeal a small amount of flour & salt mixed in then enough boiling water to make a dough that will hold together and make a ball. She would make patties wide as her hand and fry them in hot oil. they were wonderful.

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  24. I was raised with a variation of this. My mother used to get boiling water, mix it with self-rising cornmeal, and fry until crisp. We always called it "hot water cornbread".

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    1. Thanks, I was watching for this. 2 cups self rising cornmeal, add boiling water to make a very thick/stiff. Make into patties.Fry as above.
      Be careful making the patties-HOT!
      Janet, have not thought of this in years.
      My family loved "Hot water cornbread!"

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  25. I love to eat these with lots of butter and a sliced tomato with a little salt and pepper... in other words it's a sandwich made with corn bread...delicious!!!

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  26. I wouldn't call these "fritters" as someone above said. I make "fritters" and they have kernels of corn in them. I serve them with honey. There is a difference.

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    1. They could be called fritters. Actually "fritters" means fried bread. What you make is actually called corn fritters, which I also make. But there are also apple fritters, zucchini fritters, cheese fritters, the list goes on...

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  27. Finally! A recipe for fried cornbread! My MIL makes it from memory and she won't give me the recipe! These look just like what she makes!

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    1. I think that is very selfish of your MOL! I hope yours are even better than hers!

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  28. So just add 2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt each for the flour and corn meal if you can't get self rising in either? So then would you omit the baking powder in the recipe itself?

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  29. Just made these last evening, i put dried minced onions in mine. All of my family love them.

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  30. Blessed momma, you add that to the entire recipe and omit the baking I added to the main recipe.

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  31. I love these, I make them all the time! Never added baking soda though, but gonna' do it the next time :)

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  32. I grew up eating these with diced onion in the mix. That's the way I fix them now.. my family wont eat them unless they have onion in them

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  33. Being from Kentucky I grew up eating these! And they are passed down from generation to generation. I love all the new recipes, but its nice to see the old ones still around. Traditions are becoming a thing of the past. And hoe cakes have always been a tradition in my family.

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  34. Very similar to "dabs", as they call them,
    at the coast of NC.

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  35. The beauty of this bread is the recipe is very forgiving. I've often made them with only the self rising corn meal and buttermilk only. Still delicious! Try them with honey or jam after you've finished the beans. :)

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  36. I eat these all the time but I put pancake syrup on mine.

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  37. @ JoyeoueButterfly Make your own corn meal mix self Rising. For each cup place 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, in a one cup measuring cup Fill remainer of cupwith corn meal.

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  38. Call them whay you may they are delicious. My Mama Webb made them for us to have with coffee at breakfast, at dinner with beans and greens and we ate them as left-overs; cold with cold milk, at supper. When I was feeding my seven children I would just stand at the stove cooking until the line was gone and they were full.They didn't make it to the dinner table.

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  39. My grandma used to cook these for us but she formed it in a loaf pan and sliced it each morning and fried it topping with syrup and butter. It was called "fried cornmeal mush".

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  40. These are so good with fresh home canned peaches......

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  41. I use Jiffy corn bread mix and absolutely love them!!

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    1. Hmmmmmmmm! I never use Jiffy for "eating" cornbread (I have a go-to recipe I love), but have one box on hand for recipes that need it, and such. I'll fry it like hoe cakes, great idea!

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    2. Me too! Been making these with Jiffy since my son was in grade school, but I sprinkled them with powdered sugar. Yum! We called them Indian Pancakes. He's 34 now and still asks for them when he visits me!

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  42. I think it is important to pass down these recipes to our children...keeps our heritage alive. By the way, I'm hungry that I have read all the comments...gotta go make some now !!

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  43. Alabama white corn meal is the best. Sometimes I just add salt and water to the meal and fry in a cast iron skillet....love em with greens, cabbage, beans...love the history of the "hoe"....

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  44. I grew up eating this. My mother made them and they were called cornbread pones. Served them with fresh peas.fresh butterbeans, homegrown tomatoes, vidilia onions, fried okra, and you just didn't need a meat because it was all sooooo good. Still make them myself. In fact my youngest son, who is now 43, ask me this past Easter Sunday, didn't I make something that looked kinda like pancakes out of cornbread when he was going up. Good ole middle Georgia home cooking! Love it (would never mess it up with syrup either)

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  45. iadd onions and grated cheese to mine aand as john wayne said they are corn dodgers

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  46. I have been looking for this recipe for years. I asked all the old country people I came across. no one knew what I was talking about. guess asked the wrong ones. THANKS.

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  47. My Grandfather made these and we would devour them with homemade butter and molasses. So delicious!!

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  48. My husband grew up in eastern NC and his grandmother and many of the older ladies around us cook what they call corn fritter cakes. The mix is only cornmeal(I use self rising) and water. They fry them in bacon grease. Sure these are not low fat, but with beans and cabbage/collards, etc. they are absolutely wonderful. Thin, flat, and crispy.

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  49. Add some canned corn to mix , delish

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  50. I MADE SOME LAST NIGHT. I ADDED A LITTLE BUTTER TO THE SELFRISING MEAL AND SOME SWEET MILK. THEY WERE DELICIOUS.

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  51. Momma made these when I was growing up. She called them Corn Bread Batter's. Why? I don't know. She also called Corn Dogs, Dandy Dogs. I have her recipe for that batter as well and will share soon.

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    1. I always wondered what corn dogs were made of & how you make them. That. Would be nice to have the recipe

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    2. I've always wondered how you make corn dogs; never had a recipe

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  52. and all ya gotta do next is "slatter" them in butter!!! I remember my mama's cakes looking a little flatter but can't wait to walk down memory lane and cook me up some hoe cakes!!!

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  53. To my mind, onions are delicious in these but then, I'd call them hush puppies instead of hoe cakes.

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  54. No self respecting southerner puts sugar in their cornbread.

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  55. I grew up in Ms.and we ate lots of corn bread.
    We loved hoe cakes with vegetables. I do not like sugar in my corn bread and it is not suppose to be sweet. Jiffy does have sugar in the mix and That is not true southern corn bread.

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  56. this is how we ate it growing up, there were no pancakes when you lived in the country

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  57. can you use jiffy cornbread mix..trying to find a quicker way.. jus askin

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  58. My grandmother made the boiling water version and fried them in crisco. She called them corn dodgers. They were brown and actually a little tough on the outside but moist and tender inside. Yum! She also made chow chow to serve over navy beans. This was in Texas and now I live in the great Pacific NW. Glad to still have many of her and my mother's recipes.

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  59. what? no oil in the batter?

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    1. No, no oil in the batter. It's just not necessary.

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  60. I mix Bisquick, egg, and cornmeal. Same results and then fry.

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  61. My aunt and dad use to make these with tomato gravy!! Yummy!!

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  62. i add sauted ,finely chopped onions, black pepper to mine also.. kinda like hushpuppies

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  63. It was little ole me asking for the recipe....TY so much...hubby thanks you even more...LOL

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  64. I don't like them using flour. Just corn meal, egg and milk. I don't measure so I always guess. I get it just where I can spoon it in the hot grease. Not too thick and not too thin. They are wonderful. Don't watse your time on the flour though. It ruins them.

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    1. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it, but the flour makes all of the difference in the world. This is my recipe that my mother passed down to me and we have made for years and I don't see it changing anytime soon!

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  65. My Mom made a large batch of her fried corn bread on Christmas Eve to use in the Cornbread Dressing for Christmas Dinner. I have never had better dressing...ever! She melted cheddar cheese on some for our supper that night of ham, potato salad and corn bread. Great childhood memories!!

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  66. Fried green apples, butter and hoecakes!

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  67. I'm from Georgia and my mother made what we call fried corn bread, the recipe is very similar to yours with self rising cornmeal/ self rising flour etc. We ate it with savory foods, she also made what we called a hoe cake, just self rising flour and pinch of salt and we buttered it poured cane syrup over it or poured the syrup on our plates and mixed the butter into the syrup and sopped it. Still do it the same way today ,yummy!

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    1. Yes, my grandmother made hoe cakes from a biscuit like dough and corn cakes from cornmeal with hotwater, cornmeal, flour and S&P. WE ate our hoe cakes with sorghum syrup mixed with real butter and sopped them. The corn cakes had NO sugar but a bit of flour and were fried in hot grease til golden brown. We ate these with veggies and beans Also with a glass of cold milk for an evening meal. Yummmmmm
      ootj

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    2. What kind of liquid did she use in your hoe cake ?

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  68. If you serve these as savory...not sweet, they taste great if you fry them in bacon grease instead od butter or oil : )

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