My elders told me the name hoecakes were a descriptive term describing how the slaves cooked their cornbread on their hoes’ blades while working in the field. The hoecake recipe made in the field was cornmeal, salt and water.

2 cups cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon butter flavored shortening or bacon drippings. Melt the fat, set aside. Get out a bowl, add the cornmeal, salt, and baking powder, mix well. Add the shortening, slowly add enough water to make a soft dough. Scoop enough of the dough to make a ball about the size of a golf ball. Flatten out the ball to a 1/2 inch cake, set it aside. Get out a heavy skillet or a griddle. Lightly grease the skillet or griddle. Heat oil to medium. Add the cakes cook until browned. Flip and brown on the other side.  

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