My elders told me the name hoecakes described 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.