food diplomacy through the story of a meal

Archive for hoecakes

The Times They Are A Nutty

For the last several weeks, I have found that EVERYTHING tastes terrible. Dishes sound good, cooking them gives pleasure, however in the taste department, EPIC fail.

I have found that the food I cook, as I did before, just don’t have the same taste after surgery. I have tried to do a bit of internet sleuthing on various medical sites, however, there does not seem t be any explanation for this change, other to than to validate its existence.

I am a few weeks out before I can have raw vegetables, so the desire for freshness is a ways off. I am also willing to try to eat foods that I have not desired or wanted in a long time. Foods that I would never buy or eat I am now trying to see if they can dance on the palate. This has not resulted in a decent meal in weeks.

However, during nutty times in one’s life, turn to the nut for inspiration. This morning I made a pecan hoecake with orange zest that was divine. Topped with sugar-free apricot spread and a large latte. I was thrilled. I have been thinking, non-stop, about pancakes and that I wanted to soft and warm texture that is both sweet and fluffy. While the hoecake is far from fluffy, it’s resemblance to the pancake did the trick.

Hoecakes are a version of the johnnycake popularized in the 1700s. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term hoecake first occurs in 1745, and the origin of the name is the method of preparation: field hands often cooked it on a shovel or hoe held to an open flame. Hoes designed for cotton fields were large and flat with a hole for the long handle to slide through; the blade would be removed and placed over a fire much like a griddle. They are usually made with corn meal, but I used multigrain pancake mix with protein powder, pecans, an egg yolk, almond milk, and vanilla extract, and orange zest.

Happy Labor Day and please remember that as we celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers, both inside and outside the home, that it can be nutty at any time.

To read about women’s contribution to the modern labor movement, please click here.

To view Life magazine’s slideshow about the American worker, please click here.