"We wouldn't a lasted long without corn meal," reminisced one Hoosier pioneer. "Corn bread was our staff of life. For several years we had it in some form for breakfast, dinner and supper, never tirin' of it. Sometimes a few coals or a little ashes would get in the cookin', but that didn't matter; we thought it just helped season it some."
Corn Meal was capale of producing a variety of dishes bearing an equal variety of names. THe recipes were similar; variations depended upon where the families came from, what supplies were on hand and how the resulting batter was cooked.
There was hoecake, a Southern dish that had moved North with the settlers and was originally baked on a hoe. Johnnycakes, some said, was a corruption of "Journey Cake" because it was a convenient food to carry in a saddle bag. Others said the name came from the Indian word for a thin griddle cake, "jonakin." It usually was corn meal mixed with water, salt and butter and baked on a clapboard tilted up before a fire. Local settlers fixed something they called johnny hoecakes, basically a sweeted johnnycake plus flour.
A corn dodger was again made from much the same batter, but was generally baked in a spider (a skillet) with legs) or on a griddle.
1 1/2 pounds lean pork
4 cups cold water
2 cups milk
2 cups corn meal
Cover pork with water; bring to boil, then simmer until fork tender. Grind pork. Mix water, milk, corn meal and salt to taste. Bring to boil and cook until thick, stirring almost constantly. Add the pork, mix well and cook togetheer for a few minutes. Pour into a 8 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan and refrigerate overnight. Slice and fry until crisp. Serve hot with butter and syrup. Makes at least 10 servings
NOTE; While reminiscent of the past, these recipes have been updated for today's cooks and kitchens.