Author Archives: The Historical Homemaker

In the Kitchen Today…Hoe Cakes

Hoecakes are a traditional American dish and the recipe most likely originated from Native Americans.

Recipes have varied throughout the centuries but have remained basically the same with being a flat cake made of cornmeal mush – with later variations using flour.

George Washington entertained quite frequently at his Mount Vernon estate. Many of President and Mrs Washington’s guests noted hoecakes and honey being a popular breakfast staple with George Washington preferring his hoe cakes “swimming in butter and honey.”

Hoe Cakes Recipe


1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 eggs
2 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (we used cinnamon)
Butter or oil for frying


In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg (or cinnamon) and salt.

Make a well in the center, and pour in milk, water, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Thoroughly mix until pancake mixture is smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. Scoop about 2 tablespoons each of the batter onto the cast iron skillet or frying pan.

Fry each Hoe Cake until brown and crisp; turn with a spatula, and then brown the other side.

Remove and serve immediately with syrup and/or butter.

Today in American History 🇺🇸

Today in American history…Julia Ward Howe was born on May 27, 1819 in New York City. She was an American poet and author who wrote the lyrics to The Battle Hymn of the Republic which was first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862.

She was inspired to write the lyrics to The Battle Hymn of the Republic after meeting President Lincoln at The White House in November 1861. The song was inspired by the popular song “John Brown’s Body” and she changed the lyrics that were set to the music of William Steffe.

Today in American History 🇺🇸

Today in American history…the colorful and exuberant Dolley Madison was born on May 20, 1768 in New Garden (renamed Greensboro), North Carolina. She is often credited with being the ultimate Washington hostess and before she was even First Lady – she assisted with hosting functions during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. One of the best things she is known for (besides her fun hair decorations, colorful clothing and fun parties!) was her heroic actions in saving George Washington’s portrait from The White House.

In a letter to her sister on August 23, 1814, she wrote:

“…Our kind friend Mr. Carroll has come to hasten my departure, and in a very bad humor with me, because I insist on waiting until the large picture of General Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall. The process was found too tedious for these perilous moments; I have ordered the frame to be broken and the canvas taken out …”

The British attacked and burned The White House in 1814 but because of her bravery, we still can view this infamous painting today at The White House.

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