Today is National Chocolate Day! Here is a fantastic recipe from Mount Vernon for George Washington’s favorite morning beverage: Chocolate Cream. This is very simple and can be made in your own kitchen this weekend – especially fitting with the cool temperatures 🙂
(Picture from Mount Vernon)
It was a wonderful day in the kitchen.
My daughter in law, Alice, and I made Johnny Cakes. What exactly is Johnny Cake? It is kind of like a cornmeal flatbread and you might even be familiar with these other names used throughout history: hoecake, corncake, ashcake and pone. Some think that the name Johnny Cake may have even be derived from the term “journey cake” because the cakes could be taken along on long trips and baked on ones travels. Click here to read more about the history of Johnny Cake.
The recipe we used today is here.
This was very simple and easy recipe to make. It literally took minutes and you most likely have these ingredients right in your kitchen.
Some of our notes from today:
The cakes were savory than sweet. Salty. Very dense. Kind of like a hush puppy.
Not fluffy. The exterior was very crispy. Interior very moist.
Used unsalted butter. Skim milk.
Made a few small cakes (if you want to make a lot – recommend doubling or tripling the recipe)
It was interesting to make the Johnny Cake in a skillet. I imagine the soldiers would have made this the same exact way – except for over a campfire. This recipe was so simple and so easy to make and if you get the chance, I highly recommending you making it in your own kitchen. It truly is so fun to make (and taste) foods that our ancestors once ate and enjoyed.
We spent a wonderful time in the kitchen today with family and friends as we experimented with using an authentic Civil War recipe to make a batch of Molasses cookies. Did you know that one of the most popular foods of the soldiers were Molasses cookies? Sugar was very, very expensive during the war years as well as sugar was slowly processed. Molasses was an alternative choice due to it being less processed (and less expensive).
“A cup of brown sugar, one of molasses, one of lard, half a cupful of boiling water, one spoonful of ginger, one of saleratus (baking soda with impurities), one of salt and flour enough to roll. Beat the sugar, lard, molasses, saleratus and ginger together; then pour on the boiling water and mix in the flour. Roll about three-fourths of an inch thick and cut with round cutter. Bake in a quick oven (375 to 400 degrees)”
Our notes from today: The recipe called for a “spoonful” of a few ingredients and we had to decide whether to use a teaspoon or tablespoon (teaspoon won!) and because we did not have lard on hand, we used margarine in it’s place and seemed to work just fine. We also used Self Rising Flour so that we didn’t need to add in the baking soda and salt. Also, the recipe said to “mix in the flour” and it was a fun time trying to figure out how many cups of flour to use (we used a little over 8 cups). In the end, the cookies came out fabulous and we were very excited to have made an authentic recipe used in the Civil War era.
We used the recipe from Regimental Cooking