Johny Cakes

I have a soft spot for Americana in general, but especially for American cooking. Recently I came across a recipe for Johny Cakes printed in American Cookery (Project Gutenberg link), the first American cookbook published in 1796. It sounded easy, so I had to give it a shot. Here’s the recipe;

Scald 1 pint of milk and put to 3 pints of indian meal, and half a pint of flower — bake before before the fire. Or scald with milk two pints of the indian meal, or wet two thirds with boiling water, add salt, molasses and shortening, work up with cold water pretty stiff and bake as above.

The problem with recipes from this time period is that they don’t give any information on quantities or cooking times. So I went in blind, adding just a little salt and oil to the mix and baked them for about 15 minutes at 400ºF.

It tastes very…colonial.

All I need now are some bacon drippings and I’m all set. And with some toppings they are actually not that bad.


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