If you’ve ever had a serving of collard greens or turnips paired with a fresh slice of skillet cornbread, you know there are few flavor combinations that are as tasty or as true to the Southern experience. My Granny was a pro at whipping up the perfect cornbread, but sometimes, when the mood struck, she’d do something even more special. She’d make Hoe Cakes.

Southern Hoe Cakes, sometimes called Johnny Cakes, can be made start-to-finish in under 30 minutes. They are miniature cornmeal pancakes fried to achieve a crispy, golden edge, perfect for soaking up all the delicious potlicker leftover at the end of a meal or for standing up to a jam or sauce.

I remember slathering my helping of these fried delights with Granny’s homemade peach butter when I was a kid. Nothing in the world quite compares to that combination of sweet and savory.

Want to make your own Southern Hoe Cakes? Here’s what you need:

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup bacon drippings

butter

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Combine flour, cornmeal mix, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Combine the buttermilk mixture with the dry ingredients. Add in the water and vegetable oil. Mix.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle until a sprinkling of water ‘dances’ when thrown in the pan. Add bacon grease.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan to form hoe cakes, using about two tablespoons of batter for each. Cook until bubbles form, flip and cook until the bottom is golden. Serve topped with butter.

Kelcey Caulder is a reporter for the Calhoun Times. She was born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia. After spending the last three years in Los Angeles, she’s pretty stoked to be back in the South, where the food is good and the people are friendly. You can email her at KCaulder@CalhounTimes.com.

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