HOECAKES, HOMEMADE PEACH PRESERVES AND BUTTER

Before the days of fast foods, pizza deliveries, or convenience store delicacies, there was Momma’s hoecake with homemade peach preserves (that she made, of course), and butter (homemade too)!

Someone inquired about what recipe brought back memories of Momma.  This was one of the first to come to mind.

Now the name sounds suspect and perhaps doesn’t sound all that appealing.  But, I found that there is some explanation for the name though it doesn’t apply directly to what my Momma was cooking for our family.  “Hoe cake is just one among many terms, including corn cake, corn pone, ash cake, Johnny cake, and journey cake for essentially the same thing. Most explanations go on to claim that a hoe cake is so-called because it was baked on the blade of a gardening hoe by slaves in the fields, who furthermore, apparently took the necessary ingredients with them to mix and bake during their mid-day break.”  (Summer 2008 issue of Food History News).

Momma’s version was simply biscuit dough (Don’t cut out the biscuits) that was rolled out flat on a cookie sheet and baked in the oven to a golden brown.  Once it was done I took over by cutting a square piece of it, loading it with butter and peach preserves, and then feasting on it until it was gone.  It warmed up well before microwave days to deliver the same warm, fuzzy feeling.  The memory of it even now brings a warm feeling.  Mm-mm!

Thank God for the cows that gave the milk (Daddy took care of them) from which Momma made the butter!  Thank Him for the biscuit recipe that Momma could execute every time to perfection.  And thank God for the tree that volunteered in our back yard (It was not planted but came up after someone apparently threw the seed to the back of the yard) that delivered the best tasting peaches in the world.

Above all, thank God for my Momma who knew how to take care of her family before modern conveniences.  She was one of those ‘virtuous’ kind who can be remembered for this:   “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  Proverbs 31:27 NKJV

Be sure to do your best for your family . . . the memory of your best efforts may one day be all that is left of a life of meaning and purpose among cherished family members.

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