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Johnnycakes - Anyone have input?

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I thought I would like to try making some johnnycakes while I wait for the bird to finish roasting. Joy of Cooking has a straight forward old fashioned recipe. I have no butter in the house and currently there is a blizzard going on so I will substitute duck fat left over from yesterday. How bad can they be?

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  1. If you're making them to be savory, that should be great!

    1. The oldest versions are just a batter of cornmeal, salt and water, that is spread on a board (or 'hoe') and baked before a fire. No fat.

      5 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        But let's face it Paul, those Rhode Islanders would have been happy with a little fat--butter or duck fat would have been heaven to them.

        1. re: escondido123

          But wouldn't the cake slide down the greased board? :)

          1. re: paulj

            I forgot to mention--being a Rhode Islander I know these things--the "hoe" was in fact a hoe or shovel, made of metal, that was used like a griddle. So they would have fried up just fine. That makes them almost sound good, though I've always found them heavy.

            1. re: escondido123

              Went to URI, so the word johnnycake would come up occasionally but never understood it till recently.

          2. re: escondido123

            They came out great. My wife has already requested more. Do you sweeten yours? I added a splash of maple syrup instead of sugar.

        2. I have an ancient hand-written Johnnycake recipe handed down from my Grandmother. This was one of my favorite foods as a child, but it was only served on the rare occasion that a parent bought stone ground corn. It was always served with warmed Vermont Maple Syrup in a glass pitcher sometimes with fresh picked wild blueberries or strawberries on the side.

          I have never considered a meat fat as an addition, but now I might need to try it.