Last night, out of nowhere, or maybe not — I wasn’t on the other side of the room — my youngest asked “What are corn cakes?” I think she got a half shrug and “ask your mother” from Denise. So, she did.
I answered with “What do you mean by corn cakes? Jonnycakes? Corn pone? Corn pancakes? Corn cakes like a regular cake? A griddled corn bread?” I may have rattled off a few more.
Youngest said to Denise: “How does she know all these things?” Denise replied with “She’s a foodie.” Not really, but we’ll go with that. I then produced The Cornbread Gospels from the cookbook shelf and youngest had even bigger eyes than usual.
When I flipped the pages of “Learn to Bake–You’ll Love It (1947, General Foods) this morning, yet another type of corn cake jumped out at me: Corn Meal Short Cakes. These rock with Chicken Ala King, Curried Eggs, creamed chipped beef, or even just cream gravy/sausage gravy on top.
Corn Meal Shortcakes
2 cups sifted flour
2 1/2 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk (about)
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt, and sugar, and sift into bowl. Add corn meal.
Cut in shortening. Add milk and stir until soft dough is formed.
Turn out on lightly floured board and knead 30 seconds to shape. Roll 1/2 inch thick and cut with floured 3-inch cutter. (Ok, I generally grab a glass from the cupboard)
Bake on ungreased baking sheet in hot oven (425 F.) 15 minutes, or until done. Split hot shortcakes and place creamed meat, fish or eggs, between halves and on top. Makes 8 shortcakes.