Water Cooler 7/7/2016 Open Thread; The Orange Fool ! With A Hoe !!


Cooking Up Conservatism: The Orange Fool and The Hoe:

Welcome to Cooking Up Conservatism what will hopefully be a new weekly feature conceived of by our own Diamondback, where your regular Water Cooler contributors will bring you tasty recipes that satisfy the stomach as well as the soul. Oh what ? You thought the Orange Fool and the Hoe weren’t food items ?


Orange Fool

Over the independence day holidays I always try and catch something that brings the period home. This year I stumbled upon The Townsends It’s a youtube channel about food in Colonial America.

Now on to a really sweet Orange Fool. This was a dessert served at Mount Vernon by the Washingtons, and it comes to us from Martha Washingtons own cookbook.

6 Eggs
1 Pint Heavy Cream
Juice of 6 Oranges (bitter oranges)
Some Nutmeg
Some Cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

1 TBSP Butter (unsalted)

Beat the eggs, then combine and cook over a medium to low fire stirring for 30-45 minutes.
Take off the fire. Add in butter and stir until cool. Either immerse pot in water or ice to speed cooling.
Pour into glasses over cubes of white bread  or perhaps sponge cake (not mentioned in video but in period cookbooks)

It’s interesting to see how this has evolved over time. While GMO foods may be the food issue du jour, we have been breeding our food for desirable characteristics since the start of agriculture and animal husbandry. In our case sweet oranges are the overwhelming favorite even those goofy things that come from California are sweet and you may have a hard time getting bitter oranges.

Current recipes include the zest of the oranges and substitute a lemon and the zest of of a lemon for one of the oranges changing the recipe to Juice and zest of 4 oranges and the Juice and zest of 2 lemons. This looks like it’s included to put the bitter back in that is lost by not using bitter oranges.


Note with respect to the the channel creator the title is just comedy and not commentary. The channel is dedicated to historical events and living not current controversy.

The Hoe

Would that be more shocking if I used the other name aka a “Johnny” ? By now you should have guessed it’s a Hoe Cake aka Johnny Cake aka Journey Cake. The joke is that these were named because they were cooked on the back of farm hoes, thankfully that’s not the case. They were cooked on griddles that looked like hoes. Please remember this if an urge to authenticity should seize you.

Corn Meal
warm Water
Pepper to taste

The salt is scaled for 5 cups of cornmeal it’s fairly flexible the actual measurement seems to be some. For a smaller portion 2 cups cornmeal and a teaspoon of salt would seem to be correct.

Heat skillet on medium heat, Combine dry ingredients, add warm water till you get a thin batter. (I went with about the thickness of typical pancake batter). Pour portions of the size you want onto the skillet. Heat on one side till there’s bubbles forming on top. Flip over and heat for about 2 minutes more or less depending on size on the other side.

It’s simple food that’s for sure.
Here is an updated version of the recipe that will make you thankful to live in the 21st Century

1/4 Cup Self Rising Flour
1/2 Cup Yellow Corn Meal
1 pinch of salt (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 medium egg beaten

Grease a pan and heat on medium heat.
Mix the shortening and the dry ingredients in a bowl, once a batter forms add in the egg and continue to mix till well blended
Check the pan is ready to cook.
Drop batter portions onto the pan (size your choice)
Flip when top is bubbling and cook on other side for a few minutes until brown.

Maple syrup goes really well with these needless to say, also cooking bacon in the pan first is a great way to make certain it’s ready for the hoe cakes.


Quote of the Day

De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est

In matters of taste there can be no argument — Ancient Latin Maxim


Eat and drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread


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