I’m clawing my through the final chapters Striking Balance and am at 91%. The material is complex, and I want to keep it concise, so I’m moving slowly.
Welcome to my 130th #Rainbowsnippets*. This one, as always, is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.
Striking Balance: The Peculiar Making of Beatrice Benjamin Sophia Scott Schnell Gow is a queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy set in, you guessed it, Appalachia. This Appalachia, however, is the frontier, and the story takes place during the Revolutionary War era and the time after, meaning the late 18th century. This explains the narrator’s voice. If you’ve read the letters and journals of the period, you’ll recognize it as reflective of those.
This week I’m picking up where I left off in Chapter One. The part in orange comes from last week’s post, “Goodly Pot of Stew.”
“Johnnycakes too?” He asks. “We still got meal, don’t we?”
Ah, I’ve got you now, Mister Baldwin. I know exactly how to draw Conall back to me should the need arise, but tender thoughts can prove troublesome so I must not entertain them. “Enough for a good half-dozen cakes.” I return his smile despite myself. “Herr Baldwin mag meine Kochen.”
Conall slows so I might keep pace. “What’d you say about me?”
Tiny History Lesson: Or more of a recipe, actually. Recipes for Johnny cakes or hoecakes weren’t the same in the 18th century as you’ll find online now. Like many recipes, every family had its own version, and every family’s version was a bit different. And none of them, I believe, were an exact science, especially the one below.
- apx. 5 cups white cornmeal (not cornmeal mix)
- apx. 1 tsp cayenne pepper or nutmeg or other preferred spice to taste
- apx. 1 tsp salt or to taste
- Warm water enough to make mix a pancake-like batter
- Lard or oil for frying
Directions: mix dry ingredients well then add water as mentioned above. Heat oil/grease in hot pan and spoon batter into the pan to make cakes. Cook until brown on both sides.
Is this wonderful food? Well, it’s food for the time period. It’s simple, easy to fix, belly-filling grub Conall loves because Ben’s got a secret to his recipe that I don’t give above but is included late in the novel.
Here’s a link to the Townsend’s video I used as a basis for the recipe above, but I have made hoecakes before, though not using this recipe. Mine were the more modern take using baking powder and some sugar instead of cayenne pepper, though if I made them again I’d definitely go for the cayenne.