Eat Your History: George Washington

The man, the history and the Hoecakes…

Get me those hoecakes!

Lets test our knowledge…

(1.) Where was George Washington born?

(2.) In what armies did he serve?

(3.) Name two myths about George…..

An extraordinary figure in American history and unusually tall at 6′ 3, Washington was also an ordinary man. He loved cricket and fox-hunting, moved gracefully around a ballroom, was a Freemason and possibly a Deist. His favorite foods were pineapples, Brazil nuts (hence the missing teeth from cracking the shells) and Saturday dinners of salt cod. He possessed a wry sense of humor and, like his wife Martha, tried to resist the vanities of public life. Washington could also explode into a rage when vexed in war or political battles. Loyal almost to a fault, he could also be unforgiving and cold when crossed. When Republican Thomas Jefferson admitted to slandering the president in an anonymous newspaper article for his support of Federalist Alexander Hamilton’s policies, Washington cut Jefferson out of his life. On at least one occasion, Washington’s stubbornness inspired John Adams to refer to him as Old Muttonhead.

(1.) On February 22, 1732, George Washington is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia , the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. Washington rose to eminence on his own merit. His first job at age 17 was as a surveyor in the Shenandoah Valley. (2.) In 1752, he joined the British army and served as a lieutenant in the French and Indian War. When the war ended, Washington left the army and returned home to Virginia to manage Mount Vernon, the plantation he had recently inherited upon the death of his older brother. 

George Washington’s legacy has endured a long process of untangling myth from fact. (3.) The famous cherry tree incident never occurred, nor did Washington have wooden teeth, though he did have only one tooth by the time he became president and wore a series of dentures.

In addition to advocating civilian control over the military, Washington possessed that intangible quality of a born leader and had earned a reputation for coolness under fire. During the French and Indian campaign, he dodged bullets, had horses shot out from under him and was even taken prisoner by the French. Part of his success in the Revolutionary War was due to his shrewd use of what was then considered the ungentlemanly, but effective, tactic of guerrilla warfare, in which stealthy hit-and-run attacks foiled British armies. In 1775, the Continental Congress unanimously chose Washington to command the new Continental Army. In 1789, in part because of the leadership skills he displayed during the war, the Continental Congress elected Washington as the first American president.

Bad Teeth and Lots of Virginia Corn: Washington’s HoeCakes

Made with Corn Meal and served with Collard Greens

Southern Hoe Cakes (HoeCakes) are little cornmeal pancakes that are wonderfully crispy around the edges.


  • ▢1 cup self-rising flour
  • ▢1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
  • ▢1 tablespoon sugar
  • ▢1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ▢3/4 cup buttermilk
  • ▢2 large eggs
  • ▢1/2 cup water
  • ▢1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • ▢1/4 cup bacon drippings
  • ▢butter


  1. Combine flour, cornmeal mix, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Measure buttermilk in a glass measuring cup. Add eggs to measuring cup and whisk egg and buttermilk together. Pour into bowl with flour mixture.
  3. Pour water and vegetable oil into bowl and mix everything together.
  4. Heat a cast iron pan or nonstick skillet or griddle. Add bacon grease.
  5. Pour batter into pan to form hoe cakes, using about 2 tablespoons of batter for each one. I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill it about half way.
  6. Cook until bubbles form on top, flip over and cook until bottom is golden and crispy on the edges.
  7. Serve with butter.

Although HoeCakes are now present on breakfast menus in the South in elite establishments- traditionally they were served as a main meal with collard greens. Collard Greens can be switched out now with blanched spinach or even an a la King. In our home, they are a traditional accompaniment to fried chicken.

This is a great way to introduce children to history and a fun way to celebrate the Holiday. If you are still in the mood for history…a good movie.

A scene from the Musical 1776….describes the situation that Washington found himself in…

Carrot cake for Dessert

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