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Hoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam

hoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threads
My two truths and a lie trump card is that as a junior in high school, I spent a full year traveling to rodeos across Oregon as the Coos County Fair & Rodeo Queen.

… I’ll wait while you compose yourself.

I know it sounds silly now, but it was a huge honor. I grew up a 4-H kid, and had been riding competitively since I was eight. In my small circle of horsey friends, the rodeo queen was practically a goddess. I dreamed of the moment I could compete for that crown, and never thought for a moment I’d win.

The competition includes a speech, an interview, and multiple riding tests… so it’s not easy. And my horse was never exactly a winner. A stout little reining pony built for driving cattle, we’d been together since she was two… and I was so proud of her. But she never quite fit in with the more polished and calm, and more-common-in-4-H, western pleasure winners. She was quick and scrappy… and despite her desperate hatred of parades (I understood) I think she was always meant to carry the queen.

She swept me through the competition with grace, and I managed to do her justice in the only way I knew how, by standing up in front of a whole lot of people and blathering on.

hoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threadshoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threadsWhen I talk about the experience now, I still feel a little bit like a high school quarterback recounting the glory days — but then here on the east coast, most folks can’t tell the difference between the queen and the clown, so I’m usually the only one feeing the glory.

I’ve only met one other former rodeo queen in real life, and sadly she was lost this year. So I suppose I should carry the crown. It was an honor, and despite the stress I’m sure it put on my parents — every weekend on the road — the experience was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

… though I think I probably lump the whole of my riding years in together with a big dose of nostalgia, since even today I long to get back to a place where I can have a horse.

There’s a little piece of me that will always long for a more simple life: tearing up over country songs and cheesing on southern food. As a west coaster, I can’t say I even knew what a hush puppy was until I was 20, and I still put cream cheese and golden plum jam on my hoecakes — it’s pretty sad. I’ll claim my raised-just-barely-south-of-the-mason-dixon-line husband as my source when it comes to at least the very southern substance of this recipe, even if I do still wish we’d cooked them on a hoe.

But there’s never an early summer morning that I don’t still wish I was waking up at the fair.

hoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threadshoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threadshoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threads
Hoecakes

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup corn flour
3.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil, plus additional for frying

Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients. On medium heat, heat your oil in a frying pan. Combine the wet mixture into the dry mixture. To make small cakes use a little less than a 1/4 cup scoop, placing the batter into the pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides and let rest on a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve with cream cheese and jam.

hoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threadshoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threads

4 Comments


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