I love johnnycakes (or Johnny cakes). If you’re not from around here, you won’t know what I mean. Right?
Well, along the Usquepaugh River lies Kenyon’s Grist Mill, where the original granite millstones quarried from Westerly, RI, are used to grind whole wheat or corn into flour or cornmeal. According to Kenyon’s, “Single pass stone grinding also preserves the vital, natural nutrition of the grains.” Kenyon’s has been grinding continuously on-site since 1696.
So, back to johnnycakes. This traditional Rhode Island food dates back to the colonial time when Native American Indians introduced corn to the settlers. At first, they were known as “Journey Cakes.” Settlers often took them along on their journeys. The “r” eventually got dropped (we Rhode Islanders love to drop the “r”) and “Journey Cakes” became, “Johnny Cakes.”
Here’s the traditional recipe for making johnnycakes. In my house, we never add maple syrup! My mom would make them to serve along with leftover lamb. So good. I like them for breakfast, with two eggs over easy, please.
If you’re around these parts in October, come to the Johnnycake Festival!