A culinary celebration of May Day takes place each year in Rhode Island from the end of April through May. Church halls across the state serve hearty breakfasts of fried and scrambled eggs, sausage and ham, apple pie, muffins, doughnuts, baked beans, clam cakes, fish cakes, pancakes, and johnnycakes.
Combine first 3 ingredients. Pour boiling water over mixture very slowly, adding just enough to swell the meal. Let it sit for several minutes, then add enough milk so mixture will drop from a spoon. Heat greased pancake griddle or iron skillet and spoon batter onto hot surface. Turn to brown other side and serve with maple syrup and butter.
*Some New England cooks make johnnycakes from white or yellow cornmeal, but many prefer a special johnnycake meal which is milled in Rhode Island. In 1906 Charles Kenyon purchased a mill built in 1886 and expanded what had been a local miller’s trade into a commercial business. Today the mill still supplies many New England kitchens with johnnycake meal, plus an assortment of other stone-ground flours.