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Ancestral Cooking Forum

Miss Vivianís True Southern Teacakes
In Response To: Holiday Meal Preparations ()

When I think of southern cooking, I think of one of my favorite treats, a simple baked goodie, the teacake. When I think of teacakes, I am reminded of winter days on Saturday when we were unable to go outside and play, sitting by the window watching the rain crashing against the window and soon the smell of vanilla would waft through the house. The three of us, my younger sister, brother, and me would scurry into the kitchen to get the teacakes. Hmmm. The smell, the texture, the feeling of biting into this delicious concoction that is best described as a cross between a cookie and a cake which includes eggs, flour, and vanilla as some of the ingredients. They were equally good on a hot summer day for a dessert with homemade ice cream.

There are a number of items that go by the name of teacake but none I have seen in stores or bakeries replicate the round cookie-like, browned edge delicacy I grew up with and nothing even remotely tasted like Momís teacakes. There are all kinds of recipes for teacakes and interpretations of what a teacake is supposed to be. Some of them are actual cakes or cookies but not a one was the real deal. Not the southern treat that my grandmother would serve when her friends came over for their weekly quilting bees, along with a glass of ďsweet teaĒ or hot tea depending on the weather. Mom never could tell me the origin of tea cakes; ďJust something everybody used to make." I am convinced teacakes like many southern dishes originated from slaves who learned to make do with ingredients on hand and combined a version of the English treats they cooked in plantation households.

Miss Vivianís True Southern Teacakes

1-cup sugar
1 egg
2 sticks butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
Ĺ teaspoon soda
Ĺ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons milk

Cream sugar and butter; add egg, flour and next four ingredients. Bake at 375 degrees. Makes about 1 Ĺ dozen cookies depending on size of tea cake.

Copyright © 2006 Dera R Williams

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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