Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm taking part in the fourth A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE – if you want to join in. You'll make many new friends, but most of all you'll have fun!

My theme – I have selected a cookie for each day and a book that begins with the letter of the day. I also added a few fun facts about the cookie and/or its ingredients. In America, a cookie is described as a thin, sweet, usually small cake. By definition, a cookie can be any of a variety of hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes, either crisp or soft.

Tea Cakes                                                    
My Review – When I was very young my paternal grandmother used to make me Tea Cakes. From what I'm told I used to walk next door to her house and bang on her backdoor with a rock she kept by the door for me because I was too little to knock hard enough for her to hear me. She would let me in and together we would bake tea cakes. According to my mom she even baked me tea cakes on the day she died. I've never forgotten her, her love for me, or her tea cakes. I don't have her recipe, but making these brought back fond memories of homemade tea cakes.

Fun Facts – Culinary historians say the cookie may have been slaves' version of the English tea cake. With very little provisions, those enslaved Africans took what was available and made their own version. People often preferred teacakes, because the basic ingredients (sugar, flour, milk, and eggs) were generally on hand. In the days before families bought prepackaged baked goods, mothers cooked these by the dozen. They stocked them in flour sacks or pillowcases to keep them fresh, pulling them out when children returned from school or the family wanted something sweet. Every woman had her own special recipe, often passed down from her mother or another close relative.
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Over time, cooks have experimented with other ingredients to enhance the teacakes. Some prefer simple additions, such as vanilla extract, while others might add raisins or nuts, depending on their preferences. Around Easter, children enjoy spreading colored icing and sprinkles on top of their teacakes. Tea cakes became a treasure--comfort food that became a special treat during the holidays.

Book Buddy Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons

I found this book and book trailer while researching this blog post.  It was published in December 2012 and reminds me of making Tea Cakes with my Grandmother. I am so happy to have discovered this little Tea Cake Treasure.

Tosh loves his grandma Honey and her delicious golden tea cakes. When she tells the story of how the cookies became part of their family, he feels like he's flying back in time. But then one day, Honey starts forgetting things, even an ingredient for the tea cakes. Inspired by his love for his grandma and respect for his family's heritage, Tosh finds a way to give Honey and himself a special gift that keeps the memory alive.

Have you ever made Tea Cakes? Does your family have a recipe they've passed on through the generations?

15 comments:

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

Just love your blog and tea cakes.

Yvonne,

Ghadeer said...

I'm not a fan of tea-cakes to be honest. But it's really interesting what you've written on the possible origin of cookies. And I think this would go well with an Austen classic too!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love tea cakes. I use my mother's receipe for molasses cookies.
I only made 'tea cakes' a few times and I added chocolate chips.

J. A. Bennett said...

haha, I totally commented on the wrong post, but I LOVE sinckerdoodles too :)

Samantha May said...

I've never had tea cakes! I love the memory you have with your grandmother and making the cookies.

It reminds me of all the times I used to make chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies with my aunt before she passed. Those memories are certainly worth cherishing :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

They certainly sound simple enough. Wonderful that they remind you of your grandmother.
You didn't dent the door with that rock, did you?

Regina Gort said...

I love tea cakes and now I have a book to accompany them!

queenofenglish said...

Your story is so special. My grandmother made sand tarts. Some people call then lady fingers. They melted in your mouth -- all that butter :-).

The book sounds like a tear jerker. Growing old is a fact of life if you live long enough, but the closer I get the less I want to think about it.

MM

S.P. Bowers said...

What a nice memory of your grandmother! And I loved the history of tea cakes.

Nicole said...

Yum! And what lovely memories of your grandmother.

Laura Eno said...

What awesome memories you have because of your grandmother's love of cooking!
I'd give anything to sink my teeth into tea cakes right now, or yesterday's snickerdoodles. I always leave here hungry!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Yvonne, thank you!

Ghadeer, thank you. They are special to me but I didn't think of an Austen book, probably because I'm not a fan.

Susan, I may have to try making them with molasses.

It's okay, J.A., I'm just glad you stopped by.

Samantha , thank you. These memories are worth cherishing.

Alex, I'm not sure about denting the door, but I love the memory.

Regina, I hope you enjoy the book with your tea cakes, too.

queenofenglish, I've never heard of sand tarts, but I want to try some.

S.P., I enjoyed learning the history, too.

Nicole, thank you for sharing them with me.

Hahahaha, Laura, I'm glad I'm wetting your sweet tooth.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

What a wonderful memory to have with your grandmother.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I only knew my maternal grandmother as a child. She was sadly the first to go in my teens but I still love her dearly. This is a wonderful memory that you have and the tea cakes sound lovely.

Yolanda Renee said...

Cookies, or Tea Cakes were not popular items unless it was Christmas in our house, but my Grandmother always had them on hand when we visited. Such lovely memories. Your blog is fabulous!

Tea Cakes for Tosh, love stories about grandma's!

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