Two of my favorite things are steeped… tea and tradition. Merriam-Webster defines tradition as: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction. Places In The Home defines tradition as: decor memories, recipes, and/or generational practices from your past bringing about complete and utter joy deemed repeat worthy.
I find it a fascinating to read the traditions of fellow internet friends from far and near. I’ll never forget walking into my first cousin’s home for the first time after he was a married father of two(you know, as adults). I had not cleared the living area and he shouted out to me with pointed hand and question, “Hey, does Santa Claus leave the gifts under the tree wrapped or unwrapped?” Wait, we haven’t seen each other in a few years and this is the first thing you say to me?
His wife’s family are wrappers. In our family, Christmas Eve was for wrapped gift exchanging, and Christmas morning was for the unwrapped Santa Claus extravaganza. Family competition played well to our advantage. The second generation parents played the home edition of ” who buys the most for their kids” game with great pride and immaturity. That is one family tradition that did not carry over to my generation. It seems silly- the great debate over wrapped or unwrapped Santa Claus, but who am I to argue with tradition?
The only heat this summer I remotely can handle is that of the oven. It’s too hot to be outside if you don’t have to be, but when you have to be it zaps the life out of ya! The summertime tradition passed down in our family is a simple piece of advice- cook early, stay cool late. I do make an exception at any time of day for Old Fashioned Tea Cakes.
This tea cakes recipe and family tradition has been handed down through the years, and it means the world to me on many levels. I like what a tea cake signifies. Simple, classic, unpretentious, and always delightful. I like to think that’s how I roll. Speaking of rolling, these tasty babies require a roll out. I swear the goodness is in the roll. Here is the aged, index card recipe from which I have baked many a Tea Cake.
Old Fashioned Tea Cakes
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour; sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
1 unbeaten egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup thick sour cream or buttermilk
Sift flour once before measuring. Combine flour, soda, and salt together. In separate bowl, cream together butter or shortening, sugar, egg, vanilla, and nutmeg. Mix on high speed for two(2) minutes. Add sour cream or milk and mix until blended. Next, add dry sifted flour mixture to wet ingredients and hand stir until all ingredients are blended together and reach the consistency of biscuit dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough on lightly floured board to 1/4″ thickness. Cut out in round shapes with cookie cutter or good old dependable jelly glass. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Makes 2 1/2 dozen. ***If a softer tea cake is desired, add 1 teaspoon baking powder to dry ingredients.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough on lightly floured board to 1/4″ thickness. Cut out in round shapes with cookie cutter or good old dependable jelly glass.
Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Makes 2 1/2 dozen. ***If a softer tea cake is desired, add 1 teaspoon baking powder to dry ingredients.
I’m thinking iced tea and a Tea Cake is what’s for dinner tonight. I know it is not the ideal dinner, and the calorie count is probably not the desired way to keep the figure slim and trim, but the kitchen will be cool and the memories will warm the heart.