You know what I’m talking about when I say food evokes memories. It’s the smell of your mom’s homemade biscuits that used to wake you up on Sunday morning, the sound of popcorn being popped that makes you want to go to the movies, the sight of cotton candy being spun that reminds you of a carnival or the flavor of a dish that transports you to a place you’ve traveled. There is no doubt in my mind that you have a recipe or memory of food that you hold near and dear to your heart.
One of my most cherished recipes is my grandmother’s tea cakes. I was fortunate to have her for 38 years. She was 92 years old when she passed just last November. She was my heart and I will always keep her close by making these tea cakes and sharing them with as many people in my life as possible. She was a precious soul that touched so many with her genuine kindness. When she would make these and take them to any gathering, they would disappear quickly.
My cousin Ben pretty much has the recipe perfected. I have a copy of the recipe that was handwritten by my Grandmother.
You’ll see the measurements and instructions aren’t exact: 4 or 5 eggs, beat all together, roll in flour as if you are making biscuits. I knew exactly what she meant by the ‘biscuit’ part because I’ve seen her make biscuits. However, I had to ask Ben for advice about whether or not to melt the butter and what type of flour; I also knew she typically used self-rising.
Old Fashion Tea-Cakes
3 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 sticks margarine (Blue Bonnet brand)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
6 cups self-rising flour* (White Lily brand)
*the flour is an approximate measurement
- Gently melt the margarine.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together.
- Add the melted margarine and vanilla to the egg and sugar mixture.
- In a large bowl, place all the flour and make a well in the center.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the center of the flour.
- Gently begin to combine the flour with the wet ingredients, as if making biscuits.
- Continue to mix until you have a soft dough – *you may not use all the flour.
- Pinch off and roll out, pat flat (about 2” size pieces).
- Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat.
- Bake in oven at 350 until light brown.
We speak about how food evokes memories in our Flavor Dynamics cooking class, which is sold out until May 15 so snag a spot now! Whatever your favorite food memory may be, take the time to savor it and reminisce. Share it with others. Food brings us together. That’s what we do at The Chopping Block. Come by and share your memories with us, or book a private cooking party and create a new memory with your friends, family or coworkers.