Monday, May 23, 2011

Tea Cakes, Take Two

Just a quick post to share with you my guest post on Frosting for the Cause, a wonderful project that brings together food bloggers and bakers from across the United States and Canada (and beyond) with the goal of raising funds and awareness for women's cancer. Click here to read what I wrote about my mom's battle with ovarian cancer and my "fancied up" tea cake recipe. I decided to write about tea cakes again, because they remind me of my mom and home. 

As I baked five dozen cookies to give away, I was reminded of my mom doing the same to promote a youth mentoring project was heading up several years ago. She baked tea cakes, bagged them up and handed them out with a little story about how she used to bake tea cakes with her great aunt, Aunt Rene, who was a mentor to her. Aunt Rene lived alone, just down the road in the "Granny House" as everyone called it since it was the old homestead. Mama used to go over and visit with her after school and they would cook together. They once made a "tater dinner" with different variations of sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes (as I grew up calling them). Aunt Rene later died of cancer, likely colon but they weren't really so good at diagnosing cancer back then, so no one is really sure. Remembering my mom and stories I heard about Aunt Rene, it just seemed fitting to make tea cakes again.

Read my previous post, Time for Tea Cakes, if you are interested in their history and my variation on the classic. This time around I followed a more traditional recipe using butter, shortening and White Lily self-rising flour. It is what my mama and Granny used to make their tea cakes, and it is kind of nice because you can adjust the amount of flour to get the dough stiffness you want, without worrying about the leavening getting off balance. I also iced them, which we rarely did, but I thought it would fun to dress them up a little.

Finally, I wanted to post links to the two charitable organizations I donated to for this cause: the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home, a hospice for terminal cancer patients who cannot afford adequate nursing care elsewhere. I donated my cookies to the hospice, which I had never really noticed before despite being located close to my home. It is such a peaceful and beautiful place -- in the shadow of Turner Field. When we drove away, I noticed the receptionist digging into a bag of cookies and it made me happy. That's what it's all about -- sharing love through food.


  1. Such a sweet story, thanks for sharing :)

  2. Rachel ~ I loved hearing more stories about these tea cakes and your family! Thanks so much for your wonderful post on Frosting for the Cause. I was a lovely tribute to your Mom and her *fancied up* tea cakes look delicious. Appreciate so much you having volunteered to help bake a difference and so happy that your tea cakes were so well received at the hospice.