Antique Water Kettles and Southern Tea Cakes

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ABOVE: Antique water/tea kettle from Seattle estate sale

I hit a few estate sales last week, and I was happy to find this beautiful old antique water kettle.  I think it will make a lovely flower planter on my back porch this summer.   I think I have just as much fun searching for these items, as I do using them! I’ll have more up on both my Ebay and  Etsy shops by the end of the week.

Baking w/ Southern Cookbooks

I am thoroughly enjoying Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, by Martha Hall Foose.  I checked this cookbook out at the library–along with several other newer southern cookbooks, and this is the one I will buy.  Her recipes look amazing, and if you’re like me–you can just tell when you go through five to ten recipes in a cookbook whether or not those recipes are singing to you.

Last month I made a batch of southern tea cakes from Paula Deen’s cookbook, and they were extremely yummy! Then, last week I made a batch from this cookbook.   I think they both taste great–I might be more partial to Paula’s recipe–maybe it’s the buttermilk.

I used brown sugar this time.  The author recommends it for a “softer, chewier cookie”.

These cookies taste like how I imagine a southern grandma’s cookies should taste.  They are difficult to roll because the dough is very soft and sticky.  I stick the dough in the freezer for a few minutes and pull out a ball to work with–use lots of flour—and work with speed.

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ABOVE: Plain, old fashioned Southern Tea Cakes

Southern Tea Cakes

Adapted from”Cordelia’s Mother Gwen’s Tea Cakes” found in “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cream or tartar

2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

About 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (I used close to 4)

1 c unsalted butter

2 cups brown sugar (or white)

3 large eggs

cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Oven set to 375.  Line baking sheet with parchment or foil.

Sift baking soda, tartar, nutmeg, and 3 cups flour together

In mixer, beat butter and sugar together, till light and fluffy about 4 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time after each addition.

Slowly mix in flour, continue adding flour until a soft dough is formed.  Cover bowl of dough in plastic and place in fridge for about an hour.

NOTE: Dough can be difficult to roll and work with–it is quite sticky.  I kept placing bowl in freezer until firm enough to roll out on a GENEROUSLY floured mat, and I worked very quickly before the cut outs started sticking to the mat/board.  As soon as they start to stick, just throw remaining dough back in bowl in freezer and wait a few minutes.

Roll dough into about 1/4″ thickness between 2 pieces of parchment paper.  CUt out cookies with a 3″ round biscuit cutter. Place cookies 2″ apart on prepared baking sheet,(NOW is the time to sprinkle on a little cinnamon and sugar if you’d like!),  and bake 8-10 minutes, or until slightly brown around edges.  Be careful not to bake them too long–as the cookies firm up when cooled .

Cottage stuff:

The chicks and chickens are keeping me busy.   We are also converting our shop into a cottage, and we are still in the remodel stage.  So far, we have front doors and a front window.  This is located in our backyard, and receives the best sun on the property!   I’m hoping it will be finished before summer’s end.

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ABOVE: Installed the French doors, window, and heat too!

I’m getting ready to bake some oatmeal bread, so I’d better stop now.  I’ve decided to bake a different kind of bread every week, in order to try out more new recipes.


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9 thoughts on “Antique Water Kettles and Southern Tea Cakes

  1. I can’t wait to try this…my dad, born in 1918, talked often of his mother making old fashioned tea cakes when he was a boy and he always wanted me to make them….I did try a few recipes but this sounds even better…I will look up Paula’s recipe also, love buttermilk in baking….

  2. HI Shirley! I hope you noticed that if you click on the name Paula Deen, in this blog, it will take you to the blog where her Southern Tea Cake recipe is -just click and you’ll see the blog “My Son Can Cook!” and scroll down to the recipe. I think hers may be the better choice, but then again…. Ah, cookies, they’re all too darn good 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  3. HI Shirley! I hope you noticed that if you click on the name Paula Deen, in this blog, it will take you to the blog where her Southern Tea Cake recipe is -just click and you’ll see the blog “My Son Can Cook!” and scroll down to the recipe. I think hers may be the better choice, but then again…. Ah, cookies, they’re all too darn good 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  4. Your cottage is coming right along, it is looking cozy. Oatmeal bread sounds good, I don’t believe I have ever had it. I am looking forward to seeing your baby chicks, too.

  5. SARAH: Paula Deen is just adorable–I love the rags to riches folk 🙂

    WEEZY: Ma, hurry the chicks are growing every single day. I never got to the oatmeal bread–I made light wheat though.

  6. I checked out your recommended book, “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea” from the library over the weekend. I agree it’s a wonderful cookbook. I have 8 or 10 recipes I can’t wait to try.
    Lillian

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