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.
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 .
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.
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.