Y’all Come! I Made Teacakes

PatioThis interferes with my word, especially with iced tea and good company.  Come right over.  Just took some teacakes out of the oven.

Grandma’s Teacakes

(Yield about three dozen   2 ” cookies)

These are soft and keep well a day or so, if you have any left.  Don’t count on it.

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 cups self-rising flour  (if you use all-purpose, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt per cup to substitute)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (may substitute almond or lemon extract)

sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg if desired

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Cream butter and sugar till smooth.  Add beaten eggs one at a time. then vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients, then stir in 1 cup at a time for first 2 cups.  Dough will be getting very thick.  Add 1/2 cup dry mix and blend in.  Will be almost consistency of Play-Do.  Sprinkle most of last 1/2 cup of flour on blended mix to coat. Lift and dust bowl with remainder, to use to keep dough from sticking to your fingers.  Roll into 1″ ball.  Place on greased cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room to spread.  I can get about 5 rows of 3. If you put them closer, they will run together. tea cakes Place one pan on top rack and one pan one second rack of oven.  Set timer for 7 minutes.  At 7 minutes alternate placement, putting cookies from bottom rack on top and those from top on bottom.  Set for 5 more minutes.  May need another couple of minutes so that centers have puffed up.  Teacakes are done when they are just getting golden around edges and tops have risen nicely.  Do not let them get brown on top or they will get hard as rocks. They burn quickly.

Cookies will fall a little and get cracks as they cool.  You may have to test a time or two to get just right.  Err on side of caution until you figure out just how you like them.

I Can’t Find Anything for Lunch!

Bud came in about noon announcing he and Buzzy were going to look for some lunch.  About three minutes later, he came back to where I was writing, announcing they’d given up.  That’s what he always does when nothing jumps out of the refrigerator onto his plate.  Sure enough, I went in the kitchen, finding he’d done a late night raid.  The fridge was empty.  There wasn’t a slice of meat or cheese, a teaspoon of mayonnaise, a leaf of lettuce. There were the sad remains of a bowl of potato salad, but it didn’t look too tempting since he hadn’t wrapped it back up after last night’s raidimage.  Alas, no cookies, no chips, nor bread.  I’m pretty sure he wasn’t innocent of this information when he announced he couldn’t find anything for lunch.  I did find six potatoes and a bag of baby carrots unmolested in the crisper.

There were no quick foods in the pantry, except for those I’d canned, which Bud doesn’t recognize as real food.  I pulled out two jars of homemade Italian Vegetable Sausage Soup I made from fresh vegetables from my garden last summer, added the fresh carrots and potatoes, and fresh thyme, parsley, oregano, garlic, and onions from my herb bed.  I found frozen hot dog buns and toasted them with fresh garlic butter.  It was absolutely wonderful.

Rescue Dinner

imageBud is a good man, but I can’t live with him when he’s hungry.  I have no doubt he’d lay down his life from me, but I do believe he’d rather I ran around with another man than cook around on him.  Anyway, I digress.  At five p.m. Today, it occurred to me I’d never made it to the grocery store today. I had an egg plant, half a pound of ground sausage, 1/2 cup leftover brown gravy, and half a cup of frozen seasoned bread crumbs.  I sautéed half a diced onion and some fresh garlic and the sausage. To the mix I added chopped eggplant, while cooking the shelled out eggplant in the microwave for two minutes.  I seasoned the mix with salt, pepper, parsley, Tony Zacharie’s Cajun Seasoning, sprinkled with Feta cheese and baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  It was excellent served with home canned green beans.  I am still married.

Slap Yo’ Mama Good Eatin’

hogs headHogs head Cheese

Since my post yesterday, I’ve gotten many questions about grits.  Grits are a hot cereal, made from treating field corn with a lye process.  Afterward, the grits are simmered, served as a breakfast cereal with butter and maybe sugar and milk.  At our house, we spoon grits over eggs. (no sugar or milk) One of the most succulent and delicious dishes on this planet is Shrimp and Grits.  If you ever see it on the menu at a coastal restaurant in the South or Southeast, order it, no matter who laughs at you. Be prepared to guard it with your life when it gets to the table.  Everybody who laughed when you ordered will want a bite when they see how happy you are.  Let them suffer!

Another regional favorite is Hog’s Head Cheese. Farm kids learn early,  it’s best not to be friends with a pig you plan to butcher.  This delicacy has nothing to do with cheese and everything to do with a hog’s head.  It is very simple to prepare, for those of you who are already smacking your lips.   The next time you butcher a hog, save the head.  Scald it in boiling, soapy water before scrubbing and scraping off the whiskers.  With your fingers, pry the eyeballs out, taking care not to rupture them. That is extremely disagreeable and makes it harder to get the membranes out of the sockets. You can throw in the feet if you don’t plan to make Pickled Pig’s Feet.  When the head is thoroughly clean, boil it until all the flesh, contents of the head, skin, and cartilage fall off the bone.  Try to let it boil low toward the end, so the broth will be reduced.  Debone, reserving broth.  Chop meat, add large minced onions, about eight cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper per pound of meat,  three to five tablespoons sage, red pepper if you like spicy.  Add 1/2 vinegar.  Mix in enough of reserved broth to mix till consistency of cooked oatmeal.  Pour into loaf pans.  Cover with foil and cool overnight.  By the next morning can be turned out and sliced for cold cuts or rolled in egg and flour and browned in skillet.  Store covered in refrigerator up to a week.  Freezes well

I recommend you serve it with Poke-Salad, Fried Mountain Oysters, Buzzard Butter, Pickled Pig’s Feet, Hopping John, and Hush Puppies.