Janella Hendon is a historian from Dublin, Texas. Today she sends us a vintage dessert recipe from the 1800s. If you’ve done any reading at all from that period, you know that tea cakes graced the table whenever possible. My own grandmother went to her grave talking about “tea cakes.”
Thanks for reminding us, Janella!
The following recipe was hand written in a cookbook, giving instructions on how to make tea cakes. This was the recipe of Louisa Jane White Barbee of Edna Hill. She would have been making these in the late 1800s. Her grandchildren all remembered her cookies as wonderful, kept under a cloth spread over the table.
2 cups of buttermilk*
2 teaspoons of cloves
2 teaspoons of soda
2 cups of currants
4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of spices *?
2 teaspoons of nutmeg
2 cups of lard
* Not sure if this meant 2 teaspoons of other spices or it it meant 2 teaspoons of total spices. Also, the “cups” would have been whatever she was using for cups at the time since this was before standardized measuring cups.
No mixing instructions were given. -Janella Hendon