Monday, November 18, 2013

Mrs. Mamie Holmes Homemade Tea Cakes

My mother use to make homemade tea cakes when my brothers and I was growing up. Come to think of it, she hadn't  made any in over two decades. One day two summer ago, I met this nice little sweet lady in St. Helena, La by the name of Mamie Holmes. After I introduced myself, she invited me in to sit and talk with her. After our conversation about her family history and the history of Rocky Hill A.M.E Church in St. Helena, La., she invited me into her kitchen for a special treat-homemade tea cakes. What a treat I was in for!

Tea Cakes are cookies, these little treats were initially made by African slaves. They were made with very simple ingredients. Sometimes when the women would be quilting, someone would make tea cakes and a fresh pot of coffee or tea and they would sit for hours sewing, sipping coffee or tea and eating tea cakes.

Tea cakes were originally an Scottish or English afternoon treat. Tea cakes  didn't become a treat in the African American homes until after the Emancipation. Some of my mother's first cousins really enjoyed her freshly baked tea cakes. Mrs. Mamie had been up before sunrise making dozens of her famous tea cakes for her upcoming family reunion. She wanted to get started before it  would get to hot and the oven would heat up the house with heat that made you feel like you were in the Sahara Desert.

These precious little hands had made dozens of homemade teacakes.