English Scones with Natalie Tacy

img_7348After going to The English Rose tea room in Chattanooga, Tennessee this weekend to celebrate our cousin Natalie getting a new job as an airline flight attendant and moving to New York, what do you do?? Our idea? Make scones. They were much easier than we imagined.

1 1/2 cups plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup sugar- Mix well- add 1 cup mayonnaise or sour cream- knead well and form into a ball. Roll out onto floured board or wax paper 3/4 inch thick and cut with round biscuit cutter. Bake on wax paper 10-12 minutes in preheated oven 400 degrees.

And of course what you put on the scones is as important! Butter and honey are at the top of the list, and a close second is lemon or raspberry curd, followed by any preserves or jelly. Or just eat them plain if you like.

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Who Doesn’t Love Dishes/Sherbet with Fruit

imageI love dishes and I think it runs in families!! My mother and sisters and daughter and daughter-in-law all love them!!  I have special occasion dishes, birthday dishes, Christmas dishes and fall and winter ones. Some dishes come with flowers and others with stripes. Of course solid dishes of all colors. But the most dearing of all are the ones passed down from my mother and grandmothers. It would be easy to put them away in a safe place and not use them but what purpose would that accomplish? My mother always said no one was more important than her family, so I took her advice and I use them. When I do, I like to share a story or a recipe from the person who owned the dishes before me. Someday, I hope, my children and then their children will do the same.

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Once a foster parent, always a foster parent/4 layer chocolate cake

During the holidays you hear in church and see on TV the stories of people helping people, and everywhere you go they are asking for your change to help the needy , but rarely are you personally involved. Well, not this Christmas. A past foster child of ours has run into some bad luck where he’s lost his job and is living with a disabled friend not much better off, except he does have a roof over his head, well barely. So I went into immediate action! First I hired him to do a little work around my house to give him some instant cash. He has no car so I had to pick him up and take him home. On the way home I thought I’d stop by a church to get him some food for him, only to find out that they give all their food to the food bank. I’d been seeing the food bank drives on TV and all the food others were donating. So I thought “a piece of cake”, pun intended!  I got the number from the church and called right away. I heard on the line a recording stating that there was a three month waiting list….for food! I thought to myself someone would be dead at the end of that waiting period if they had no food to begin with. Plus when someone has no food and no car, how are they supposed to make the miles and miles walk to where the food bank is to get this food. To me this sounded all backwards. Instead of the churches giving to the food bank, the food bank should be giving to the churches in areas where people could walk from home to get this food. So what to do now!! I called my children and husband. Like ghost busters they went into action!! My son talked with his school and was able to get a very nice back pack filled with canned goods with poptop openers, and when our friend was unpacking the cans to give my son back the backpack he was thrilled when he found out he could keep it too. Adam, my son, involved kids his with this project and they found out first hand what it meant to help out a very needy person. You can imagine the questions Adam had to answer. Then his wife, Lisa, used Facebook and sent out a “help” call to see if anyone knew of dentists in the area that could help our friend with new teeth. When our friend lived with us he was a teenager and he had the most beautiful teeth of any of the children we cared for. Now, sadly from his life’s choices his front teeth are gone completely and the rest are rotting out. Lisa has received some information and we are currently working on getting him new teeth which will open up new job possibilities. My daughter in the meantime contacted her church and she was able to get a large basket full of fresh foods like a ham and cheeses and bread and she promptly delivered it to him taking her children along to see this process unfold. Between all of us this holiday has turned out well for our needy friend. Maybe we can’t reach all the needy in town but at least we can start with one. I’m so proud of my family and I know it was more of a learning experience for my grandchildren than any of the words they’ve heard in Sunday school and youth. 

Hot tea and tea cakes

img_7171-1I grew up in a household that loved hot tea. My maternal grandmother, Dessa Marie Tracy, enjoyed the English side of her heritage and served hot tea with sugar and cream in her prettiest tea cups every day around 3:00. Even my sister and I were allowed to drink from those cups. Coffee mugs or metal or plastic cups would never do. Grandma knew the tea would not taste the same. And you need the saucer to hold your spoon after stirring all that sugar we would add. My younger siblings continued to enjoy this treat after school with a slice of fresh homemade bread. She must have prepared early in her day to have that bread ready to come out of the oven at just the same time the school bus arrived at our door. 

These are English tea cakes that are perfectly paired with a cup of hot tea.

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Grandma Dessa’s favorite Bible verse: