Just Like Grandma Used To Make

My brother Dale and I have been obsessed with conversations about food lately, mostly because we are watching our weight and trying to make healthier meals. It’s a real challenge to two Southern cooks who enjoy the foods our grandmothers used to make. My brother loves bread–biscuits, cornbread, yeast rolls that have to be left to rise, and then punched down to rise a second time before baking. He doesn’t care as much for desserts.

Granny’s tea cakes, warm and smelling of vanilla. Yum.

But I do. I still remember my grandmother’s banana pudding. Today, most cooks start with an instant pudding, but a real Southern banana pudding begins with a custard cooked over a double boiler, cooled, and layered with meringue  and Nilla vanilla wafers. I have never looked up the calorie count. It would be way too scary. I haven’t made banana pudding in a while, but this week I had a hankering for another of my granny’s recipes, and luckily it’s one with fewer calories.

Remember tea cakes? When I was a kid my mother made them using  Granny’s recipe and had them waiting–still warm from the oven,  when I got home from school. Baking tea cakes made the whole house smell like vanilla. Maybe that’s why vanilla is still one of my favorite scents and my favorite flavor of Blue Bell Ice Cream. Anyway, they are easy to make and quick to bake, so I thought I’d share the recipe.

GRANNY’S TEA CAKES:   Preheat the oven to 350. Cream one cup of butter and one cup of sugar till light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.  Add one teaspoon vanilla. Then mix in 3 and a half cups of self rising flour, a little bit at a time until a soft dough forms. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut with a cookie cutter. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  If you have to wait for one batch to bake before putting in a second batch, cover the second batch with a damp tea towel so the dough won’t dry out.

These are so good served warm with milk or a cup of hot tea.

Do you have a favorite “granny recipe” to share?  I’d love to know what foods bring back good memories for you.

4 thoughts on “Just Like Grandma Used To Make

  1. Bella Michelle @ Southern Somedays

    Oh, how Southern comfort food is the stuff of life! My little guy (11), who is on a special diet for a medical condition, would give his eye teeth for a biscuit and some Chicken-n-Dumplings!!!! You are so right about ‘Nana Pudding…you must cook the pudding not get it from a box and it has to have meringue and not whipped topping…it just must!

    I am delighted to have found your blog!!! Have a blessed day!

    1. dorothy Post author

      Hey Bella,

      So glad you found me. welcome! Oh yes, chicken and dumplings are one of our favorite winter time foods. Of course here in Texas it’s already starting to feel like spring and then comes summer and fried okra and tomatoes still warm off the vine, and homemade ice cream made with Texas peaches…:)

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope your little guy finds other Southern foods he can enjoy.


  2. Peggy

    Dear Dorothy,
    I am really with you and Bella here in Alabama where those dishes you mentioned are still everyday delights! I make Tea Cakes for my husband because his grandmother always had them in her kitchen. My grandmother always had Purple Hull Peas, Cornbread and Pound Cake along with cream corn, okra and butterbeans! Can’t wait for this years vegetables!

    1. dorothy Post author

      Hi Peggy, Thanks for stopping in! I LOVE purple hulls and cornbread. My mom cooks it for me every time I go home. Your comment makes me hungry for a big plate of fried okra and some iced tea!


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