(Unless otherwise noted, the Kathryn Tucker Windham blog is written by her children, Ben Windham and Dilcy Windham Hilley.)
Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone but not without a (literally) sweet memory of my mother.
Mother made the best teacakes on the planet. I know this because I’m something of a teacake connoisseur. If you’ve lived in the South long enough, you’d had a goodly share of those exquisite cookies, which are not cakes at all. Nor are they sugar cookies, which is what some bakers make and call teacakes.
No, teacakes are not as sweet and must be rolled as thin as possible and still hold together. When you bite into them, they are crunchy as a cracker, not a bit soft or chewy. That’s my connoisseur’s take on teacakes.
After I moved away from home, my mother sent me heart-shaped teacakes every Valentine’s Day. They would arrive in all sorts of containers. Old stationery boxes were a favored mailing container since Mother was quite the letter writer. I’m sure the teacakes were in perfect condition when they departed the Selma Post Office. By the time they arrived to me, they were always in crumbs and pieces, even though Mother carefully swaddled each one in a nest of toilet paper.
It didn’t matter. They were my mother’s Valentine’s Day teacakes, and she’d made them just for me.
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–Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Auburn University.
Dilcy Windham Hilley
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