Recipe: Mama Hunter’s Teacakes

Mama (Mary) Hunter is my great-great grandmother on my mother’s side.  She passed away in 1941 but left behind many loving family and friends in Texas.

Pictured here is Mama Hunter (nicknamed “Mamie”) and her husband Charles taken in 1938.

One of her many recipes has been handed down through the generations and is one of my favorites.

It’s for a quite-simple tea cake.

For those who are not great in the kitchen, it’s simple and easy to make.

Now that I think of it, not too many of our long-held family recipes are elaborate.  Many are just wholesome and indicative of their rural, humble origins.

Enjoy, and Happy Mother’s Day. -mp

Mama Hunter’s Teacakes

2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla ( you can use almond or lemon extract instead)
2 cups flour – to start with.

Mix shortening and sugar, then add buttermilk.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Mix slowly with the
moist mixture.  You will need to add more flour until you have a soft dough that can be rolled out.
I think it takes a total of about 3 1/2 cups flour when you are done.  I add the flour slowly.

When the dough is ready, take out a small amount of the dough and roll out very, very thin and cut with a cookie cutter.

Place on cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven until the cookies begin to brown.

The Three-Month Challenge

Partly inspired by colleague Jenni Hogan’s program, and partly because I’m three months shy of one of those milestone birthdays (you know, those birthdays with a good round number that make you reflect), time has come to do a little DIY home improvement work on the old self.

The growing ever-older self.

And since the holidays and a vacation, a growing softer one too.

I’m not terribly unhealthy or anything, but a little “pruning” here, more “strengthening” there, you get the idea.

Also, down the road (and if my problem-child right knee allows), I’d like to start running this summer, perhaps working up to a half-marathon at some point.  I ran a lot in college, but not as much in recent years.

So, alas, why not put it down in black-and-white!

I’m doing a three-month personal fitness challenge, and since this tidbit of info is public, there’s no weaseling out of it, huh?

Come May 16, I’ll look back.

(Yes, I even took out the tailor’s tape last night and did some measurements as weight doesn’t tell the tale.  I’m not about to reveal those stats, though I might when the three months are done!)

Also, I want to hear your good ideas and secrets to fitness!

Healthy recipes will also be great to hear!

A friend also turned me onto Daily Plate a while back, which I have found is a good way to track what you eat.  It also has a mobile app.

Do you also have good resources?  Let me know!


What I’ve Been Reading This Week (Nov. 27-Dec. 3)

This is the first edition in a weekly series based on what I’ve been reading on the internets. 

You see, I read a ton of blogs (205 on my Feedly reader at present), websites and other items through the week.  

It’s part of my rather-disturbing addiction to news and information that has developed only in the past couple of years, largely thanks to Twitter.   And I do pass along many links there.

Picking up and reading the blog of my KIRO 7 colleague and friend Paul Balcerak, I’ve gotten turned onto Instapaper.  That’s a website that is self-described as a “simple tool for saving web pages for reading later.”  

(Apparently Pinterest is good too, but I’ve been waiting on an invite for what seems like an eternity.)

So with this brand-new personal website and blog thing I’m slowly working on, I thought it’d be a good place to list the best-of-the-best of what I’ve come across in my week.   There is a lot of great material from talented people and organizations out there. 

It won’t be a long list from me… maybe five, perhaps as many as ten.   The articles won’t be that long either (however my descriptions probably will).  

The plan is to send along every Sunday and clear out the Instapaper queue for more.  Send me your best in return!-MP

At long last, here’s installment numero uno (topics from wide receivers to wasps):

1.  Positively the easiest way to spot 12 men on the field

If you thought you were getting every conceivable television angle of Sunday’s games, think again!

There is one camera shot the NFL absolutely does not want you to see, says The Wall Street Journal.

Is it just me, or does that sound like a magician who would just prefer you kindly not videotape the performance!

2.  Facebook is not a blog!

Kelly Clay (via Lockergnome) implores you: Don’t be a Facebook blogger!

Now, I love Twitter (and to a much-lesser extent, Facebook), but we agree: please use it as a really, really”TinyURL” for all your thoughts and emotions.

As Clay also points out, for serious bloggers and especially brands, putting your blog on a site you don’t run might, just might, become a bit sticky later on.

3.  “When death feels like a good option”

In the TV weather world, we lost another wonderful talent this week: Don Harman of Fox 4 in Kansas City.   Struggling with depression, according to his family, he took his own life on Tuesday.

Watch “Don’s Family Shares His Fight with Depression” from WDAF Fox 4  

They say television is a small world, where no one is more than two degrees separated from everyone else.  The TV weather business is even much smaller than that.

Harman’s suicide reverberated around our very small world, as did the 2007 death of John Winter of WFLA in Tampa who was also struggling with depression.

Well-known Seattle entrepreneur Ben Huh of the Cheezburger network recounts his darkest days in an early-week article from the Seattle

4.  Stunning St. Helens

Ben’s words are encouraging, so please take a moment and a deep breath to reflect on his words and nature’s beauty.  

The incredibly stunning photograph was taken of lightning near Mount St. Helens earlier this year.

5.  Lots I didn’t know about campaigns

With the “suspension” of Herman Cain’s candidacy Saturday, I heard some cable news chatter about the chance he could get back in the race at some point.  I thought, “Not if he’s going to endorse someone, he can’t!”

NBC/MSNBC’s Domenico Montanaro explains it has a lot to do with debt, among some other things.

And, did you know that Hillary Clinton is still technically a candidate for president?

6.  “John, I’ll take the wasp in the center square for the block.”

I’ve killed my share of wasps and yellowjackets over time, and it’s not something I’m proud of.  In my old-er age, I realize they are beneficial, and will probably just leave me alone.

Still, the paper wasp’s sting ranks as a 3.0 on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which places it between the red harvester ant and tarantula hawk.  A 3.0 is described as “like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.”

Now in even better news: THESE WASPS KNOW WHO YOU ARE.   Or at least, they can recognize the faces of other wasps.

I would assume they could then probably figure us out.

Look at those faces.

Now, by all means, you have very pleasant dreams tonight.

Those nine wasps playing Hollywood Squares know exactly what you did with that can of Hot Shot at the house next door.

As for me, I really don’t want to meet the nice-looking wasp in the top center square.  You know, the one next to Jim J. Bullock.