By Angela Shelf Medearis
Dec. 11, 2009
A Gift of Faith and Food My father, Howard, was in the Air Force, and my mother, Angeline, was a homemaker.
They didn’t have a lot of money to buy Christmas presents for my three siblings or myself.
One thing they did give us was lots of love, great food and faith in God and in the future, no matter how bleak things might look in the present.
The Bible says that faith is “a gift of God”. I believe that. It would take a God to create something as wonderful and as life-sustaining as faith. It takes a great faith to carry on in the midst of all the troubles we face day in and day out.
The wonderful thing about faith is that the more you use it, the more it grows. Unlike earthly things that become worn and depleted when used time after time, faith becomes even stronger and more abundant the more you use it.
I often hear about people “losing faith.” If you feel like that, all I can say is that lost things are often found in the most unexpected places at the most unexpected times.
I’ve misplaced things, thinking that they were lost, only to find them when I was looking for something else. The thing I’d thought I’d lost was there all the time, waiting for me to discover it again.
Faith is like that. Sometimes when you think you’ve reached the end of your ability to believe, something or someone comes along to shore you up so that you can continue on.
I have great faith in the future and the abilities of the American people to preserve in these difficult times. We must love and speak lovingly about our country.
A thing that is not loved will not grow properly. We must have faith in our personal abilities and in our potential as a people in order to grow.
While the holidays pose their own special set of personal and financial challenges, it’s also a time to appreciate and treasure the priceless things in our lives — love, faith and family.
No matter what your circumstances might be, hold on to hope, preserve and cherish your family’s heritage, memories and recipes; and most importantly in these difficult times, keep the faith.
Some of my favorite Christmas memories are linked to the dishes my mother made during the holidays. Teacakes are a Southern-style cookie that were a special after-school treat or a holiday dessert during my childhood.
Making and sharing these delicious cookies are almost as fun as eating them!
Merry Christmas, and have a blessed holiday season!
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar, plus extra for
sprinkling the cakes
2 Eggland’s Best eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and wellblended.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and mix in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg, and add it to the butter mixture, alternating with tablespoons of sour cream and mixing well.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or sheets of wax paper, and chill 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Dust a cutting board with flour and roll out the dough until it’s about an inch thick. Cut out cookies with a 3-inch-round cookie cutter, or use a drinking glass about the same size.
Put tea cakes on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove cookies from the baking sheet and cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 2 dozen (3-inch) cakes.
Editor’s Note: *Recipe adapted from “The New African-American Kitchen” by Angela Shelf Medearis (Lake Isle Press, 2008).
Angela Shelf Medearis is known as The Kitchen Diva and is the executive producer and host of “The Kitchen Diva!” cooking show on Hulu.com. Visit her Web site
Her new inspirational book is “Ten Ingredients for aJoyous Life and a Peaceful Home — ASpiritual Memoir,” co-written with Pastor Salem Robinson, Jr. http://www.dunnsmemorial.com/
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