Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack is the story of a boy and his grandmother (Mammaw) and the special relationship between a child and a grandparent. Their standing Saturday date is a ritual that begins with the main character setting off on his bike and riding through town until he reaches her home. Their day includes sharing breakfast, doing yardwork, eating lunch (with fresh tomatoes from the garden) and--finally--making and eating Mammaw's special teacakes. Chris Soentpiet's lovely, Rockwell-inspired watercolor illustrations firmly place the story in a not-so-distant past and evoke feelings of nostalgia for a bygone era--a time when little kids really did ride their bikes through town (without helmets!) and gas station attendants wore spiffy uniforms. Despite the setting, the story is one all who have a special bond with a grandparent can relate to.
Laminack's publisher, Peachtree Publishers, has a recipe for "Mammaw Thompson's Teacakes" on their website. I adapted it to be gluten-free.
Teacakes (adapted from "Mammaw Thompson's Teacakes", Lester L. Laminack)
- 3 large eggs
5. Bake at 375* for about 15 minutes.
(The boys and my nephew, enjoying their teacakes after lunch.)
To be very honest, I don't think these cookies are all that different from the moon and star cookies I made last month (I'm thinking of mixing up some ganache icing to give them a different flavor). However, the cookie itself isn't the point. This book is about a special tradition shared between a grandparent and her grandchild, and the important thing is the love and the memories centered around this special recipe, not the recipe itself. It could have just as easily been called Saturdays and Tacos or Saturdays and Tofu. In my case, it might have been called 11:00 a.m. and Cheese and Crackers. I will never be able to pass the refrigerated spreadable cheese section in the grocery store without thinking of my Poppa and all of the special times we shared while spreading cheese on crackers and watching the lives of Victor Newman, Jack Abbott and the other denizens of Genoa City unfold. My parents and inlaws don't cook with my kids. They don't watch wildly inappropriate soap operas with them either. But when my dad shares ice cream bars with the boys after dinner or my mother-in-law gives them silly nicknames I see their own traditions beginning to take root.