From Tea Cakes to Tamales: Third-Generation Texas Recipes
By Nola McKey
Illustrated by Cora McKown
Celebrating the traditions that connect food and family . . .
Join journalist-turned-culinary historian Nola McKey on a Texas journey—through food! In this collection
of more than one hundred kitchen-tested recipes— breads, main dishes, vegetables and sides, desserts, and more—Texans share their family dishes, handed down through at least three generations, and the stories and traditions that accompany them. With a strong focus on Texas’ cultural diversity—featuring recipes like Czech sauerkraut, Wendish noodles, Norwegian rosettes, Italian pizzelle, Chinese fried rice, Mexican caldo, and African American purple hull peas (cooked with a smoked ham hock)—Nola documents the culinary impact of ethnic groups from around the globe.
But this book is not for foodies alone; history enthusiasts will appreciate the snapshots of daily Texas life captured in the narratives accompanying recipes that span more than a century. Told primarily in the words of today’s cooks, these multigenerational family recollections can take anyone on a delicious trip down memory lane, back to a beloved grandmother’s kitchen or a great-aunt’s holiday table.
A sixth-generation Texan, Nola traces her inspiration for this book to an epiphany she had while baking her grandmother’s tea cakes using a recipe she hadn’t seen in years. The experience convinced her of the value of passing along family recipes and documenting their provenance. To this end, she provides tips for preserving your own family recipes and for recording the heritage surrounding a special dish. She also includes recommendations for Texas festivals and museums where interested readers can learn more about many of the foods and cultures featured in this book.
Illustrated with family photos from the recipe contributors and original watercolors by Cora McKown, From Tea Cakes to Tamales: Third-Generation Texas Recipes promises to become a Texas family heirloom in its own right.