Tasty Tuesday welcomes a real classy lady and her Mama’s Teacakes recipe. Contemporary romance author Jannette Spann shares the inspiration for her novel, Right Time for Love, and makes me hungry at the same time! Take it away, Jannette!
Thank you for having me on Tasty Tuesday, Betty, and for allowing me to share a favorite recipe of mine. One of the questions I get asked the most is, “Where do I get the inspiration for the books I write?” Truthfully, some come from thin air, but Right Time for Love came from old-fashioned teacakes.
There were eleven kids in my family, and we grew up on a farm in the country where we raised most of what we ate, both meat and vegetable. We got electricity in our home when I was four-years-old, but I was eleven when Mama bought her first electric stove. Before then, she cooked on a large, old-fashioned wood-burning stove. As kids, our job in the afternoon was to remove the ashes and bring in stove wood. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term ‘stove wood’, it’s split firewood, only shorter and smaller.
Although money was scarce, it didn’t stop Mama from being a wonderful cook. Very seldom did she know how many kids would be at our table, only that she would have a lot of hungry mouths to feed…our friends were always welcome. It wasn’t often that we had sweets, but when we did, you can bet there were never any leftovers.
My favorite—without a doubt—was her teacakes. It wasn’t unheard of for me to beg for those. When she had the time, energy, and right ingredients, she would make a big batch of teacakes for all of us. If you’ve never ‘swiped’ cookie dough as a kid, then you’ve missed one of the joys of childhood. Today we’re told not to eat anything with raw eggs, but I still eat teacake dough.
If you’re wondering how this relates to my latest book, it’s simple… eating is one of my favorite things to do. When I began to plot Right Time for Love, I had a sweet craving and thought about my mama’s teacakes. That’s when I decided to make teacakes the central theme of the story.
Brandy Wyne, my heroine, needed a way to introduce herself and her mother to their new neighborhood. Why couldn’t Brandy’s mom bake the best old-fashioned teacakes in the world?
After all, who can resist a plate of fresh baked homemade cookies? Each time they gave cookies as a gift, a new character was introduced to the story.
Got a problem? Reach for the cookie jar.
Need a disaster? Mix a batch of cookie dough and have things go haywire.
Need to catch Mr. Right? Give him a cookie.
Thanks to the teacakes, Right Time for Love was so much fun to write, it practically wrote itself.
1 cup margarine, softened
2 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
3 cups self-rising flour
Cream margarine & sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs & vanilla, beat until well blended. Stir in flour 1 cup at a time until all 3 cups have been worked into dough. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 355 degrees. Roll out dough on lightly floured board or pastry cloth to 1/8″ thickness. (I roll it out in small batches.) Cut out cookies and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned. (For richer cookies, use real butter.) Enjoy!
Brandy Wyne’s future includes an old house with plumbing problems, a new job, and caring for her mother who has suffered a stroke.
Gavin Wilkin has increased his Grandpa’s plumbing business to twice its original worth, but the old man’s got a hot lady friend with greedy hands. How can he convince his grandpa of what she’s after without hurting him? Added to his problems is the responsibility of caring for his seven-year-old niece for the summer.
Brandy can’t afford the plumbing repairs she needs, and Gavin can’t find a sitter for his niece. Ever heard of the barter system?
From the first reading of “Camp Fire Girls” to her 4th-grade class, Jannette Spann knew she wanted to be an author. She admits her aspirations were almost shattered when English grammar proved to be her toughest subject in school. As it so often happens, her childhood dreams were pushed aside as life led her in other directions. The dream faded, but never went away.
In the early nineties, she began writing short stores for her grandchildren and the dream of being an author sprang to life again. After completing a creative writing course, she wrote her first full-length novel which to this day remains in the back of her closet.
More stories came to life in her imagination and in December of 2012 she decided the time had come to get serious if she wanted to fulfill her childhood dream. In August of 2013 she published her first full-length Inspirational Romance Novel Hidden Hills, with Astraea Press. Two years later she released her 2nd novel with the same publisher entitled Right Time for Love. Both books are available for purchase on line in e-book and paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Jannette is a member of Heart of Dixie, the North Alabama Chapter of Romance Writers of America. She believes when God gives you a dream for your future, you should go for it. Chances are He’s given you the ability to succeed, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.
Get to know her better at http://www.jannettespann.com/
The teacakes sound absolutely wonderful, Jannette! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and a bit about your childhood memories.
Ready to share some teacakes with your neighbors? Or maybe stir up some recipe competition with your friends? What do you think?
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