From Tea Cakes to Tamales
Third-Generation Texas Recipes
Cooking - Texas History - Gift Book
8 x 8, 288 pp.
36 color, 43 b&w photos. 41 watercolors. Map. Index.
Pub Date: 05/20/2016
Clayton Wheat Williams Texas Life Series
  paper with flaps
Price:        $29.95

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Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Winner, 2016 Fred Whitehead Award for Best Design of a Trade Book, sponsored by the Texas Institute of Letters

From Tea Cakes to Tamales

Third-Generation Texas Recipes

Nola McKey
Illustrations by Cora McKown

Join journalist-turned-culinary historian Nola McKey on a Texas journey as she explores the state’s foodways through heirloom recipes. In this collection of more than one hundred third-generation (and older) recipes, Texans share not only the delicious dishes they inherited from their ancestors but the stories and traditions that accompany them. With a strong focus on Texas’ cultural diversity—recipes include Norwegian rosettes, Italian pizzelle, Czech sauerkraut, Chinese fried rice, Mexican caldo, Wendish noodles, and African American purple hull peas—McKey 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 trip down memory lane, back to a beloved grandmother’s kitchen or a great-aunt’s holiday table.
Additionally, McKey provides tips for preserving your own family recipes and for recording the heritage surrounding a special dish. She also includes recommendations for festivals and museums where readers can learn more about Texas foods and cultures.
Illustrated with family photos and original watercolors by Cora McKown, From Tea Cakes to Tamales: Third-Generation Texas Recipes will, itself, quickly become a Texas family heirloom.

NOLA McKEY, a former senior editor with Texas Highways, is the editor of Cooking with Texas Highways and previously worked as an assistant foods editor at Southern Living. She lives in Austin. CORA McKOWN is an artist, interior designer, and former housing and interior design professor at Texas Tech University. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


What Readers Are Saying:

“A nostalgia rush brought on by her grandmother’s tea cakes prompted Nola McKey to take on a Proustian endeavor—not only did she preserve the tea cake recipe alongside a photo of her grandma, she began gathering third-generation family recipes and archival portraits from all over Texas. The magnificent cookbook she assembled from these heirloom recipes and poignant photos is both a deeply personal album of Texas families from many cultures and an incredibly valuable documentation of Texas food history.” —Robb Walsh, three-time James Beard award winner and author of Texas Eats: TheNew Lone Star Heritage Cookbook; The Chili Cookbook; and The Hot Sauce Cookbook

"Nola McKey's compilation of time-tested recipes and endearing family histories feeds both body and soul. This celebration of Texas cultures and traditions is destined to become a cherished heirloom in its own right."—Jill Lawless, editor, Texas Highways magazine

“Nola McKey’s From Tea Cakes to Tamales: Third-Generation Texas Recipes made me want to do three things right off:  1. read the fascinating recipe stories through the whole darn book all in one sitting, 2. start picking out favorites to make (Nola’s grandmother’s tea cakes for starters!), and 3. wonder what’s taken me so long to do the very same thing with the treasure chest of my own family recipes!  Deliciously sentimental, this inspirational book invites the reader into the lives and kitchens of those who created the culinary culture that is uniquely Texas. As the former Southwest Food Editor for Southern Living, this book would have been the only research source I would have needed years ago. Every cook who claims to be Texan should have one. Now it will be a staple in my kitchen – I can’t wait to get cookin’!  No, wait….first I think I’ll snuggle up with it for a good read… Either way, From Tea Cakes to Tamales is a must for all who enjoy cookbooks and good stories.” — Deborah Garrison Lowery, former Southwest Foods Editor, Southern Living

“This work from the heart of Nola McKey will speak to anyone who values food traditions passed down through generations. It speaks to family heritage and the memories we treasure of days we helped Grandma in the kitchen and those moments when we broke bread with our nearest and dearest. Finally, those of us who ache for a taste of long-lost recipes will likely find satisfaction in these pages.”— June Naylor, author co-author of The Texas Cowboy Kitchen; Cooking the Cowboy Way; and the Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook

“This is a good addition to the history of Texas. Not many books are written regarding the history of recipes and the families that created and continue to use them. This is an important part of our history for our state, especially as more and more people move into Texas; we need to create a record of that history and this book will assist in doing so.” — Karen Prukop Vaughn, County extension Agent, Emerita Texas Agrilife Extension Service

“More than a cookbook, this includes narratives from family experiences and creates a powerful presentation that is especially recommended for culinary history readers interested in Texas food heritage.” — Midwest Book Review


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