Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas Past

Christmas used to be a time of year when everyone was reminded us of why it was we hated being around our family. We'd all pile up in the family car and make that long miserable trip to Grandma's. Our more distant relatives would be bane to admit they had no idea who you were and exactly how it was you were related. You'd be forced to spend time with cousins (first, second, and yes God help me third) that you detested. There would be so many aunts and uncles telling you what to do, that you wouldn't know whether to crap or go blind. There would be ridiculous amounts of food (did anyone else have that aunt who brought Kentucky Fried Chicken, and tried to pass if off as her own). You'd eat until you couldn't stand or sit comfortably. Then you'd spend the rest of the day sitting/lying around listening to people talk about things (like politics) that make you feel like swallowing ground glass. Oh yeah, those were the good ole days.
For the life of me I can't remember more than one or two of the gifts I must have gotten over the years. I'm sure my Mother must have spent hours shopping for just the right gift that would fit within her budget. Then wrapping said gift and praying we kids wouldn't find them and tear them open trying to 'peek' to see what they were. I know I must have spent hours playing with these presents, but honestly I just don't remember. I do remember getting the cutest little transistor radio one year. It was the coolest! For days I walked/danced around with the little earphones tucked in my ear, listening to that marvel of technology. I thought I was da bomb!
Of all the things that do stand out in my mind, there is one that never fails to bring a smile to my face and a sweet taste to my tongue. MawMaw's Christmas Teacakes. Oh my what a culinary delight they were. MawMaw and PawPaw were poor folks, and we had lots of family. Since she couldn't afford to buy presents for everyone, MawMaw made her special Christmas Teacakes for everyone as her present to us. Trust me, NOBODY complained. They were the most treasured gift of all. Nobody made teacakes like MawMaw. Looking back I know she must have spent hours and hours making these scrumptious delites.

What a labor of love they were.
I ask my Mother once, if MawMaw had a recipe for her teacakes. Mama shook her head and said "Lordy no child, your MawMaw can't even read or write, how would she write down a recipe?" I remember that making me sad. Especially since Mama's teacakes were never quite as sweet or tasty as MawMaws.
Over the years I've tried dozens of recipes, but none has ever come close to emulating MawMaw's Christmas Teacakes.
They were perfection. With coffee, tea, milk, or just by themselves. And without a doubt the best Christmas present I ever received.

The years have passed and we don't do the big family get together's anymore. I have cousins, aunts, and uncles I haven't seen in ten years or more. Sometimes I wonder where they are or what they're doing with their lives. I wonder too if they remember those wonderfully delicious Christmas Teacakes? I'm betting they do.


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