The Ladies' Tea Guild

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Edenton Cakes for a Tax Day Tea Party!

image from

In a town called Edenton in the mid-1770s, the lady citizens got together and decided to support the Revolution and anti-tax movement by refusing to drink imported English tea. Their beverage of choice on the day of the ladies' political tea party, is said to have been raspberry leaf tisane.

Here is a recipe that is said to be one of the actual items served at the Edenton Tea Party in the 18th century. I haven't researched this, so I don't know if it's true, but I thought it was an appropriate recipe for April 15th and the T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) parties that were scheduled across the nation today.
Edenton Tea Party Cakes
Cream together 3/4 cup of butter with 2 large cups brown sugar. Add 3 eggs and blend. Stir 1 teaspoon soda into a small amount of hot water. Cool slightly and add to creamed mixture with 1/2 teaspoon salt and enough (5 cups) flour to make a stiff dough. Flavor with vanilla. Chill. Roll out thin, cut with cookie cutter and bake in hot oven, 400 degrees, until done.
-- posted to the T.I.A.S. newseletter.

1 comment:

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

After further thought and research, I realized that this recipe -- as it is -- would not have been made before the late 1800s. It contains both vanilla and baking soda, neither of which were available in the American colonies or Europe in the 1770s. Perhaps the ladies at Edenton made something similar, but in the 18th century the leavening would have been either yeast or whipped egg whites, and the flavoring would have been a sweet wine, spices, lemon or orange peel, and/or rose or orange flower water. Now we can research to find out what they really had at that tea party!

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)