Friday, June 6, 2008

Delicious Tea Biscuits, Circa 1916

The last time I went to visit my parents, they had bought the remaining contents of a country woman's estate and found a few things they thought I might like: a vintage ladies compact and gold mesh glove holder, a pretty folding fan in a glass case, some vintage Trifari pearls in the original box. But it was while looking through an old ledger that I found a small, thin, creased piece of paper that proved to be my favorite find of the day, this 1916 sales ticket. (Note that the logo says Church & Co's Soda at top left.)

I don't know if you can read what's on the front, but Walter somebody's list from Jan. 31, 1916 called for Flour, Coffee, Shugar (sugar?), Snuff, Maches (Matches?) and Beans, all of which totaled $3.45. I'd love to know what size jar/bag/can these items were, because I have a feeling $3.45 went a lot further in 1916 than it does today.

On back of the sales ticket are two recipes, and I was delighted to see the one for Delicious Tea Biscuits. In case you double click the photo and it's still too hard to read, I'll share it with you below. I haven't tried these biscuits yet, but the next time I'm in a biscuit-baking mood I'm sure I will.

Delicious Tea Biscuit

Take one quart of sifted flour, one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoonful of ARM & HAMMER SODA; sift thoroughly together, then rub in a heaping tablespoonful of lard or butter, and add sufficient sour milk or buttermilk to make a soft dough -- just stiff enough to handle with the floured hand. Roll out the dough, and cut out the biscuits. Bake immediately.

Have the oven and pans very hot before mixing. Put the dough into the oven soon as mixed.



  1. What a neat piece of history and a treasured find. It is interesting to not have a temperature setting for the oven. It's just something we take for granted. You really had to know how to judge the heat. I guess you just had to keep stoking the coals until is was really hot! And also interesting how the flour is measured in quarts not in cups and feeling for the right amount of "sour milk".
    Thanks for sharing. Let us know how they turn out. (If I don't try them first)

  2. Thanks Angela! My books from your giveaway arrived in today's mail. I have enjoyed reading to my Mother and trying to decide which recipes to try first. We have lavender blooming in our garden now, and Alda gave us the idea to tuck a few bundles of the herb in our napkins! What a fun and memorable afternoon you have made possible for Mother and me with your generosity.

  3. You are just the luckiest (and/or best skilled) vintage tea-item finder I know! That is just sooooooo cool!

  4. It looks like Walter Austin.
    I love looking at old things from the past. It tells a story or how things were. The prices of things then and now always makes me think of just how things were for the person.


  5. Wow, what a find! I love to see relics such as this list from the past... was Mrs. Walter dictating? Was Walter chewing on his snuff while hanging out by the store's pot bellied stove? And the "bonus" recipes... I remember when merchants gave away small items (S&H green stamps, for example) because they appreciated your business. Today we have to beg for extra napkins at restaurants! Thanks for sharing!

  6. You certainly do come across the neatest stuff! As you know I visit your blog daily - and I've been inspired to start a little tea blog of my own just for fun. I only hope that I can keep it as interesting and compelling as yours always is! Well done, Angela!
    Your Charleston, SC Tea Friend, Denise


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