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[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

It's always nice to have something alongside a good cup of hot tea. Sandwiches, cookies, and buns are all great choices, but to me a nice slice of tea cake and butter is hard to beat. This is a simple cake, dotted with raisins soaked in tea—but put it next to a pot of tea, and take a moment to read a newspaper or stare out a window, and you'll be ready to get back to the real world feeling satisfied and invigorated.

This cake will sit well in a container in the fridge for about a week—which makes it an ideal thing to make on a Sunday afternoon when you have some time, so that you're ready when the urge for tea and cake strike later in the week.

If you're feeling creative, change out the raisins for chopped figs or currants, and the orange for a lemon; you could even swap out the tea for a flavored black tea like a chai. With that in mind, this is a good recipe to have when your pantry is a little empty as well; as long as you have eggs and butter and a couple other dry goods you're only a couple hours away from a tea cake.

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass. Find more information at sydneyoland.com (or read eatingnosetotail.com)

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