Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tea Swap

It is fun to receive a pretty handmade card each month with some new teas to try.


I think Susan did a great job with the card.  I like the bright stripes and the apple tree with a falling apple and lots of texture.


I’ve tried Stash tea before, but not blueberry or licorice (I love really fresh black licorice candy).  The Good Earth brand is a tea that I have not tried yet.  All four are caffeine free, so they will be nice to enjoy for a late evening cuppa.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Not To Bake A Cake

Having a bad hair day is nothing compared to having a bad baking day.  I decided to make a chocolate pound cake this morning.  It has been a while since I used this recipe, but I should have caught on a little sooner.  For instance, why didn’t I acknowledge the fact that there was not much head space in the pan after pouring in the batter.  Where did I think it would go?


As you can see my pan was not quite the recommended 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.  It looks like I baked a second cake on the floor of my oven.  I guess the moral of this story is to stay close to the kitchen, but even if I had witnessed the batter bubbling over, I’m not sure trying to dump some out at that point would have been a good idea.


I’m not usually such a ditzy baker and people do ask for my recipes all the time.  I guess it was just a bad baking day.


The good news is that the cake turned out just as moist and rich tasting as usual.  And from now on I’ll be checking the dimensions of the pan before I begin to bake.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tea With Milk?

tea in British teacup

Add the milk first because hot tea homogenizes the milk fats.  In the earliest days of tea drinking in France, milk was added first to  protect the fine porcelain from cracking on contact with the hot liquid.

Some say that adding milk to tea had more to do with economics.  At one time tea was very expensive, but milk was cheap, so the lower classes drank milk with a little tea and the wealthy drank undiluted tea.

Tea connoisseurs will insist that good tea doesn’t need anything added.  As for myself, I do enjoy a good strong Assam or other robust black tea with a splash of low fat milk.  Perhaps it has something to do with my British heritage.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Good Life

Do not worry;
eat three square meals a day;
     say your prayers;
be courteous to your creditors;
     keep your digestion good;
     exercise; go slowly and easy.
Maybe there are other things your special case
     requires to make you happy;
     but, my friend,
these I reckon will give you a good life.

     - Abraham Lincoln

Of course, I would add:  have at least a couple of tea breaks each day.


This teapot is by Homer Laughlin in the Skytone pattern.  I bought it at a little antique store in Paducah, Kentucky back in 2000.  It is such a pretty blue and I like the rather Aladdin's lamp shape.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stash Iced Tea

I’ve been wanting to try the tea packets that you can add to bottled water, but hadn’t been able to find any without artificial sweetener – until now. 

   P8190777        P8190778

These Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea packets are lightly sweetened, require no brewing and can be added to up to 16 oz of water.  They are made with whole Japanese Sencha green tea leaves that have been ground into a fine powder.  That means more healthy antioxidants because the whole leaf is consumed.

P8190780         P8190781

The Pomegranate Raspberry tea has a pleasant flavor that is quite refreshing.  It comes in several other flavors including Green, Blueberry, Lightly Sweetened Green, Lemon Ginger and Mint.  You can order at Stash and also find Green Tea Smoothies and Ice Cream recipes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teapot Display


Sometimes I find myself longing for a wall of shelves or display cabinets to corral all these teapots.  They do take up a lot of space – now why couldn’t I be totally enamored with thimbles or matchbooks or coins and stamps.  Oh wait, I do have a stamp collection. 


Although I can display a lot of teapots above my kitchen cabinets,  they are so out of reach its easy to neglect them (and boy, do they get dusty).  One of these days I’ll arrange them into pretty little groups and add some greenery and other accents.  Yes, I know they are not shown to their best advantage all lined up like rows of tin soldiers.


Its just about time to weed them out again and make room for a couple of new additions.


There are teapots in every room of my house.  Okay, maybe not the bathrooms.  Does anybody have some creative ideas for storing and displaying teapots – I’d love to hear them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Taste Indulgence

When I receive a flyer in the mail marked boldly “Attention Tea Lovers!” it catches my attention.  Taste Indulgence of Richmond, BC is launching a brand new line of specialty teas.

They are offering free samples by mail or online at their website here for the cost of shipping and handling.


The three samples included are Traditional Earl Grey, Fruit Tease (caffeine free) and Jasmine Jewel.

For those who are curious about the teapot, it is one that I received from my in-laws about twenty-five years ago.  It was made by Mikasa and the pattern is called Innovation.


Friday, August 14, 2009

How To Lessen Tea’s Caffeine


About 80 percent of the caffeine in tea is released within half a minute of steeping.  So, if you steep for thirty seconds, then pour off the tea and re-steep the same leaves you’ll lesson the caffeine in your tea.  This is a handy trick for that late evening cuppa or for those who don’t care for the taste of decaf teabags.

This teapot was a birthday gift from a girlfriend a few years ago.  It is marked Victoriana and Made in England.  My collection includes several blue and white teapots.  I’m a big fan of blue and white china, especially paired with pale yellow.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Simply Southern

Yesterday, I purchased the Southern Lady Simply Southern 2009 magazine.  It has been calling me from the mag racks for a while and I finally gave in to its lure.  I’m not disappointed – I find most Hoffman Media Publications have great photos and lovely ideas and recipes for entertaining.

P8120743 Here in GA it is still very much iced tea season.  This recipe for a Fruit-Tea Cooler looks quite refreshing.

P8120744 These Lemon Almond Cookies look pretty, sound yummy and easy to prepare for a tea break treat.

P8120745   Wouldn’t you love to have a collection of these pretty teacups?

P8120747 The Simply Spring tea is beautiful.


Serving the decorated sugar cubes on their own little flower plates is so lovely.


My very favorite flower is the calla lily so how could I resist these tea sandwiches.  I have seen these in the past and have wanted to try them and now I have the recipe.


Don’t those Raspberry White Chocolate Tartlets on the tiered tray look scrumptious.


There are wonderful sections in this magazine for each season.  The Tricks and Treats section has some really cute Miss Muffet’s Cupcakes with orange and black cake sparkles and gorgeous web like wrappers from, which btw is an awesome bakers site.  It is worth a peek at this issue next time you’re shopping for a new magazine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Store Brand Tea

I’m a great bargain hunter, so today while making a quick trip to Target, I found this loose black tea on the clearance shelf.  Part of the allure was the $3.38 price tag, but I also liked that it is organic and contains Yunnan tea.


The sturdy metal tin is a great way to package the tea and I can remove the labels and use it to store other loose teas when the Golden Breakfast tea is gone.


I found this tea to be full bodied, yet mellow with a hint of smokiness.


Like the old adage about teaching an old dog new tricks, I still had to add a splash of milk.  One day I’ll find a black tea that will suit me, well black.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Slow Me Down Lord


Slow me down, Lord, amid the confusion of my day.
Ease the rushing of my steps by the hushing of my heart.
Draw me in as I cast anchor to repair and restore.
Help me to remember that happiness is not a pursuit
  toward an end, a place to finally arrive.
It comes as I spend a few moments a day
  reflecting on the things that make my soul thrive.

                                        - Jan Coleman

These wise words are from a little book called Soul Retreats for Women that was a gift from my friend Joyce.  Sitting down with a cup of tea and a book is a nice way to slow down, revive and refresh your day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright teapot

This renowned American architect (1867-1959) designed New York’s Guggenheim Museum.  This architectural masterpiece is the inspiration for this distinctive teapot.

2,3,3,4 LARGE


 This Guggenheim porcelain teapot holds up to 38 oz. and I love the clean contemporary lines and pure white color.


This classic is another favorite in my teapot collection.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teapot and Cutwork Embroidery

This Arthur Wood teapot is one of my favorites.  It is made in England, pattern 6759.  The teapot has a lovely pale yellow background with allover floral pattern and gold trim.


The tablecloth features cutwork embroidery that was stitched by my paternal Grandmother.  She was trained in the needle arts as a young girl being raised in Poland.  She came to Canada before the great depression and was able to supplement her family’s income during hard times by her embroidery work.


Later, she entered her work for judging at The Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and won several awards.  She was a hard worker and although I saw her spend many hours in food preparation, I can’t ever remember seeing her doing any sewing or embroidery.  It must have been something that she practiced only in her younger years.  This tablecloth is the only piece of her work in my possession.

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