Friday, May 28, 2010

French Tea

Every once in a while I like to pull out one of the older books in my tea library and enjoy it again.

P5251551This is a great book for getting a sense of the French tea experience.  There are teas served in very old tea salons, cafes, restaurants and elegant private homes. 

P5251545  The photos by Juliette d’Assay are wonderful.   

P5251548 There is lots of information on types of tea and the different  regions where tea is produced.


 There are wonderful patisserie with recipes for many of the most popular (Tarte Tatin, Financiers, Madeleines, Fougasse and Quiche, etc.).  There is a handy Glossary of Pastry.


The book includes photos of outdoor teas, kitchen teas, Sunday teas, birthday teas and lots more.   Gorgeous china and tablescapes fill the pages.  You can find a reasonably priced used copy of French Tea at Amazon.  Now, if only I could get to Paris.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Welcoming A New Baby


How wonderful it was to welcome our first granddaughter last night.  She is a tiny, perfect, bundle of joy.  It is still hard to believe that my baby is a daddy.

I was so proud of the way he helped Jess all through the labor and the difficult delivery.  Her parents, who were also with her during the birth, said that it was very clear how much he loves their daughter. 

I held Madison for a while last night and again this morning, but I’m already eager for another visit.  There is something so very special about gazing into a newborn baby's face and watching all the cute little expressions flicker across it.

P5261567Nana (that would be me) is blessed indeed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Birthday Teacup

As mentioned in my last post, my friend Angela gave me a beautiful cup and saucer for my birthday.  I’d love to show it to you. 

P5251552Aren’t the colors and floral design lovely.  I’m not sure what kind of flowers these are – what do you think?  


This is an English teacup made by Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd. at Windsor pottery, Longton, England in the 1950’s. 


I’ve already enjoyed a cup of black tea in my new teacup.  Once in a while its nice to put aside my sturdy tea mug and use a pretty and delicate cup instead.


My birthday gift also included some other tea themed items.


A feminine notebook with a magnetic closure.  It has lovely graphics and the sheets inside are perfect for any tea lover.

P5251557 These pretty tea time napkins.

P5251556And this Mary Engelbreit chipboard teapot and pretty ribbon should bring out my craft-tea side.  Isn’t it great how tea friends always find the perfect tea themed gifts?    

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jade’s Tea Room

Thursday afternoon I met my blog friend Angela from Tea With Friends and we visited a new tea room in McDonough, GA.  It is in the Highlands Plaza on highway 42.  I was pleasantly surprised with the bright and pretty Asian influence decor inside.

P5201528 You can see by the sign outside that it is a modern establishment that offers free WiFi. 


There was an extensive tea menu and the tea sample wall was a nice touch.  It is fun to see the loose tea and to take down a sample tin and smell the fragrance of the tea.  There were also many kinds of gourmet coffee beans and drinks available for sale, which is great for when hubby joins me for a visit here.


The walls were painted in two pretty shades of sage green.  For those that prefer lounging over sitting at a table, there was a comfortable sofa.  I could picture someone sitting there with a hot cup of tea and their laptop.


 It took Angela and I a while to stop chatting and look at our pretty menus and choosing from all the delicious  teas and foods was not an easy task.  I finally settled on tomato basil soup, spinach salad with bacon and fresh ginger dressing and a turkey sandwich with tomato, lettuce and basil leaves.  It was served with crisp cucumber spears and a tasty sauce.

P5201519We ordered bubble tea to enjoy before lunch.  Isn’t that a pretty glass?  We had the black tea chai (spiced tea) flavor.

P5201525Jade had lots of pretty touches throughout her tea room, including these beautiful yellow roses on the tables.  There was even a timer for help in steeping the proper length of time.


We each ordered a pot of iced tea to drink with our lunch.  Mine was a nice lemon flavor with fresh lavender.  I was pleased with how much flavor and fragrance the lavender imparted to the tea.

After tea we shopped at the local quilt store, A Scarlet Thread, then did a little bargain hunting at Marshalls.  It was a fun afternoon.  If you have the opportunity to visit Jade’s Tea Room, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.  For more information you can visit the website here.

Since this was our first get together since my milestone  birthday in April, Angela presented me with a beautiful teacup and saucer and some other pretty things that I’ll share another time.  Maybe I will join one of those blog groups like Teacup Tuesday or such, so that I can show off my lovely new teacup.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another Handmade Handbag

Today I finished the floral summer handbag that I was making for my birthday cruise.  It’s only a month late!  I think Linda of Friendship Tea had the right idea.  She said  “You need to schedule another cruise so you can use your purse.  Don’t you love how the female mind works.”  I like that and I’m already dreaming of a Mediterranean cruise next April.

P5181516I thought the lilies on this fabric were quite pretty and made sure to feature one on the front pocket of the handbag.

P5181517The ties on each side really enhance the shape of this bag.

P5181515With ten inside pockets, I can organize a lot of stuff.  There is a magnetic closure to keep it securely closed.



Now that I’ve finished this project, I can get started on the shaggy- raggy baby quilt for my first granddaughter.  Maybe if I start now, it will be ready for Christmas.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Afternoon Tea at Three

Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of being present at the first ladies afternoon tea event for Locust Grove UMC.  I was greeted warmly by Laura Farr and presented with the church cookbook.  I have a collection of church cookbooks which contain some of my favorite recipes and I know I’ll enjoy this one.


Then I was introduced to the event speaker, Janice Mussell, who was kind enough to invite me as her guest. 

P5161511 Janice (on the right) has written a lovely book called Tea In Season.  You can read about the book here on her website.

P5161508The tea tables were decorated with fresh flowers and some very lovely teapots.  This vintage Hall teapot in the Blue Bouquet pattern was on our tea table and I kept thinking how much I would love to add this Aladdin style teapot to my collection.  Isn’t the shape wonderful and look at that gorgeous handle. 

P5161509The ladies did a great job with the tea trays.  There were cucumber sandwiches, ham and radish, cream cheese with almonds, puffed spirals with sausage and more.  Someone had also prepared the best cheese straws I’ve ever tasted.


Those of us with a sweet tooth were treated royally.  Look at all these goodies, Victorian sponge hearts, chocolate covered strawberries, pecan and cheese squares, brownies and a lovely puffed pastry cup with creamy vanilla & apricot filling.

My compliments to the ladies who organized and prepared the food for this event – great job.  It was also very sweet that the young people served the iced tea, etc.  I suspect that this will be the first of many lovely afternoon tea events at Locust Grove UMC.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I learned this morning that there is a village in central Scotland (northeast of Perth) that is named Scone.  It was the coronation site of Scottish kings until 1651.  There is also The Stone of Scone (Stone of Destiny) that served as a throne during the coronation rites.  It was taken to England by Edward I in 1296 and kept in Westminster Abbey.  The Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland in November of 1996.

Stone of Scone Coronation Chair

I like to pronounce the word scone like they do in Scotland.  The scone is my favorite part of the tea tray and in my opinion, must be offered in any establishment that calls itself a tea room.  If you would like some great scone recipes look here.

scones with jam and cream

This calls for a little more investigation, but right now I’m off to my quilting bee this morning to finish sewing my tropical fabric purse.  The one that was supposed to be finished before my cruise, but was put aside due to sewing machine malfunction.  Or, more specifically, machine malfunction due to operator error.  Hint:  always check that you are not using an incompatible thread type.  If all goes well, I’ll post a picture of the finished project soon.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Strawberry Tea Butter

Sometimes its nice to have something a little different to serve with scones, although I am a big fan of lemon curd and Devonshire cream.

Try combining 10 ounces of thawed, frozen strawberries with 1 stick of softened butter, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar and 1 teaspoon grated orange zest.  Puree in a food processor until smooth. 

I was reminded of this recipe when I saw it in my 2010 Tea Calendar.  Here in the South we have fresh strawberries available at this time of year and that is what I use for this spread.


Here is something pink, pretty and non-edible.  This is the first Kalanchoe I’ve had that has such full flowers – they almost look like little roses.  Isn’t it pretty?  I think someone put the wrong tag in the pot to identify it as a Gelai Kalanchoe.  When I looked this up it was a yellow single flower variety.   Does anyone know what this variety is called?

P5071505 The white wire teacup is from a pair I picked up last weekend at a yard sale – think I paid a dollar for 2.  They will come in handy for my sunroom.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tea and Tuna Fish

Tea had come as a deliverer to a land that called for deliverance; a land of beef and ale, of heavy eating and abundant drunkenness; of gray skies and harsh winds; of strong-nerved, stout-purposed, slow-thinking men and women. Above all, a land of sheltered homes and warm firesides — firesides that were waiting, waiting for the bubbling kettle and the fragrant breath of tea.

Agnes Repplier (To Think Of Tea)


Tea drinking became really popular in England when Queen Anne (1665–1714) chose tea over ale as her regular breakfast drink.


As I was eating my lunch today (tuna fish on whole wheat), I was thinking about how blessed we are to have fresh clean water for tea.  I’m sure that drinking ale with all my meals, including breakfast, would cause me to be slow thinking and not a very productive woman.


In case you were wondering, this is an English teapot made by Crown Dorset.  I made a lovely pot of Darjeeling tea in it to drink with my lunch.  Here is the simple tuna salad recipe.

2  cans tuna
½ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1  tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup mayonnaise (I like to use less)
salt & pepper to taste

Mash tuna with a fork.  Add celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice.  Mix well and fold in mayonnaise.  Season with salt & pepper.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pandora Bracelet

I’ve never paid that much attention to these bracelets before, but when I saw them in St. Thomas, I guess something just clicked.  Instead of buying a different pair of earrings, or whatever on each trip, I thought, why not start a collection that can be added to throughout the year.

P5041496 Of course, the fact that there is a teapot and a teacup bead didn’t hurt either.  I’d like to see an Alice in Wonderland bracelet with the teapot, teacup, rabbit, clock and cupcake beads added to some glass and silver (or gold) beads.  I think I’m going for a tropical beach look, with my blues and soon to be added blue-greens, starfish, etc.

P5041493Can you see how cute the little teapot bead is?  The only problem is its penchant for turning upside down all the time.  I lucked out on the light blue polka dot bead.  When I visited a shop in Stockbridge, the saleslady told me that it is a retired bead and she would charge double for it.

The Pau Amarelo (Brazilian) wood bead is only joining the others until I get a leather bracelet and then it will move there with a couple of brown glass beads.

I wonder how many of you will be adding to your Pandora bracelets this spring.  There are some really pretty new beads – check it out here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Emerald Princess

The Emerald Princess is a beautiful ship.


We loved our aft cabin with a large balcony and view of the ships wake.


We are still docked in Ft. Lauderdale in the above picture.


Everywhere you turn there is something pretty to look at.  The decor in the spa, library, theatre, clubs, dining rooms, etc. was outstanding.


The pastry chefs were incredible.  It’s hard to believe that these sea life sculptures were entirely edible. 



The food was wonderful.  It was difficult to decide just what to eat, there were so many choices.  I wish I’d taken photos of all the scrumptious foods that we were served.  Our rack of lamb dinner was memorable, as were the many different seafood dishes I enjoyed each evening.  There was shrimp, lobster, barramundi, cioppino,  mussels and lots more – a seafood lovers dream.

P4111240A cruise on the Emerald Princess was a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday.   Hubby agrees that this should become an annual event.  Next year - maybe the Southern Caribbean

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