Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back to Georgia

It was an interesting trip home on Thursday.  From rising at 5:10, then travelling to the Fire and Rescue Station in Vaughan and then to Buffalo airport where I boarded a delayed flight to Atlanta and finally arrived home at 5:30 p.m.  At least it gave me lots of time to visit with my youngest brother, who drove me from the Fire Station to the airport.  He is acting Platoon Chief in Vaughan, Ontario.


That’s him on the left.  My eldest brother (also in photo) is a retired captain in the Toronto Fire Department.  As you can see, I’m a short little thing compared to these guys (and I was wearing heels).  My middle brother and his wife hosted a cookout for me in Toronto.


It was lovely to see my brothers, my sister and her daughter, as well as their partners, and other relations.  My nephew got engaged to a great girl the day before I arrived and I was able to get to know her too.  I must say, though, that the stay at the lake house was the most relaxing part of the trip.


You can see the balcony for my room on the upper far left.  All the rooms have terrific views of the lake.  The water was quite warm for this spring fed lake in Northern Ontario.  I was introduced to what they all call “floating”.  Just go boating to the middle of the lake and tie up to the other boats floating out there.  Then you can just socialize, or dive off the boats when you feel like a swim.  The long time residents there are a friendly group.


My sister-in-law spent a lot of time grooming their two Samoyed dogs Morris and Shania.  The female (being brushed in the photo) seemed to be taking a lot longer than her brother to shed her winter coat.


Of course the “cottage” as they call it, has all the comforts of a luxury home.  The kitchen island has an indoor grill and there is beautiful oak furniture and cupboards.



There is a definite wildlife theme, with moose, bears, wolves, loons, etc. on every available surface.


I’m hoping that a visit to the cottage will become a yearly trip.


There is so much catching up to do and my grandsons start back to school tomorrow.  I have some pretty teacups and teapots to show you from my sister-in-law’s china cabinet.  Then there was the trip to The Old Curiosity Tea Shop.  Also, a couple of new teas to review and a tea book that I purchased.  I hope to visit my favorite blog friends soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Trip to Canada

Toronto skyline

I’m leaving early tomorrow for a trip to Canada.  It’s exciting to be visiting my brothers and sister and their families.  I haven’t seen my sister since Mom’s funeral (over ten years ago). 

I’ll be staying with my eldest brother at his home north of Toronto and then at his summer home on a lake in Northern Ontario.  It will be wonderful to soak up some sun and swim in the pristine cool water.

Of course, I’ll try to fit in a couple of tea room visits that I can share with you when I return.  Now I’d better run and finish some last minute packing. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Seashell Tea Treats

Strolling on a beautiful white sand beach (looking for my favorite shell, the scallop) is my idea of of a great vacation activity.  So, when I came across this idea for little scallop shell tea cakes, I found them irresistible and perfect for a beach theme tea.

strawberry shellies

 You can find the recipe for these cute seashell treats at the Martha Stewart website.  If you are not a great madeleine baker, or are short on time, use store bought like those in this recipe.  Isn’t this a lovely presentation, with graham cracker crumb sand and a white chocolate starfish.

The strawberry ice cream filling is nice, but for the tea table a longer lasting strawberry whipped cream cheese filling would be perfect.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tea on the Veranda

Last weekend the Atlanta Scarlett Hatters enjoyed a “tea on the veranda” meeting at the gorgeous home of member Betty.  The enormous residence was once mistaken for a hotel by a couple of tourists.  They were relaxing on the veranda when the owner noticed them from the garden.  He asked the ladies who they were and where did they think they were.  I can only imagine how embarrassed they must have been – thank goodness they hadn’t tried to check in yet.


Everything was arranged beautifully on several areas of the veranda.  There was a table for pink lemonade (lots of crushed ice, of course) and pretty glass goblets.


The floral arrangements were all created by the hubby of our hostess.   


There were lots of pretty teacups, which we admired but didn’t have the pleasure of sipping tea from.  The ladies thought that it was just too hot for hot tea.


Everyone enjoyed a selection of delicious tea sandwiches and a variety of yummy desserts.


Ruth passed the crown to a new Queen Mum, ending her eight year reign.  She tearfully told us how the group had blessed her life. Several other members talked about what the Atlanta Scarlett Hatters has meant to them.  I guess the most important thing to know about being a Red (or pink) Hatter is that they are all about fun and friendship.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cherry Scones

This months meeting of the Atlanta Scarlett Hatters included a special “passing of the crown” ceremony.  Our Queen Mum Ruth decided that the time had come to step down from this important role in our Red Hat chapter.

Since the theme of the meeting was “tea on the veranda”, I decided to bake a batch of cherry scones.


I’ve mentioned before that my favorite cherry scone recipe is from the Winter 2005 Tea Experience Digest (no longer in publication).


Scones are a wonderful tea treat – delicious and simple to prepare.  I usually choose scone recipes that use butter and all purpose flour, rather than the self-rising flour that is so popular in the South.  This recipe has one cup of buttermilk, but will turn out just as well with sour milk (I’ve stopped keeping buttermilk in the fridge – too much waste).


Mine are cut in wedge shapes.  A baking stone is perfect for the high temperature baking (425 degrees).


This particular recipe is good for a large group, since I can cut out 24 medium size servings.

3     cups all purpose flour
1/3  cup sugar
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½    tsp. baking soda
¾    tsp. salt
¾    cup butter, chilled
¾    cup dried cherries, chopped
1     tsp. lemon zest
1     cup buttermilk
1     tbsp. cream for glazing

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.  Cut in butter.  Stir in lemon zest and cherries.  Slowly add buttermilk and mix gently (do not over mix). 

Gather dough and divide into three balls.  Flatten to about ½ inch thick and cut into wedges.  Place on baking stone.  Brush tops with cream (if desired) and bake at 425 degrees until golden - about 12 minutes.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

4th of July picnic

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tea Themed Cards

Isn’t it wonderful when people reach out to others with kindness and compassion, especially to people they don’t know.  I received a box of lovely handmade cards and tea for my friend Ruth.  They were sent to me by Darlene at The Tea Enthusiast's Scrapbook blog.


Each card has a little handwritten note of encouragement inside.  There was also a lovely card (same design as above) included for me – it will be going on display on my French memo board.


The paper and embellishments used are so pretty.  I love the flowers and tiny pearls.


This design even included a lovely handmade floral print envelope.


The iced Citrus Earl Grey tea sounds delicious and refreshing.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  -  Galatians 6:2


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