Saturday, January 31, 2009

Electric Tea Kettle Unplugged!!!

I have owned and used a variety of electric tea kettles since my first trip to England in 1995. I completely gave up stove top tea kettles for the purpose of heating water for making tea because the electric ones heat water more quickly. Except for unusual circumstances like the past 4 days here in our home without electric power. So how did I prepare many cups of tea for the family and neighbors the last four days?

The "old fashioned" way using a pot for the water and a mug for a dipper. Thank goodness for a gas cooking stove at times like this.

We kept warm with 3 sets of natural gas logs in the house. We kept our tea warm too!

Each day we carried hot water and food to two different elderly neighbors who had gas logs, would not leave their homes but had no way to heat food or water. (These hot water carafes were purchased on trips to Denmark and are my favorites.)

Important lessons I learned from a four-day winter power outage:

1. Our natural gas logs, cooking stove and water heater kept us in our home and very comfortable.

2. A battery radio, a supply of candles, several flashlights, a lighter for the candles and gas stove, burners and a supply of batteries helped us make it through the ice storm. Especially when numerous fallen trees and power lines prevented us from being able to drive off our dead end street for several hours.

3. Every home needs at least one telephone in the house that does not require electricity. We have one upstairs and one downstairs.

4. Cell phones are great to have to use as long as you are able to charge them. We kept them charged in GJs Suburban. My new iphone kept me in touch with the world because I could check most of my email and text the out of state daughter. (Thanks, GJ for the Christmas gift.)

5. Refrigerated and frozen food spoils very quickly. I was able to keep some perishables longer by putting them outside in the cold, but not very long. Keep canned and packaged "prepared" food on hand. And, ALWAYS keep bottled water. My biggest disappointment was the large amount of "tea party" food in the freezer downstairs that had to be thrown out.

6. We live in a community of caring and sharing people. I knew that already, but it is nice to be reminded every once in a while. Our entire town was without power with the exception of one small area of 3 restaurants and one grocery store. Neighbors, friends and church members were there to help others in need.

7. A nine year old boy can entertain himself without a TV and electronic games!!!
Our city officials and employees have worked day and night to bring us through the worst of this storm. The clean-up has yet to begin. Many trees are down throughout the community. Power is yet to be restored to homes on two streets. The sun is shining this morning and the electric tea kettle is plugged up and the water is heating. GJ is out in the yard picking up broken tree limbs. Gotta get to the grocery store and re-stock the refrigerator before the next predicted snow and extreme cold comes on Monday.
By the way, I don't often mention the name of south-central Kentucky town where I live. This is the place where GJ and I were both born, left after college, and chose to move back to when the #1 daughter was 4 yrs. old.
Berea, "the Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky" and the home of Berea College. the city of Berea is located where the Bluegrass meets the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Come visit sometime!
There are many homes in our county and in our beautiful state without power and they may be that way until mid-February. All those folks, and others around the country in the same situation, are in our thoughts and prayers.

Friday, January 30, 2009

An Icy View From My Window

Due to the ice in Kentucky our power went off at noon on Tuesday and was off until 3:17 p.m. Friday (today). We are very fortunate to have our power restored. Many people in rural and isolated areas of KY, including our county, may not have power until mid-February. Parts of our county were on a boil water advisory. We are very fortunate our water company was able to keep our water pumping by use of an emergency generator and we did not lose service.
Thank you to those who send emails of concern. I was able to receive emails, including blog comments via the fancy cell phone GJ gave me for Christmas. Apparently our state made the national news on several occasions.
We knew we were headed for trouble when we watched The Weather Channel on Monday night and saw Jim Cantore in Kentucky awaiting a big story!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Books for Children's Tea Party Planning

This one comes with a mini tea set, punchout place cards and more punch out fun!

There are many different books on planning children's tea parties. Most, in my opinion, are written more for adults, while a few are written for children to read and use. All of them include some ideas for menu planning, recipes, different tea party theme ideas, games, activities and crafts. Most of the books also include ideas and information about invitations and tips on who to invite, etiquette and hosting. Often they include facts about tea and how to make a proper pot of tea along with beverage suggestions ideas to substitute for tea.
I helped the #2 (younger) daughter plan a tea party for KJ's 7th birthday last spring. My advice was to keep the menu simple with foods the children would eat and have lots of fun activities planned. The girls enjoyed lemonade poured from a pretty teapot. PNBJ finger sandwiches, carrots with ranch dip and cheese and crackers were served from a three-tier server. KJ had a pretty birthday cake decorated with a mini tea set for dessert. They played dress-up and games, (pin the handle on the teapot and more tea themed games) made crafts and had a fabulous time!

Kentucky Ice

I am taking a break from my posts on children's tea books to show you the ice in southern Kentucky today. School was cancelled yesterday and today. 9 year old AJ is enjoying a cup of Earl Grey while I sip on my English Breakfast tea this morning.

Monday, January 26, 2009

More Fun Children's Tea Books

The grandchildren like some of these stories better than others . But, hey! I enjoy them all because....they are all children's books about tea!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I've Been Tagged: 6th Picture Meme

I have been tagged by Marilyn of Delights of the Heart and Valerie of Tea and Trinkets.

Here are the rules to the 6th Picture Meme:
1.Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2.Go to the 6th Folder, then pick the 6th picture in that folder.
3.Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture.
4.Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

Here is the story of my photo:
I am a member of the Pearl Class, a wonderful ladies Sunday School class at the Baptist Church my family has attended for over 50 years. Although the class is a ladies class, husbands and guests are invited to our annual Christmas dinner held in mid-December. The last two years my husband, GJ, and I hosted the event in the meeting room of his company's local district office. After many years of holding the event in restaurants at church and other places, I've been informed the class may continue having me host this catered dinner and informal, fun tradition forever!

The class is a group of 17 caring, sharing, Christian ladies. Our teacher, Gayle (in the gray jacket) was my 7th and 8th grade teacher. If any class member is in need, we know the others will be there.
Unfortunately, there is not another serious tea drinker in the bunch! *LOL*

The following blogs have been tagged. If you want to play that is great, if not, pleas know that I enjoy your Blog!
1. My daughter Melissa at Peyton's Mamasita
3. Patsy at The Smith's Bennie and Patsy
4. Bernideen at Bernideen's Tea Time Blog
5.Victoria at Vintage Tea
6.Latane at Life in Wakefield

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tea Reading for Little Boys

The grandsons and I have fun reading these children's tea stories. Notice how the bear is guzzling his tea from the teapot spout on the cover of Tea for Three in the middle photo? The tiger drank his tea the same way AND ate and drank everything in the entire house in The Tiger Who Came To Tea. The pigs in Tea for Me, and Tea for You were more than a bit overwhelming to their server at the Swinings Tea Room!
Although the boys and I laugh at these fun tea parties, we also discuss the proper way a "big boy" should behave at the tea table with his family and friends, and how to properly thank the host at the end of the party.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tea Party Sticker Books for Children

KJ, our 7 year old granddaughter, enjoys these tea party sticker books. Each book teaches the reader about tea party preparation by allowing her to join in on the fun by using stickers to dress-up the characters, straighten up the house, prepare the food and decorate the tea table. The four books in the bottom photo have reusable stickers for hours of tea party fun!
I'll talk about some "rowdy" tea party books the boys enjoy in the next post.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Children's Tea Books

I have a variety of children's books about tea — 36 for now ;-). I love them all, and read them with the grandchildren whenever possible. We no longer have babies in the family. The youngest celebrated his 4th birthday earlier this month and has informed me on several occasions that he is a "big boy." The books below are board books the children have outgrown, but I still enjoy the stories and the artwork.

From A Tiny Tea, a Harvest House Publishers Book:
Tiny cups and tiny treasures
Teatime brings such tiny pleasures.
So won't you come and sit with me,
And share a tiny pot of tea?
I will be sharing more children's tea books from my collection during the next several posts. Bring a cup of tea and we can have a tea party together!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Trip to Western Kentucky for Bar-B Q

This weekend we traveled 3 1/2 hours from home to Owensboro located in western Kentucky on the Ohio River. Known as Kentucky's Festival City. The International Bar-B-Q Festival is held there annually on the second weekend of May. There are several Bar-B-Que restaurants in Owensboro.
A visit to the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn is a must for our family when we are in Owensboro! The Moonlight is listed in Southern Living Magazine's 2003 Ultimate Bar-B-Que Guide and Gourmet Magazine's Guide to America's Best Roadfood. The Moonlight is famous for their buffet. We were there Sunday at lunch. The buffet featured: turkey and dressing, fried chicken, country ham, and BBQ chicken, ribs, sliced pork, chopped pork, sliced beef and mutton. The buffet also includes a large selection of vegetables, breads, salads, soups including KY Burgoo and a large dessert bar. A sign at the buffet says "Not Responsible for Your Overeating."

I purchased the Family Favorites From Moonlite® recipe book. In addition to their favorite recipes, the book tells the story of how the Bosley family started with a 30 seat diner and built the business into the famous 350 seat restaurant, national catering facility and online business it has become today. ­
By the way, two of my favorites, in addition to the Bar-B-Q, are their cornbread muffins and the buttermilk pie. Both recipes are in the book. Yipee!

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