Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tea Mug

I found this bargain-priced Roy Kirkham Tableware fine bone china tea mug recently at Marshall's. I use bone china mugs daily for my tea drinking. Somewhere in my tea training, I learned tea tastes better in bone china. I couldn't resist adding this pretty mug decorated with Lapsang Souchong, The Flying Cloud clipper ship, a tea chest and more to my collection.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Multi-Tasking On The Soccer Field

In addition to working on our house and making preparations for the October 17th fund raiser tea, our time has been consumed with soccer games and practice. AJ is playing on 2 teams, middle school and a recreational league. At least 4 games a week and practice multiple times a day some days. AJ loves soccer! Yesterday, we drove 45 minutes to out of town games.
I observed an interesting bit of multi-tasking at the two games yesterday...
Text messaging has become a priority for many young people, but....

...can a person text message and pay attention to their work at the same time?

In my opinion, the answer is — NO. This young lady text messaged while refereeing two middle school games yesterday.
We have all heard a lot of discussion recently about banning text messaging during driving.... but, in my opinion, some of the places I have observed workers text messaging recently not only makes work inefficient, it is downright rude.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Taste-Testing Teatime Recipes

During the process of planning the menu for Tea Time With Berea Health Ministry, I've been making recipes from various sources and asking family and friends to taste-test. Thus far, I have come up with several keepers! I'll let you know when the final menu has been set.
The Apple Butter Mini Tarts (middle photo)from Miss Rose Marie's Special Teas in Birmingham, Alabama is a must have on a fall tea menu! The recipe was featured in the January/February issue of Tea Time Magazine and on page 106 of The Tea Experience From Tea Time Magazine. I added a tiny sliver of an apple for garnish (and crunch) although it was not in the recipe.
I often improvise when making recipes. Friend, Patty, and I declared the addition of the apple a real winner!
Volunteers are making the food items for 200 people, therefore, my goal is to choose very easy, but tasty tea time treats.
And, by the way, it is a challenge not to plan too many menu items with cream cheese. Have you noticed, there are tons of afternoon tea recipes with cream cheese as the main ingredient? ...including the delicious Apple Butter Mini Tarts.
Special note to Donna — Your Cheesy Bacon Bites recipe in Teatime at Miss Spenser's was a real hit with Mary, AJ and GJ. This one will definitely be served at my tea table in the future.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cinnamon Scones

Today I made 100 Cinnamon Scones from a recipe in the Fall 2004 issue of Tea Time Magazine. I put the unbaked scones in the freezer and have 100 more to make. The recipe was declared a winner by GJ, AJ and my friend Patty when I made a trial batch last week. I have kept all the issues of Tea Time Magazine and refer to them often for recipes and tablescape inspiration. Do you have a favorite magazine or publication you keep for reference for tea parties or entertaining ideas?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tea Choices

My daily cup of tea is Elmwood Inn's Mayor's Cup, a blend of Ceylon, Darjeeling and Assam.

In addition, today I drank a cup of Harney and Sons Decaffeinated Ceylon and and a cup of African Autumn, a rooibos (in the above photo). Belinda left a comment yesterday informing me of the overwhelming requests for decaf tea at her church teas. Thank you, Belinda, for letting me know that. I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss this with you if you would email me at teatimegrandama3atyahoodotcom, if you don't mind.

In Angela's comment, she called me a tea "purist." Isn't it amazing how well we get to know each other through the blog world?!? She has me pegged, as I choose to drink black tea and black tea blends (no flavors) with absolutely no added milk or sweetener. And, Angela, I will report on the teas and why I did or didn't choose particular teas for this event.

I'm open to any and all suggestions for choosing a tea to serve 200 ladies. And, I must admit, the flavored tea choices I served last year, Harney's Hot Cinnamon Spice and Harney's Paris were overwhelmingly successful.

Hmmm... maybe I should take the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach and serve the same thing again. However, on the other hand, should I take the golden opportunity to introduce another fine tea to many women who would not drink anything other than Lipton tea bags?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tea Tasting — Harney Black Teas

In addition to planning the menu for 200 guests at Tea Time With Berea Health Ministry, I will also make the tea. When you calculate 2 to 4 cups each, that's a lot of tea!

I decided to serve a black tea or black tea blend. I know that probably doesn't set too well with you flavored tea lovers! But, I our guests are mostly non-tea drinkers. I am not serving a floral, fruits or herb tea due to possible allergies. I haven't yet determined if I will also serve a decaf, but we are serving ice water for those who can not tolerate tea or caffeine.

I ordered several samples of black tea blends from Harney and Sons and have been drinking them the past few days. Queen Catherine, Elyse's Blend, Stanley's Blend and Palm Court are the ones I have tried, thus far. I'm looking for a non-bitter and somewhat mild tea. I will taste some of the Darjeelings before I make a decision.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tea Time Menu Planning For 200

In my "spare" time, I am planning the menu for 200 guests at the Tea Time With Berea Health Ministry to be held on Saturday, October 17. The food items will be made by volunteers. The challenge is to choose delicious, unique, and easy to prepare recipes. Some of my tea recipe books I am using are shown here. GJ and AJ have enjoyed the taste-testing!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Painting the Kitchen

The painters arrive every morning at 7:00 a.m. This week they are painting my kitchen, the "heart" of my house, our most active room. Next week, they will move into the last two "old bedrooms" and out of our high traffic area.

I escaped last night and went out to eat with the old high school girlfriends. We talked and laughed so much I forgot to take a photo. It was an enjoyable distraction for me (and no paint odor). GJ and AJ were on their own for the evening with 2 soccer games and Chinese food.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Master Bedroom

The addition to our house began on April 6. We moved into the new master bedroom this weekend. It was very exciting to see three closets full of clothes go into our new walk-in closet. The next event will be the removal of carpet in the two old bedrooms for the wood floor to be installed. We still have a way to go on the house renovation, but can finally see the end. The painters are here every morning at 7:00, whether I am ready or not!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September Tea - Matcha Tea by Visiting Japanese Ladies

It has been a fun and busy week with the visiting Japanese sister city delegation. At the "farewell party" on Friday night, the ladies dressed in traditional Kimono and made matcha tea in the busy kitchen of the party hosts before performing a traditional dance.
Matcha Uji means "froth of liquid jade." The Japanese Tea Ceremony centers around the preparation, serving and drinking of matcha. I have wonderful memories of being a guest at traditional Japanese Tea Ceremonies on my two trips to Japan.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Winner!

The Sisterchicks Go Brit! book goes to Angela McRae!

Please email your snail mail address to teatimegrandma3atyahoodotcom and I will send it to you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sisterchicks Go Brit! Book Giveaway

I read this book and would like to pass it on to a blogger friend who enjoys tea and travel in England, or who hopes to travel in England. This is one of the books in the Sisterchicks® series of novels by Robin Jones Gunn.

From the back cover:
"Two midlife mamas hop over to jolly olde England and encounter so much more than the usual tourist stops. Liz does have a bit of a childhood crush on Big Ben, and she has hoped to 'meet' him ever since her fifteenth birthday. Kellie dreams of starting an interior design business and figures Liz needs to be a part of that equation — a calculation that hasn't added up for Liz yet. Nothing on this excursion goes the way these two friends had envisioned. And, oh, what a surprise awaits them when they return home!"

This was a fun quick-read for me. I especially enjoyed reading about the adventures of Liz and Kellie in some of the same places in England where I have traveled.

Please make a comment on this post if you would like to receive Sisterchicks Go Brit! and I will have AJ draw from the entries Thursday night. Check back Friday morning to see the winner announced of this slightly used (and very much enjoyed) fun book.

Japanese Sister City Delegation Welcome Reception

Everyone enjoyed a casual dinner and an exchange of friendship with old and new friends at the Welcome Reception we hosted for our sister city delegation from Hokuto City, Japan. Forty people attended including the delegation and local folks. Of course, AJ received lots of attention as he was the only child there. I was very proud of his behavior and his hosting skills.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Japanese Tea Sets

These are my tea sets I brought home from two trips to Japan.
I am showing these today in honor of the Japanese sister city Delegation from Hokuto City, Japan.
Every spring since 1989, a Japanese delegation visits Madison County, Kentucky. And, every fall a group from here visits Japan. The Japanese group had to postpone their spring 2009 trip until this week. Tonight GJ, AJ and I are hosting the group for dinner as our family has done for 15 years.
Since our house renovation is not complete and is not ready for company, we are having a catered event at GJ's company.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fun Labor Day Weekend with Family

The children ran, played and buried each other in the sand. Uncle Tim washed them off with the hose, and into the hot tub they went! Grandpa admired Melissa and Peyton's garden and took the family to our favorite Asian restaurant. On Sunday, Melissa cooked a great breakfast and we had carry-out late lunch from this Grandma's favorite Cincinnati-area Italian place. Thanks for hosting us Melissa, Tim and Peyton. We always enjoy our visits with you in N. KY. Just wish we could have stayed longer!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Little British Food Shopping and More

Our grocery shopping is very limited in our small Kentucky town, so I drove to Lexington to pick up a few things I specifically needed for a couple of recipes. I was looking for Hershey's Cinnamon Chips for a scone recipe and found them.

While I was in Meijer, I checked out the British food selection and came home with a few products. GJ likes PG Tips Decaf, but they were out, so I picked up Typhoo for him. I didn't hear any complaints this morning.

I couldn't resist Somerdale English Clotted Cream, Mc Vittie's Digestives (cookies), and a jar of Major Grey Chutney. Now I just have to find the recipe that requires Major Grey Chutney. *LOL*

I also stopped at Michael's for a few things. A fun morning of shopping is always good therapy, in my opinion.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Rest of the House...

Contractor's brown paper is on the new wood floor to protect it as the work continues on the back addition of two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a new laundry/utility room. The electrical and plumbing inspections are complete. There are more inspections to come. Whew! What a lot of red tape! The painting will soon be complete and we will move into these bedrooms and wood floors will be laid in the two existing bedrooms where we have been "held captive" the last few months! At one time, we had one working phone and one TV. We are definitely on the "down hill side" of this project now. But, I'm still not projecting a date for completion.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Linda's Tea Room

This room added to the front of our house was to be GJ's office/den. The floor plan changed when the wall between this room and the new family room had to be moved to become a support wall. The room picked up several more feet and GJ began to refer to it as "Linda's Tea Room."
Well, guess what?!? It became our personal tea room and, as we carried in tables and chairs, he informed me he "expects" me to serve tea at least once a month for friends, family and neighbors (of course, that includes he and AJ) in this special room! I told him not to start the time clock on my promise to serve monthly teas until everything is unpacked and the decorating is done in this room and the rest of the house is finished.
We look forward to having tea in this new room sometime this fall.

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