Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tea and Honey

G.J. drinks only decaf tea. I finally have been able to teach him to recognize the difference between a good quality decaf tea and a "less than good quality" version.  Typhoo is the brand we have purchased in England on several occasions so when I find it here, I always purchase it for him.  This time I found it in a speciality foods store in Lexington. 

As I continued shopping, I noticed the Honey Bitzzzzzz™.  This is a granulated version of honey.  ParTea Lady at Tea and Talk recently posted about a granulated honey she discovered as a substitute for sugar.   This is not the same as her's and upon closer examination of the label, I discovered the ingredients include: sugar, honey and caramel color.   The instructions on the back of the package say it can be sprinkled in hot tea, shake on cereal, buttered toast, ice cream, or yogurt or use in baking.  Sounds promising.  I will give it a try. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow in Kentucky

The snow arrived last night and is still coming down.  I measured 4 1/2 inches on the back deck this morning while sipping a cup of tea.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Breakfast Tea with Friends

Lynn, Patty and Mary came over for "Breakfast Tea" on Wednesday.  We enjoyed a morning of fellowship and visiting while eating  my Breakfast Casserole, Mary's special Orange Date Muffins and Patty's beautiful bowl of Fresh Fruit.  The teas I served were Harney's Queen Catherine Blend, Hot Cinnamon Spice and Paris. 

The four of us are more than friends.  We are an unofficial support group, as each of us is, or has been, a caregiver for a parent diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. 

Click here for my casserole recipe. My #1 daughter, Melissa, has it posted on her blog with other favorite recipes. 

Tea Quote:

"My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs."
— Charles Dickens

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shrimp and Dill Tea Sandwich Recipe

1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese
1 can (4 ½ ounces) baby shrimp drained
½ cup very finely chopped celery
¼ cup minced onion
Lemon juice, few drops
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
Worcestershire sauce, dash
Party Rye Bread
Fresh Dill

Soften cream cheese. Mash shrimp into bits. Mix all ingredients well with an electric mixer or food processor, and refrigerate 3 – 4 hours before serving. Yield 1 ½ cups spread.

Spread on slices of party rye bread.

Just before serving, garnish with a fresh sprig of dill. If you can’t find fresh dill, very lightly sprinkle with dried dill weed.

You may notice in the photo here, the lady who made these was unable to find party rye bread and fresh dill.  We used sliced French baguettes and fresh snipped chives.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Recipe from Tea Time With Berea Health Ministry 2009 — Olive Nut Tea Sandwiches

This is a typical (and delicious) sandwich served at many functions in this part of the country.  This is the recipe of Joyce M. a member of the tea planning committee and a table hostess.  Thanks, Joyce!

J.M.'s Olive Nut Tea Sandwiches

12 oz. whipped cream cheese
2 Tabsp. Kraft mayonnaise (preferred brand per J. M. )
1 cup chopped green olives
1 cup chopped pecans or English Walnuts (J. M. uses walnuts)
2 Tabsp. olive juice
Mix together all ingredients.  Generously spread on bread slices with crust removed.  Cut each sandwich into four triangles. 

Note: The plate in the photo below was taken before this sandwich was added. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Country Ham

Sweet Potato Biscuits

3 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
¼ cup shortening
¾ cup mashed, cooked sweet potatoes
1 cup buttermilk

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in sweet potatoes. Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 4 to 5 times. Roll to ½ inch thickness; cut with a 1 ½ inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serve with baked country ham. Yield: about 2 ½ dozen.

Note from Linda:
Sweet potato biscuits and country ham is a favorite served at most southern parties, receptions and of course, Afternoon Tea
You may easily subsitute any good quality baked ham for the country ham.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Smoked Turkey and Cranberry-Orange Sandwiches

I will continue to post recipes from the Tea Time with Berea Health Ministry event.  I don't have individual photos of all the menu items, therefore, I will show the plate for the rest of the recipes.  On the upper right of this plate is a rectangular shaped sandwich.  The recipe follows:

Smoked Turkey and Cranberry-Orange Sandwiches

½ cup prepared whole cranberry sauce

½ cup mayonnaise

½ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

½ pound thinly slices deli smoked turkey

20 slices good quality, dense bread

In a small bowl, combine whole cranberry sauce, mayonnaise and freshly grated orange zest. Cover and refrigerate mixture at least one hour for flavors to blend.

Spread mixture on bread slices. Top 10 slices of bread with sliced turkey and cover with remaining bread slices to assemble. Use a sharp serrated knife to remove the bread crusts and cut sandwich into desired shapes.

To see the menu we served at the Second Annual Tea Time with Berea Health Ministry, click here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cheddar Carrot Tea Sandwiches

I made and served this open-faced sandwich for 140 guests at Tea Time With Berea Health Ministry in October.  Variations of the recipe are found in several tea recipe books and online.

Cheddar Carrot Tea Sandwiches

1 cup grated carrots (about 4 medium-small carrots)

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

6 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

16 slices dense bread

Mix together carrots, cheese, mayonnaise, salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread slices of bread with the carrot cheese mixture. Top with remaining bread slices. Trim off crusts with a sharp serrated knife and cut each sandwich into 4 squares. Garnish with parsley and a thin carrot slice.

Makes 32 sandwiches

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cinnamon Chip Scones

This is the recipe I used to make 200 scones for the October Berea Health Ministry Tea.  I usually make plain scones, but thought this recipe would be good for ladies who are unfamiliar with scones.  They are delicious.  GJ and AJ both really like these, even without clotted cream, jam or lemon curd.

Cinnamon Chip Scones3 cups self-rising four

½ cup sugar

1 stick butter, at room temperature

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup Hershey's cinnamon chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. (I use parchment paper)

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, blend together butter with dry ingredients until mixture resembles cornmeal.

Add heavy cream and cinnamon chips to mixture. Mix together until dough forms.

Roll out dough to ½-inch thickness and cut out with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet. Brush with an egg wash. (1 beaten egg mixed with a little water)

Bake 9 – 10 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Do not over bake.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reading "A Yank Back to England"

I just finished reading A Yank Back to England The Prodigal Tourist Returns by Denis Lipman.  I "met" Denis through blogging a year or so ago at The Prodigal Tourist Returns blog because we have a common interest in drinking tea and traveling in England. 

This book is part memoir and part travel book with many, many cups of tea.  Like Denis and his wife Frances and daughter Kate, our family of three enjoys traveling in England and staying in self-catering cottages.  Also, like the Lipman family, we drink a lot of tea in local tea rooms and search out pubs and quaint places for lunch and/or supper.  This book brought back many memories of our travels and stays in cottages with low-beamed ceilings, narrow winding staircases, on farms,and in quaint villages throughout England.  Our family has visited some of the same places he described, traveled along some of the same roads, and stayed in some of the same areas.  We have met so many interesting locals with some of the same personality traits and mannerisms as Denis described.  

The biggest difference in my experiences and those of Denis, is that we are Americans who enjoy wide travels around the countryside, and Denis is an Expat who reluctantly traveled around England because of the interest of his American wife, Frances.  Also, Denis went back to England to visit elderly family members.  A lot of my travels to England were a way to escape the daily chores of caregiving of my elderly family.  I discovered through this book that elderly family members on "both sides of the pond" are very similar with their comments, complaints, and their joy of being with family, especially children.  

This book was definitely a fun read for me!  I reccommend it for Anglophiles, tea lovers and anyone who has traveled in England or hopes to travel in England.  I ordered my copy for a very reasonable price from Amazon. You may also see details of how to purchase the book here. 

Now, I'm going to the kitchen for a nice cuppa tea...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tea and Snow

We've enoyed many cups of tea the past few days during the Kentucky snow and cold temperatures. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tea Blogs

There are several Tea Blog directories on the internet.  Tea Pages Blog hosts one of them.  Click here to see Katrinia's list of tea blogs at Tea Pages™ for many entertaining and educational tea reads.  By the way, some of them will be very familiar.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Surprise Tea

Ya'll know I love surprises (big or little) which arrive in the mail. 

Today I received a package from Paula.  She and I met years ago when we were both Longaberger® consultants and reconnected through blogging.  Between Christmas and New Year's, Paula  took her 13 year-old son to Washington to visit her Grandpa.  I enjoyed following her adventures, including a day in Seattle, via Facebook and her blog.  Check it out here.  It has been many years since I visited Seattle and the Historic Pike Place Market. 

I was so surprised when I walked to the mailbox and found a package of Cinnamon-Orange MarketSpice signature tea, a catalog, information and recipes from Paula in today's mail.  I love it!! 

Thanks Paula!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January is National Hot Tea Month

Do you have a favorite tea or tea blend? 

Do you drink flavored teas or non-flavored?

Do you drink herbal infusions?  Do you have a favorite?

A few basic tea facts:
All tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, a warm-weather evergreen.  The way the fresh leaves of the tea plant are processed and the amount of oxygen contact determines the types of tea.  During oxidation, tea leaves undergo natural chemical reactions that result in color and taste characteristics.  Green tea is not oxidized.  The leaves are steamed, rolled and dried.  Black tea is allowed to oxidize for two to four hours.  Oolong tea falls somewhere between green and black teas, in that the leaves are partially oxidized. 

Tea is grown in thousands of tea gardens and estates around the world, resulting in different flavor variations.  As in wines, each tea takes its name from the district in which it is grown.  Example: Darjeeling tea is from the Darjeeling area of India.  Tea is also divided by grades determined by leaf size.  Larger sized leaves can be found in packaged loose teas while tea bags contain smaller leaves often called dust or fannings. 

Herbal teas DO NOT come from the Camellia sinensis, but are infusions of leaves, roots, bark, seeds, flowers or other parts of plants.

Note: the above facts are from various sources.  I thought this information might be helpful to my non-tea drinking, and novice tea-drinking blogging buddies. 

Join me in celebrating National Hot Tea Month!

I've mentioned many times on this blog, my favorites are black teas and black tea blends.  I usually avoid flavored teas, but occasionally drink a good quality Earl Grey. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Best Small Town in Kentucky

Berea was named the Best Small Town in Kentucky by Southern Living Magazine.  Click here to see the details.

Would you like to come for a visit?  Contact Berea Tourism for information.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Teacup Gift

I just love receiving surprise gifts! 
And, this one is adorable!
Thank you Nancy! 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How Many Cups of Tea in 2010?

Sarah, Brit Gal in the USA, held a contest to see who could guess the closest number of mugs of tea she would drink in 2009.  My guess did not win because it was too high.  Sarah is having the contest again in 2010.  I lowered my estimate of her tea consumption for this one. 

I actually considered counting my tea consumption.  I started my 2010 tea drinking yesterday and after several servings Harney's Queen Catherine Blend in my favorite bone china mug while multitasking around the house, I already lost count!  

One thing is for certain... I bet I will drink more tea in 2010 than Sarah did in 2009, and that doesn't include our beloved southern iced tea.   

To all my blogging friends — Happy New Year and enjoy your tea!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Hometown — Berea, KY

Click here to see this nice segment from the January 1, 2010, Today Show about our town of Berea.  And, let us hope all the wierdos of the world don't move here as result of the publicity!!

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