Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Texas Travel

You may remember, I mentioned in an earlier post that AJ and I plan to travel with GJ while he attends business meetings in several different locations this summer.
We just returned from Austin, Texas and the Texas Hill Country.
We have traveled to this area of Texas several times.
If you read my posts over the next few days, you will notice we enjoyed a bunch of scrumptious meals as we  "ate our way" across the Hill Country of Texas during this trip.  

Sunday morning we departed Austin and drove to Fredericksburg, TX then ten miles beyond to one of our favorite restaurants, the Hill Top Cafe.  This former gas station on the side of the road is a fun restaurant with fantastic food.   We planned our visit to arrive in time for the Sunday brunch. 
Dessert above is a homemade blackberry-peach pie.  The fruit was grown "next door" to the restaurant. 
After brunch, as temperatures reached the upper 90's, we walked along Frederickburg's Main Street and visited several of the quaint shops.  
Then on to our next destination for the afternoon, Luckenbach, Texas. 
Although "Waylon and Willie and the boys" weren't there, you can always find action the general store, live music, and lot of interesting people watching.

AJ enjoyed having his photo made on the Long Horn, music, eating a funnel cake and shopping for a cowboy hat. 

More Texas adventures to come... including afternoon tea.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Roslyn English Teacup

I admit I am partial to delicate pink floral patterns on teacups. 
This one said "take me" when I looked at it. 
This English-made teacup is a Moss Rose pattern by Roslyn Fine Bone China.
I found it online for $29.99.  I purchased it for $13. 
Don't you just love bargains?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bionicles and Tea Decor

AJ's Bionicles are having a battle on the mantle among tea pots and tea cups.
I never know what I might find among my tea decor!
But, I whatever I find, I guarantee it is always fun with an 11 year old boy around.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vintage Gibson's Teapot

This is a Gibson's Staffordshire Enland teapot.  
It has taken me a bit to "warm up" to it's shape, because it is not the typical traditional round teapot shape I tend to collect.  This peach and floral pattern is an Art Deco rectangle teapot.
Mary spotted it in an antique shop and brought it to me. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Vintage Shelley Teacup

This is a Shelley 17525 white teacup with a pink foot and handle. 
The pattern is pink roses with a green trim. 
I have three different Shelley teacups in my teacup collection.   
Can't you just imagine sitting in the parlor (parlour if you are British) visiting with your lady friends and sipping tea from this beautiful teacup?  

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Updated Tea Book

Yesterday I posted about my newly purchased book, "The Perfect Afternoon Tea Book."

Thank you to Angela at Tea With Friends for the comment pointing out she has the older version of this book.  I thought the title sounded familiar.  I have the older version, too.  It is the one on the right in the photo above.  It was published in 1997.  The 2009 book on the left has twice the number of recipes as the original book, and only a very few are repeated in the newer book.  The 2009 book also has many more photos with better step-by-step instructions. 

Note to Angela:  Thanks for pointing out the Madeleine recipe in the older book.  It is not in the newer version of the book. I have hesitated to try out my Madeleine pans, but will do so with your recommendation of this recipe.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"The Perfect Afternoon Tea Book"

"The Perfect Afternoon Tea Book" by Antony Wild and Simona Hill
is "A Feast of Cakes, Biscuits and Pastries, Illustrated with 270 Photographs"

The "perfect afternoon tea" is something most of us tea lovers are on a quest to find. 

This beautiful book includes and introduction to tea, a discussion of different types of tea, an explanation of the etiquette of afternoon tea, and provides a collection of 70 traditional English tea time recipes with step-by-step instructions and photos for: Savory Treats; Teabreads and Pastries; Cookies and Bars; and Cakes and Jellies. 

This is another recent addtion to my tea library purchased from

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Afternoon Tea at Home — Made Simple"

"Afternoon Tea at Home Made Simple" © 2008 by English afternoon tea instructor and author,  Giuliana Orme is a recent addition to my tea library.   I purchased my copy from Amazon. 

The book is divided into two parts. 
Part 1shows the reader how to make, prepare and serve an English afternoon tea — from broiling the water in the kettle to baking the scones to folding the napkins. 

Part 2 takes the reader on a journey from the tea plantation to the teapot, tells the story of the arrival of tea in England, gives the history of the teapot, explores the health benefits of tea, includes tea quotes and informs the reader of facts and trivia about tea. 

If you purchase this book, keep in mind it is an English afternoon tea book.  Guiliana's Afternoon Tea menu and information is typically English.  She does, however, include conversions in the recipes for the convenience of her American readers. 

Check out Ms. Orme's website here.  I would love to take her Afternoon Tea class on my next trip to London.   Would you like to join me?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friends Forever

Left to right, Linda, Ticky, Jennifer, Patty and Karla

We have been friends forever. 
Patty and I grew up across the street from each other.  Ticky, Jennifer and I started first grade together.  Karla, Ticky and I attended to church together as children.  We all graduated from the same small high school.  Patty was a year ahead of the rest of us because her birthday fell 4 days before the deadline to be in our class.  
This year we are all celebrating our 59th birthdays.  We have not always lived in the same little Kentucky town of Berea where were were born and raised.  Some of us moved away as young adults.   
But, we all chose to come back to this place we love.  
Last week my daughter, Melissa, was visiting so she went to dinner with us and took this photo.   
I can only imagine the stories she is telling her girlfriends about spending an evening with a bunch of old ladies who still think they are young girls.   

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fun With The Boys

The boys have had a blast this week at soccer day camp, swimming in the pool, fishing with Grandpa and more!  It's time to say goodbye to PJ.  We hope you will come back to visit us soon.

To make this a tea post, I will mention that AJ's favorite summer beverage is a mixture of 1/2 sweet tea and 1/2 lemonade over ice.  (an Arnold Palmer) While Melissa was visiting this week, she introduced AJ to Chick-fil-A's version of this refreshing drink.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Vintage Sadler Teapot

Anyone who knows me well, knows that a traditional round English teapot is my favorite teapot.  I have a "collection" of teapots, but I don't have a plan for collecting them.  I don't search for rare or unique teapots.  I don't search for character teapots or commemorative teapots.  I just know when I see a teapot if I like it well enough to purchase. 
This vintage Sadler teapot falls into the category of —
"I like it, I want it, and I'll find a place for it in my home." 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vote for My Little Guy

Vote for PJ

Would you consider voting for PJ and my daughter's Stockpiling Moms website for the Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta Contest? You may vote once a day through 6/25 at the link below.  Thanks!!

By the way, this Grandma is enjoying having PJ and his mom, the #1 daughter, Melissa, here for the week while and PJ and AJ are attending soccer day camp.
Be sure to visit Melissa's  to register for great giveaways!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shelley Teacup and Saucer

This is a beautiful vintage Shelley green Georgian teacup and saucer. 
Mary found this for me when she was antique shopping on vacation. in Florida recently.  
It's nice to have friends who know what you like. 
Thanks Mary!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mango Black Tea Update

This is in response to the comments on my last post.    Although I usually don't sweeten my tea, I liked Harney Mango Tea better sweetened.  It made a refreshing fruit-flavored iced tea. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

June is National Iced Tea Month

Do you drink your iced tea plain (black) or sweetened as most southern folks do?  
Do you prefer flavored iced tea or plain? 
My friends know I am a "plain tea" gal — no sweetener, no milk, and no flavors.  The Harney Queen Catherine above is my current favorite tea. 
My friend Mary recently returned from a vacation in Florida where she discovered a restaurant serving Harney & Sons Mango Iced Tea.  In addition to the Queen Catherine Black Blend Tea, I ordered tins of the Mango Black Tea and Apricot Black Tea to make flavored iced tea. 

This afternoon I tried the Mango Black Tea.  In this photo of the wet tea leaves, you can see the bits of dried mango which add flavor to the tea.  It certainly made a refreshing beverage for an 85+ degree day!
By the way, iced tea is better known as "ice tea" in this part of the country.

From the Tea 2010 Calendar
"Allow iced tea to steep for ten minutes, no more or less, if tea sits for too long, it will extract bitter elements from the leaves, making the finished product taste very bitter.  If it doesn't sit long enough, it won't be strong enough to produce the full flavor which iced tea was designed for." 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Washington, DC — Saturday, June 5

We spent the day on Saturday in two of our favorite Smithsonian Museums.  The Museum of Natural History, below.  The Hope Diamond was out of it's setting for a special display. 

No trip to the Museum of Natural History would be complete for a boy without visiting the Mummy!

Then on to the Museum of American History to see the costume of one of AJ's favorite Star Wars characters. 
My favorite exhibits were the First Ladies and the Abraham Lincoln exhibit.  Below is Mary Todd Lincoln's beautiful silver tea service.  Did you know the Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington, KY is open to visitors for touring?
Here I am in the lobby of the Phoenix Park Hotel. where we stayed.  After a day at the museums, we went to Charlie Palmer's Steak for a fabulous dinner.  We walked back to our hotel and packed in preparation of departing Sunday morning. 
 GJ was back in D.C. this week for more meetings then to Atlanta for a meeting.  It did not work out for AJ and I to go this time so we stayed home to catch up on laundry, chores at home and a little fun before our next adventure. 
I am so lucky AJ and GJ enjoy afternoon tea on our travels!

Washington, DC — Friday, June 4

Early Friday morning we sailed on the Spirit of Mt.Vernon from Washington, D. C. 16 miles south to Mt. Vernon, the beautiful estate of George Washington.  We thoroughly enjoyed this all-day outing.
(photos above)
I spied several tea pots and tea sets in various rooms at Mt. Vernon. Did you know George and Martha Washington were avid tea drinkers?
After dinner at Fogo De Chao, a fun Brazilian Steakhouse, we walked to the White House. 
"Temporary" extra barricades were set up around the back side of the WH while we were there  to prevent people from getting as close as usual.  We watched as children and dogs (including a black dog) came out and played on the lawn as adults were strolled nearby.  I zoomed and snapped photos, but decided not to post them here.   During the 15 to 20 minutes of the playtime, extra guards and sharp shooters were out  and about on the roof and the lawn.  Makes you wonder who was out strolling and playing on the lawn, doesn't it?  After they went back into the WH, we walked arount to the front entrance before returning to our hotel for the evening.   

If you missed my post yesterday of the Mayflower Hotel Afternoon Tea, be sure to take a look at it.  It was a delightful afternoon tea.  The men in the family really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Afternoon Tea at the Mayflower Hotel — Washington D.C.

We enjoyed afternoon tea at the Mayflower Hotel on Thursday. 
During previous trips to Washington, we had tea at the Four Seasons and the Williard.  Apparently both of those hotels have discontinued their tea service.  Too bad, because both were wonderful. 
The Mayflower Tea in the Promenade Cafe was a delightful experience.  The cost was $28 per person for the full afternoon tea.   There were 10 teas to choose from including 2 black teas and 2 black blends, an Oolong, 2 green teas and 3 herbal infusions.  They also offered an Earl Grey decaf which GJ chose.  AJ chose the Sencha (green) and I had the Darjeeling.  If you double click on the menu in the photo, you can read the descriptions of the delicious and pretty selection of tea sandwiches and sweets. 
Our server was very knowledgeable and the service was excellent.


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