Monday, January 31, 2011

Traditional Teatime Recipes Book

Traditional Teatime Recipes
by Jane Pettigrew is a publication of The National Trust

Traditional Teatime Recipes was originally published in 1991 and has been reprinted several times.  My copy was published in 2007.  The book can be purchased from various book vendors and the National Trust shops. 

The book is a collection of recipes for breads, scones, cakes and biscuits (cookies) served in National Trust tearooms and restaurants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as some traditional regional specialties.  Tips for successful baking and a conversion chart of  British measurements to "American equivalents" are included.

I admit I have not made any of these traditional British recipes, but reading the recipes and looking at the photos have brought back a lot of memories from various visits to National Trust properties. 

Author and tea specialist, Jane Pettigrew begins the book with  a comprehensive four-page introduction to tea and afternoon tea history in the UK.  All recipes include a brief description, a tidbit of history, a little tea education.   Several recipes have suggestions for tea pairings.     

The second photo above features Bath Buns, left, and Ginger and Treacle Scones, right.  Bath Buns originated in the 18th century. The Ginger and Treacle Scones recipe comes from Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire.   The comments and tea facts make for very interesting reading.  
Here is an example:
The description for Apricot Almond Shortcake recipe reads...
"A delicious combination of almonds and apricots, this (shortcake) goes well with a golden Ceylon tea.  Ceylon tea is often marketed as Orange Pekoe, which causes confusion as the name has nothing to do with orange flavouring or the colour of the leaves.  Today Orange Pekoe (OP) is used as a grading term for denoting the size and appearance of the leaf but the origins are more complicated.  When the Dutch started importing tea to Europe it was so expensive that only the Royal family, the House of Orange and other wealth aristocrats, could afford to buy it so the royal name became associated with tea.  Pekoe is a Chinese word that refers to the fine downy hairs on the underside of the leaves, know in French as the 'duvet'."

*I need to give copies this Orange Pekoe description to the servers at American hotels who tell GJ Orange Pekoe is caffeine free.  So often they tell him OP is a decaf orange flavored herbal.   On such occasions, GJ looks at me and I give him a slight shake of the head.  He usually ends up asking for hot water to brew the decaf tea bag he carries with him.*   

Friday, January 28, 2011

PG Tips Decaf for the Guys

I ordered a box of PG Tips Decaf from the English Tea Store for GJ and AJ.
GJ only drinks decaf.  PG Tips is one of his favorite teas. 
Remember, he learned to drink tea in England, thus, he likes the strong flavor of English tea.
However, he long ago gave up caffeine.
It is often difficult to find decaf tea in restaurants, airports, etc. 
As result, he carries his own tea with him. 

According to the description on the side of the box,
"If you love a great cup of tea but want to moderate your caffeine then PG tips is the cuppa for you."

I like the slogan on the back of this box of pyramid® bags
"more room — free the taste"

"the unique shape(of the pyramid® bag) gives the tea more room to move — freeing the delicious taste of the tea leaves"

A little tea brewing education right on the box! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Teacup Thursday — A Vintage Royal Albert

I purchased this pretty vintage Royal Albert at an antique shop.

As you know, every teacup has a story.  Unfortunately, this one has a sad ending.
After photographing this teacup and saucer, I dropped the saucer and broke it.
Now, I have a lonely teacup. 
Any suggestions on how to use my teacup?

Visit Miss Spenser's Blog to see the other bloggers participating in Teacup Thursday. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Afternoon Tea Books

I have over 250 books about tea in my "Tea Library."
Many of the books above have been purchased at tea rooms I have visited across the USA.

I chose and purchased many of the books and...

some were given to me as gifts. 
Therefore, you will see a few duplicates on my book shelves.

My collection of children's tea books are on the shelf above. 
I enjoyed reading many of these to the grandchildren over the years.

I have tea devotional books, tea inspirational books and tiny tea books.
I also have another 1 1/2 shelves of British tea guide books, and a various assortment of other tea books.

When I need to plan an afternoon tea menu, I turn to many of these books for inspiration and menu ideas. 
I recently promised a new tea friend I would send her a list of my favorite and most helpful tea "how-to" books. 
Oh my!  Where do I begin? 

I feel a series of tea book posts coming...

I will begin with —

"The Book of Afternoon Tea"
by Lesley Mackley

My copy was printed in 1992 by HP Books (there is a newer version)
The photography by Jon Stewart is outstanding.
I really like the simple, basic and helpful  "how-to" photos and instructions to the recipes in this book.
In addition to the selection of recipes, there is a brief history
of Afternoon Tea and directions on "making a good cup of tea." 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dictionary of Tea— A Fun English Mug

I found two of these Dunoon  "A Dictionary of Tea" mugs in a kitchen shop
 in the village of Broadway in the Cotswolds of England on our 2008 family trip.
I brought one home to my friend, Mary, and kept this one.

Each teapot depicts a different "tea' word

chasit-tea and craft-tea

 oddit-tea, and p.m. tea
calamit-tea and equalit-tea

treat-tea and simplicit-tea

bligh-tea and frui-tea

"A Dictionary of Tea" on the handle

 A flirt-tea teapot

And, last of all... emp-tea

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Twinings Tea

Another memory from the Tea in London Tour 2007.
Nancy Reppert and I visited Twinings (and many other tea places) on our "free day" 
I chose to purchase this tin of tea because this blend  is not avalilable for sale outside the UK.

"Thank God for tea!
What would the world do without tea?
— how did it exist?  I am glad I was not born before tea."
~ Sydney Smith, 1771 - 1845 ~

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tea Time Memories — The Magna Carta Tea Room

Memories from the Tea In London Tour 2007
In the photo below, my roommate, Nancy Reppert, owner of Sweet Remembrances, a tea room.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Teacup Thursday — A Vintage Royal Standard Teacup (2929)

This pretty teacup is a vintage Royal Standard.
It is white with pink roses and gray and green leaves and a gold trim. 
It is marked Fine Bone China England #2929.
Mary purchased this teacup and saucer for $13 at a shop in Florida. 
I appreciate Mary for thinking of me!

Visit the other bloggers participating in Miss Spenser's Blog Teacup Thursday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Tales of Teacups ~ A Children's Book

Several months ago, children's book author Rochelle O'Neal Thorpe sent me a rough draft of her book,
The Tales of Teacups.   She asked if I would review  her book.
Upon completion, she sent the final draft.  I emailed her my remarks and honestly, forgot about it with shoulder surgery and everything else going on in my life at the time. 

The Tales of Teacups, published by Wiggles Press arrived in my mail with my comments on the back. 
As I said in my comments, "all teacups have a story to tell."

In addition to thesweet story of Keisha and the special teacups she discovers, 
there is a section of the author's favorite tea party recipes are included in the back of the book.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Afternoon Tea at The Tea Room in Milford, Ohio

Melissa and PJ (top photo) and KJ and I (bottom photo) traveled to Milford, Ohio near Cincinnati for tea at The Tea Room on Saturday.  The Tea Room opened in September, 2010, and is located in Historic Downtown Milford, an area of quaint shops, galleries and restaurants along Main Street, Milford.
I located this tea room through the listing on Tea Map.

Melissa and I ordered the Cheryl's High Tea, a full afternoon tea, 6 year-old PJ the Prince Tea, a
nd 9 year-old KJ the Princess Teas. 

We requested the Prince and Princess teas to be brought to the table at the same time as our soups.
The children's teas included Turkey Snowmen Sandwiches, PNBJ Bunny and Hearts, Chicken Salad and Ham Salad on round bread.   The top tier had fresh Blueberries and Strawberry slices with cream and Shortbread Cookies.
Our "Prince" drank milk in his teacup and our "Princess" tried the Blueberry Infusion and drank several cups of the Black Dragon Oolong.

As result of serving the prince and princess, I forgot to take photos of Melissa's Cream of Watercress Soup and my Tomato Basil Soup.  You can get a peek of her soup above.  Both soups were delicious!

Our first course was Blueberry Scones served with Mock Devonshire Cream and Strawberry Jam.

The three-tier server arrived with sandwiches/savories and sweets. 

Sandwiches on the bottom tier were an Orange Muffin with Ham Salad, Turkey and Cream Cheese on Homemade Date-Nut Bread (yummy!), a Traditional Cucumber Sandwich on White Bread, and a delicious Cranberry Chicken Salad on a Mini Puff Pastry. 
The sweets on the middle tier were Lemon Bars and Chocolate Cherry Cordials.

The top tier served Strawberries and Cream and Shortbread Cookies. 

The Tea Room is decorated with Vintage Linens and Antiques.
The dishes, serving pieces and silverware are vintage.  

Antique and Vintage items throughout the shop are available for purchase.

I just had to show you close-up photos of the garnish on the cucumber sandwich (above)
and the the chicken salad puff pastry (below).  These special touches make tea sandwiches special!   

I counted approximately 30 seats in this cozy tea room. 
The ambiance and decor reminded me of many tearooms I have visited in English villages.  
Thank you to Cheryl, Deana, and Ellen for making our visit to The Tea Room in Milford memorable!

Above photo from The Tea Room
NOTE:  This tea room closed in 2013.

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