Friday, January 30, 2015

January - Hot Tea Month

We are nearing the end of the celebration of Hot Tea Month in January. 
But, I will continue to enjoy my "hot" tea year round as I know many of you will, too. 
(graphic design from the internet) 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gluten Free Walkers Shortbread

 Walkers Shortbread has announced a new line of Gluten Free Shortbread
 Gluten Free Ginger and Lemon Shortbread
 Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread
Gluten Free Pure Butter Shortbread
Walkers was founded in 1898 and in the village of Aberlour in the Scottish Highlands
is a family-owned and managed company. 
These new products will appear at retailers across the country in the coming months.
They are also available online at
 and at
 I look forward to having a GF shortbread and cup of tea soon! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tea Thoughts

 I'm feeling a little less than "perky" this morning 
so I decided to stay in out of the cold and 
catch up on correspondence using a few of my many tea themed note cards.  
Yes, I am a fanatic collector of all things tea!  
My good friends know that, so several have gifted me with tea stationary and  note cards,
in addition to my many purchases.    

In this world of cell phones, emailing and text messaging, 
I often wonder how I managed without a computer and smart phone. 
I admit I love the convenience of emails and texts because 
text messaging is a great way to stay in touch with the teens
and young adults in the family wherever they are in the world. 
This morning, as I was drinking my first cup of tea, 
the Lord brought the names of three dear elderly ladies who are shut-ins
and have no access to modern technology.    
Thus, the reason for the cards and stationary on my desk.

The pretty tea cups and tea scenes arriving in the mail, 
will bring a ray of sunshine and warm thoughts of friendship. 

"Where there's tea, there's hope."
~ Sir Arthur Pinero

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Day in Kentucky

It's a snow day in Kentucky,
a great time to stay inside with a nice cuppa of my favorite tea
and a new book. 
 This morning my tea is in a Dunoon mug, fine stoneware made in Scotland.
The pattern is "London".

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day

Melissa was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease  (KD) in 1984
when she was eleven years old.  It was nearly three weeks before her KD was diagnosed, 
after a week each in two different hospitals, and being sent home with a 
"fever of unknown origin" or FUO. 
She was an extremely sick little girl.  
It was a very difficult time of my life, as her mother,
 but I will spare you the details. 

The cause of Kawasaki Disease is unknown.
 There are no tests for KD. 
The patient is diagnosed after going through the stages 
of the various symptoms. 
Melissa was the sixth child in the state of Kentucky to ever be diagnosed,
and at age eleven, she was older than most KD patients. 
Many cases were misdiagnosed.
After her diagnosis, Melissa returned to the hospital for further tests, 
and it was concluded she had multiple coronary aneurysms as result of the KD.

Fast forward thirty years:
 Most of the long-time followers of this blog 
know that Melissa underwent her 2nd open heart double by-pass 
surgery on October 30, 2013.
The first one was when she was a junior in college at age 20.  

Fortunately, now there is a treatment for Kawasaki Disease 
IF it is diagnosed within a few days of the onset of the illness.  

I am observing KD Awareness Day on January 26 on this blog
to inform others of the importance of research and awareness of Kawasaki Disease.
Currently, approximately 4200 children in the USA are diagnosed each year. 

Melissa today 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Royal Albert Lavender Rose Trio

A few weeks ago I posted about finding a pretty
Royal Albert Lavender Rose Teacup Trio with a small plate.
My preference, however, is to use an 8-inch "salad" plate
when serving tea on my trios.
I was pleased to recently find a Lavender Rose trio with an 8-inch
plate at a bargain price. So, now I have two sets,
one with the "traditionally English" small plate and one with the 8-inch plate.

This is a pretty Royal Albert pattern.
I look forward to using this trio on a table soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

I posted a delicious Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie recipe
in my early days of being GF on 4/2/13 at this link.
I recently discovered a similar version of the recipe in
The Gluten-Free Table ©2012
by The Lagasse Girls, Jilly Lagasse and Jessie Lagasse Swanson.
 Their Peanut Butter Cookie recipe is adapted from
The Lagassee Girls omitted the chocolate chips from their Dad's recipe.
(There are several versions of the recipe online.)
This recipe uses 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup light brown sugar
instead of a cup of granulated sugar as in my previously posted recipe.  
I scooped them with a cookie scoop to made equal sized cookies.
I rolled them into small balls and criss-crossed with fork tines.
Then baked for 10 minutes. 
It's a challenge to wait for them to cool before eating them all!

Our family loves PNB Cookies, and before going GF I made them frequently.
I am so glad these PNB cookies are GF, very easy to make, and delicious!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gluten Free Magazines

During her most recent visit, Daughter # 1 told me she
has never seen any one person with as many magazines as I have. 
I love to read magazines.  The are quick, easy reads, and full
of the latest information.
I usually donate the magazines I've read or pass them along to
the daughters.  Except for Tea Time Magazine, of course!
After going Gluten Free (GF) in 2013, due to health issues,
I discovered several "new" Gluten Free magazines. 
I am so thankful for the resource information in these publications. 
The gluten free products, recipe books, Facebook Groups, and publications on the market
have helped me with the gluten intolerance issue.
I can only imagine how difficult it would have been to have been diagnosed GF
10 to 20 years ago without the products and information currently available.
Some of the photos on the covers above look perfect for afternoon tea, don't they?
I am in the process of planning a few Gluten Free afternoon tea menus
 just for Melissa and me.

 I appreciate the GF recipes and inspiration in Tea Time Magazine, too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tea Infuser

I was inspired by a recent post by Angela at 
to drive several miles north to visit T.J. Maxx.  

I found this cute Ribbit Tea Infuser by Joie.
I purchased it for our Daughter #2, Laurel. 
She collects frogs, and recently has become more
serious about tea brewing and tea drinking. 

 Instructions on the back of the package:
1. Fill infuser with loose tea. 
2. Close. Immerse in boiling water and steep to taste. 
3. After steeping, place the infuser in the holder. 

Just like her mom (me), Laurel loves little surprise gifts. 
She will like this little gift because of the frog, and it's perfect for
brewing a mug of tea.
"The flavour of tea can become very unpleasant if the leaves 
stand for too long in the hot water. "
From The New Tea Companion
© Jane Pettigrew 2005

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gold Thread Reserve Tea

 On several occasions, I have posted about my experience of visiting the 
Red Blossom Tea Company located in the Chinatown area of San Francisco. 
As result of that visit, I order tea from them several times a year. 

 In addition to my order, they send small samples of various teas. 
This is Gold Thread Reserve (black tea).  
Notice the golden color of the tea buds in the photo above. 
According to the RBTC website:
Gold Thread Reserve is the first pick of the Spring season from the Feng Quing Tea Garden.  
It is comprised of young tender leaf buds, each individually hand-picked to 
deliver aromatics, sweetness and an exceptionally smooth mouth feel that only 
come from early stage tea buds.  The tea buds in this reserve 
were gathered a week and a half  before those used in regular Gold Thread. 
 A full description of this smooth and delicious golden red infusion is
 on the Red Blossom Tea Company website.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

7th Blog Anniversary

I began Friendship Tea Blog on January 16, 2008
Today is my 7th Blogging Anniversary.
During seven years of blogging, I have shared my passion for the ceremony of afternoon tea, tea the beverage, the beautiful English Bone China,
including teapots, I've collected through the years, and for all things TEA.  
I also have a passion for family and friends. 
And, obviously from many blog posts, the reader can see
 I have a passion for travel and trip planning.
I also have a passion for our home, community, and the beautiful state of Kentucky.

A lot of things have changed in the seven years I have been blogging,
including several family and health issues. 
The biggest change for me is that I went Gluten Free
on February 15, 2013.  Melissa, daughter #1,  was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
I tested negative for Celiac, but I have Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS).
My health improved tremendously after I stopped eating gluten. 
I am happy that I feel better, but sad the gluten intolerance
forbids many of the delicious tea foods which were so important to me
during tea times with family and friends.
It is far more difficult for me to find afternoon tea venues to enjoy.
Therefore, my afternoon tea posts on the blog have become more difficult,
a real challenge.
The blogging will continue, but perhaps at a slower pace. 
I'm just not sure.

Thank you to everyone who reads Friendship Tea
and especially to those who leave comments and/or
send emails.
I have been so fortunate to meet many tea bloggers and
readers as result of the blog.
The best reward for blogging is the friendships!

The following is my first blog post from January 16, 2008.

Afternoon Tea is a time to gather for conversation, enjoyment and and chance to linger with friends in a gracious setting. The choice of food depends on the occasion, the time of the year and personal taste. A traditional afternoon tea consists of a selection of small sandwiches and savories, scones accompanied by lemon curd or clotted cream and jam, small sweets and/or a dessert. Tea, of course, is the drink to accompany afternoon tea. The tradition of having afternoon tea is one of life's wonderful pleasures. Sharing tea time with friends and family is one of my favorite things to do.
"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hours dedicated to the ceremony of tea."
~Henry James~

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Royal Worcester Francesca Two Ways

A recent online discussion with a tea group about the sets of 
china/dishes we own brought about a lot of memories of 
my Royal Worcester Francesca pattern china proudly displayed in this beautiful 
handmade Kentucky cherry cabinet. 

We purchased the teapot, creamer and sugar with 
four cup and saucer trios at the Royal Worcester factory
during our 1998 trip to England.  
The hubby located a shop in Lexington, KY where he 
purchased and surprised me for Christmas with four more trios.  
The Francesca pattern, which was the company's most popular pattern in 1998, 
had been discontinued when I began looking for more matching pieces. 
It was a bit of a challenge, but I was able to add 8 dinner plates to the set, 
and I'm  continuing to add serving pieces.
We learned on our 2008 visit to Worcester, the company has
closed their china manufacturing in England and moved it "off shore."
 I used the Royal Worcester in 2008 at the Berea Health Ministry fundraiser
to create my table theme 
"The Queen's Golden Jubilee" 
Another trip took us to England during the 2002 Golden Jubilee Celebration. 
I incorporated a few mementos from that visit into the table decorations. 

I used the Royal Worcester Francesca in 2010 to set a 
totally different, and more casual theme for the
 Berea Health Ministry fundraiser tea. 
"Sereni -TEA By the Sea" 
was a fun table to put together.  
I even had grass skirts and straw sun hats hangng on the back of the chairs. 

 Themed afternoon teas and tea tables are usually not my thing, 
but the table contest really motivated me to have fun with it.
To see more decorated tables by the participants, 
click on the Tea Time with the Berea Health Ministry links on the left side bar. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Afternoon Tea

 According to Shelley and Bruce Richardson's book, The Tea Table 
"An afternoon tea should combine both sweets and savories.  Tea
sandwiches and /or quiche add balance to a beautiful presentation of small sweets
such as shortbread, dipped fruits, cookies, cakes, sorbets or muffins.  Of course, 
you probably will offer scones accompanied by lemon curd, or clotted cream and preserves."

Theses are a few of my photos of afternoon teas in England
on different trips, at home, and grand hotels. 
To see more photos, click on Afternoon Tea Photos
in the listing of posts on the left. 

I thoroughly enjoy afternoon tea with family and friends

Continuing from The Tea Table by Shelley and Bruce Richardson:
"Food at teatime should be extraordinary.  Its appearance should
indicate that someone has gone above the call of duty to make
each item beautiful - sandwiches neatly trimmed, curled carrots
on cucumbers, hand-dipped fruit, tea cakes decorated with garden flowers,
golden scones served with strawberry jam in a cut glass dish,
water glasses with a thin slice of lemon."


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