Monday, February 29, 2016

Devonshire Scream

Devonshire Scream
by Laura Childs is being released on March 1, 2016. 
I was sent a preview copy and an offer for a book giveaway (details below).  
Long-time readers of Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mystery series know
the stories center around Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC.
Theodosia is known for her sleuthing and often solving of crimes usually including a murder.
The tea room is catering a trunk show at Heart's Desire Fine Jewelry
when the party is crashed by a gang of masked robbers to steal
the precious gems and jewels on display.
The "smash and grab" robbery caused the death of one very unfortunate victim,
the jewelry store owner's niece. 
Could the robbers be part of an international ring, or someone local?
Theodosia promises to help find out who is responsible. 
Devonshire Scream may be my favorite book in this series.
It was entertaining, intriguing and easy to read.
In my opinion, the author, Laura Childs, has improved her tea knowledge
and ways of bringing tea facts and tidbits of tea education into the suspenseful story.
For the tea lover, there are recipes and bits of tea education
 included throughout the story.
The author, Laura Childs, has kindly offered to provide a book giveaway for my blog.
Please leave a comment with a way I can contact you by Friday evening March 4, 2016.
I will hold the drawing, obtain your mailing address,
and the book will be inscribed and shipped directly from the author.


Friday, February 26, 2016

English Bone China Mugs

Our family uses English Bone China tea mugs every day.
I was happy to find these Duchess "made in England" mugs on eBay
at a good price. 
I have several other Duchess Fine Bone China mugs,
but not with this pretty teacup design. 
I like the thumb rest on the handle and the light weight of these mugs. 
These were a fun eBay find!  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ready for Spring

My cup of tea this morning is Harney and Sons Organic Assam Tea
in a pretty pansy Gracie Bone China mug, while sitting on the
sunporch overlooking our side yard (with the covered pool)
and the neighbor's back yard. The pansies on the mug are the only
ones I've seen.  We had a few snow flakes last night and this morning
with high winds the last few days.

From the Harney and Sons Website:
"Assam is India's largest producer of tea, and the broad flood plains make for some
 of the most fertile tea estates in the world.
In the 1820s Assam was a jungle, and it was there that the
Bruce brothers found a different type of tea plant. T
his variety of tea brews a brisk drink that works well with milk and sugar."

Yesterday, my hairdresser gave me
a "new" haircut of my "old" familiar style. .
I had short hair for 40 years.  After trying a longer style
during the last 1 1/2 years I am back to the "old" look. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Teapot Bedroom

 I posted photos of our "teapot" bedroom soon after the 2009
addition/renovations of our house,  This is an updated post due
to several questions after showing a glimpse of one of the quilts in recent posts. 
You can probably tell from the photo above why we named it the teapot bedroom. 
This large bedroom with two large closets was the master bedroom before 2009.
Now it is a guest bedroom furnished with Aunt Ida's mahogany beds and dresser
 made by my uncle Lester. The quilts are Pottery Barn Kids from several years ago.  
 Various items gathered from my mother, Aunt Ida and Aunt Mary are on the dresser. 
My dear friend Lynn had the doll on the right made from her grandmother's 
embroidered pillow case for me years ago. 
 The dressing table below was my Aunt Hazel's.
The hat was Mary's.  

 The adjoining bathroom is decorated with my tea for one sets. 

Don't you agree?  This is the the teapot bedroom. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tea Rose Teacup

Tea ladies are the best!  
After posting a photo of the Pfaltzgraff "My First Tea Rose® Tea Set from 2001
the year granddaughter Kaitlyn was born, I was contacted by 
Theresa, a member of the Afternoon Tea Across America Facebook group.
Theresa told me she had one Tea Rose cup and saucer she wanted to send me. 
Wasn't that so nice? 
The cup and saucer arrived and is in the photos with the child's tea set. 
Thank you Theresa!  
This small round table sits beside one of the twin beds in the 
"teapot bedroom."  
The teapot quilts are Pottery Barn Kids 
from several years ago.  

Monday, February 22, 2016

Family and Tea

 While we were out and about this weekend, I spotted a teapot lamp
on Sunday in the Cracker Barrel Store.  
hey have a Coffee, Tea and Chocolate theme of products. 
We are new to Archery as a school sport, this being the first year 
for our school to participate.  But we have come to enjoy it. 
It is a fun sport for elementary through high school.
Their scores are ranked in their age group.  
After Saturday morning play practice, Austin had another tournament. 

 He had his very own BCHS cheerleader, Kaitlyn, out of uniform 
and there because she was staying the weekend with us. 
 On to the Mexican restaurant and before shopping.  

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Giveaway Winner

Patricia Miller is the winner of the cute measuring spoons!
Please send your mailing address to me at
lindajtea (at) gmail (dot)com

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February Giveaway - Teapot Measuring Spoons

February Giveaway: 
 4-piece set of Ganz teapot measuring spoons (metal)

If you would like to win this pretty set of measuring spoons, 
leave a comment by 8:00 p.m. Saturday February 20th.
 Please include contact information in your comment.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Snow Day Scones

 Late Monday night Austin made himself Gluten Free toast with orange marmalade. 
We only had a smidgen of marmalade so he asked if he could use Lemon Curd.
He loved it, and I promised to make scones Tuesday morning.
The weather prediction was for another 3 to 5 inches of snow to fall during the night.
Yes, we had another snow day from school.  That makes six.
I baked gluten free scones using a Sticky Fingers GF mix. 
 Glenn was here too, because his flight to D.C. were cancelled two days in a row.
We all enjoyed gluten free scones with 
BelGioiso Mascarpone and Robertson's Lemon Curd.
The guys declared the Mascarpone to be as good as real clotted cream. 
 OK, it's been a few years since theu've tasted the real thing, but I agree the 
texture and taste is better than many fake concoctions we've been served. 
I recommend you try it.  
The Sticky Fingers GF scone mix is extremely easy to make
by adding a cup of cool water and 2 Tbsp. oil. 
These are drop scones.
Our favorite flavors are the Original, Meyer Lemon and Blueberry. 
 I ordered the mixes from Amazon for convenience.
The teacup trio is Royal Albert Bone China Flower of the Month Series
The tea is Harney and Sons Organic Breakfast
Looking for sunny days and warmer weather soon! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Busy Valentine's Weekend

Delicious Valentine's dinner dessert at Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant
This is a "chocolate tulip filled with white chocolate mousse, accompanied
by chocolate dipped strawberries. 
We enjoyed Valentine's weekend, but nothing went according to plans. 
Originally Glenn made reservations for Boone Tavern's Saturday night 
Valentine's Dinner.  Mid-week we learned Austin qualified to participate in the 
Archery Regional Tournament to be held Saturday evening.
Dinner reservations were cancelled.  They were all booked Friday, Saturday and Sunday
nights for their lovely Valentine's menu, so he scheduled Sunday Brunch. 
Apparently the entire population of Kentucky was in Lexington Saturday night, 
or so it seemed.  All restaurants he called were booked or had a 2 hour wait. 
We ended up having dinner at Smash Burger.  I was very happy about that
because they have Udi's Gluten Free Buns and amazing Smash Fries. 
On to Nicholasville for the tournament at 8:00 p.m.
 Lots of old and new friends were there because our 
cross-town rival school was shooting at the same time. 
 Below: Austin and Josh moving back to the 15 meter line. 
 By Sunday morning it was obvious  5 inches of snow was heading our way. 
After church, while we were at Boone Tavern Sunday Brunch,
the snow began to fall and dinner cancellations were made. 
They invited us back for Valentine's Dinner (as in the dessert above.)
It was our first time to eat two special meals at the hotel in one day! 
The hotel is about a 3 minute drive from our house. We had no problem getting there.
We heard reports all afternoon about I-75 south being closed south of Berea
due to a multiple vehicle pile-up.  People were stranded for hours. 
Many folks were coming off the road and checking into the hotel. 
We had just settled down for a relaxing evening when...
 our daughter, Melissa, texted that her friend in Northern Kentucky,
was very worried about her son being stranded on I-75. 
After many texts back and forth, the boys found their way to our house
and stayed the night with us. Turns out his friend, James, from Florida 
was "driving" in the weather.  They had been sitting on the highway for 3 /2 hours.  
They enjoyed warm beds, warm showers, and breakfast before departing this morning. 
They arrived safely at Cumberland a little over an hour later. 
And, the cat was glad to have her special napping bed back after their departure.  

There is never a dull moment at our house! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Organic Earl Grey Tea

My afternoon cup of tea on Sunday: 
 Organic hand-picked black teas from India,  scented with natural oil of Bergamot, 
selected, blended and created by Harney and Sons Fine Teas
From the label on the tin: 
"By choosing this Fair Trade product you are directly supporting 
a better life for farming families through fair pries, direct trade, community 
development, and environmental stewardship."
Most of my long-time readers know I don't drink very many scented 
and flavored teas, especially floral teas and tisanes (herbal blends).  
This Harney and Sons Organic Earl Grey,
in my opinion, is lightly scented and smooth tasting. 
From Wikipedia: 
"A Bergamot is a fragrant fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow color
similar to a lemon.  It is inedible but extracts have been used to scent food, 
perfumes and cosmetics."
  More than 80% of the world's Bergamot is grown in southern coastal Italy. 
The essence from the skin of the Bergamot is used to flavor Earl Grey
and Lady Grey teas. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentine's Day!
Enjoy a special cup of tea to celebrate.

A photo (below) from my first Valentine's blog post in 2008.
The wreath Lynn found for me.
When you see this on my front door, you know it's February.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Organic Breakfast Tea

My tea this morning is Harney and Sons Organic Breakfast Tea.
It is a certified organic hand-picked loose leaf traditional blend
of Indian black tea in pyramid sachets.
The blend is Assam and a "smooth south Indian tea."
Austin and I will be drinking several cups of this tea because
 it's another snow day!
(Five snow days since Christmas break)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How To Make Tea (Book)

The Art and Science Behind the Leaf
by Brian R. Keating and Kim Long
arrived from Amazon yesterday. 
 There are many illustrations, but no full-color photos in the 159-page book,
published in the UK in 2015.
This book is divided into six sections.
1. The Tea Plant
2. Tea Chemistry
3. Tea and Taste
4. Buying and Storing Tea
5.. The Basic Necessities
6. How to Make Tea
The "How To Make Tea" section includes directions and
illustrated details for the following:
Gongfu Cha Technique
Brewing English Tea
Brewing Indian Spiced Chai
Tea in Japan
Tea in North America

I just began reading this book last night
and I'm still in part one, The Tea Plant.
It may just be one of my favorite books on tea!  

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