Monday, January 30, 2017

My First Tea Book

 The first tea book I purchased was 
 If Teacups Could Talk by Emilie Barnes.
She spoke to a group at a church in Richmond, KY 
just north of us.  
We had the option of purchasing an autographed book in advance. 
"Happy Tea 1996 Emilie Barnes" 
Sadly, I missed attending the event, but my book was sent to me by the church.
This was the first of many Emilie Barnes tea books I have collected over the years. 
From: If Teacups Could Talk
"The relationship-enhancing properties of tea make it a wonderful 
vehicle for getting to know someone new, 
for patching up misunderstandings, 
for sharing good news or supporting one another in bad times. 
I have seen lives change over teacups.  I have seen new friendships
forged and old friendships renewed." 
 After all these years, this is still among my most favorite tea books. 
Do you have this book? 
Do you remember your first book about tea?  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Afternoon Tea Memories - Bardstown, KY

I began my "Tea Journey" in February, 1993
with my first afternoon tea at Bruce and Shelley Richardson's 
Elmwood Inn in Perryville, KY. 

Before beginning this blog in 2008,
I kept journals of tea room visits, menus, photos, and more. 
A regular sized journal (diary-style) wasn't large enough to hold the mementos 
I wanted to save, therefore, I switched to a three-ring binder.
 The binder became several binders until I finally found the 
courage in 2008 to begin my Friendship Tea blog. 
These photos are from a visit to a visit to The Chapeze House in September, 2006.
We were able to visit again in October, 2006 before they stopped serving afternoon tea. 
They are a special events place in Historic Bardstown, KY, and 
have renamed the business the Kentucky Bourbon House. 
Colonel Michael Masters is a "Kentucky Bourbon Expert." 
He and his wife, Margaret Sue, are excellent cooks and hosts. 
His book, "Hospitality - Kentucky Style"  in the photo above,
highlights several Kentucky historical sites and a collection of 
traditional Kentucky recipes from his wife, mother and grandmother. 
a page from my Tea Memories Journal including the menu served in October 2006. 

*The idea for this post (and hopefully more) came from "trying" to organize
my tea book collection, and an email discussion with Sarah V. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Need Help Organizing Tea Books

This book shelf in my office holds many, but not all,
of my tea books.  Recipe books from various tea rooms,
tea party planners, children's tea-themed books much more!
My first book about tea was
"If Teacups Could Talk" by Emilie Barnes
I have three on my shelf, the duplicates were gifts.
It is time to organize. 
I can begin by giving away several different duplicates books.
I did that a few years ago through giveaways on the blog.
You may see a few book giveaways soon, and will know why.
I am open to suggestions for tea book organization, please.
And, what are your absolute favorite tea books?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Celebrate National Peanut Butter Day

It's National Peanut Butter Day! 

From the internet: 
 "The average person consumes more than six pounds 
of peanut products each year, making peanut butter a very popular
household food. 
Peanut butter was invented by George Bayle, a St. Louis snack food maker, during the 1890's.
Did you know that it takes 550 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter?"
To celebrate bake some peanut butter cookies or enjoy peanut butter as a spread on 
crackers, bread an apple slice or just enjoy a spoonful out of the jar.

Jif Peanut Butter is my personal favorite.
A little Kentucky trivia for you: 
 Jif Peanut Butter is made is in Lexington, KY 
Jif Peanut Butter, Creamy, 40 Oz

Linda's Favorite Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies 
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine ingredients and drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet.
Roll in balls and criss-cross with a fork.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Let cool.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Question: Teabag Brewing at a Restaurant

Often when I order "hot tea" in a restaurant, I am disappointed 
in the quality and service.
My disappointment is usually due to: 
1. the incorrect temperature of the water (not hot enough)
2. the quality of the tea (bag/dust and fannings)
The "hot tea" above was served at our family favorite
breakfast cafe in Lexington, Wild Eggs.
The tea is by Novus® "Handcrafted by the Bigelow family" 
and is an individually wrapped "full leaf" tea in a sachet. 

Everyone who regularly reads my blog will not be surprised to 
see my tea of choice on this occasion was a traditional English Breakfast,
 a Ceylon (black) tea from Sri Lanka. 

So, now I have a question, perhaps a survey of sorts: 
When you order "hot tea" in a restaurant and a small 
pot of hot water and an empty cup or mug are brought to your table --  
do you put the tea bag or sachet in the pot first or the cup first to brew your tea? 

>And, yes, I know it it not always brought to the table this way. 
Sometimes it is a mug or cup of hot-ish water with a tea bag beside it.<

So let's have a little discussion on restaurant service of "hot tea." 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sabah Tea

Our long-time friend and dentist, Dr. Wong, 
visited his family in Malaysia during the holidays
and brought me a package of 25 tea bags of
From the package: 
"Sabah Tea is cultivated on the verdant foothills of Mount Kinabalu
Malaysia's first ever World Heritage site.  
Here, choice, tender tea leaves are carefully harvested and meticulously
 processed to preserve the pristine purity of the Borneo Rainforest. 
Nature ensures that the Sabah Tea plantation is 
unaffected by insect pests.  Hence, our tea is 100% pesticide free.  Sabah Tea is 
thus an environmentally friendly, healthy for the discerning tea lover."

Ingredients:  Pure Camellia Sinensis  Black Tea
Thank you Dr. Wong!
Photo below from: Sabah Tea

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cake Wars Winner!

Congratulations Meghan and your mom Christi,
second-time winners of Cake Wars.
The folks in Berea, KY are so very proud of you!
Talented Meghan, a student at Eastern Kentucky University,
has been making cakes since she was 12 years old.
 The theme was the 10th anniversary of Happy Feet

Monday, January 16, 2017

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations La Tea Dah
You are the winner of the teapot clock
giveaway in honor of my Blogiversary.
(I have your address.)
I am beginning my ninth year of blogging today.
A special "thank you" to everyone who commented on the giveaway,
and for letting me know where you live.
I am so pleased to know my passion for tea is shared
among so many friends through blogging
in a variety of areas of North America.
The tea towel above, especially made for me, was a Christmas gift from
my very best tea buddy, our daughter, Melissa.
Whew!  Now the pressure is on to keep on blogging!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Blog Anniversary Giveaway

"Time flies when you're having fun"
I began blogging on January 16, 2008.
A lot has changed in my life since then.
As result, my blogging habits have changed since the beginning.
Some of the changes are:
Aging (yes, I had to mention that), ok change that to health,
Austin is now a senior in high school,
my family schedule and requirements take me longer to complete,
and three members of our family, Melissa, Austin and I,
must eat gluten free for health reasons.
The GF thing has made going out for afternoon tea more complicated,
but not impossible.
To celebrate this blog anniversary, I am hosting a Giveaway for the
small Teapot Clock shown in the photo above.
If you wish to enter the drawing, please leave your
name, the state/area where you live,
 and a way I can contact you by 8:00 p.m. on Monday, January 16th.
If you are a blogger, you are welcome to leave the name of your blog.
The best reward of blogging has been the friends I have met through the blog,
both in person and online.
Thank you for visiting.
I look forward to your comments! 

Please note:  This giveaway is limited to the USA and Canada

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Everything Stops For Tea

This is a photo of a sign on the wall in a tea room in Adare, Ireland.  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Linda's Pimiento Cheese

I have blogged about pimiento (pimento) cheese several times over the years.
I read there are as many variations of pimiento cheese spread recipes as there are
cooks in the South.  It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned
Pimiento Cheese Spread is not common in all parts of the country.
It is made and served in the southern states as a spread on bread as a sandwich,
grilled or cold, on crackers, as a topping on cheese burgers, as a dip, and much more.
It is sold in our local grocery stores in the refrigerated section and at the deli counter.  
Some cooks make it with only sharp Cheddar, white or yellow, some mix in
cream cheese with the shredded Cheddar, and others use Velveeta®
Some of my friends drain the pimiento and others don't.
Some cooks spice it up with hot pepper sauce, red pepper flakes or jalapenos.
My friend, Patty, adds pickle relish and Greek seasoning!
The best tip I have read for a successful pimiento cheese is to
shred the cheese just before making it. 
Do not use pre-packaged shredded cheese. 
(did you know most pre-packaged shredded cheese is not gluten free
because it is coated so it won't stick together?)
Linda's Pimiento Cheese Spread
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1 (8 oz.) block extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 (8 oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
Mix together and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
 Use an electric mixer, a food processor, or a fork to mix. I served on sandwiches
and on gluten free crackers. 
Remove crusts from the sandwich, cut into fourths, and serve as a tea sandwich.
(Photo below is from the internet.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January is Hot Tea Month

The following is an excerpt from:  Days of the Year 

A warm, steaming cup of tea is welcome at any time of day, especially in the cold winter months. Whether as an alternative to coffee with the rich tradition of Irish Breakfast tea, or as a quiet beverage to the end of the day. However you do it, Hot Tea Month is a great time to embrace this delicious beverage that can warm your heart and body.

History of Hot Tea Month
Tea has been being drunk for thousands of years, originating from deep within the country of China. From there it grew in prominence until it was one of the most important beverages in the world, rivaling coffee as the drink of choice for mornings, and for those who needed a pick-me-up. Tea has been seen as a mark of sophistication, and has practically redefined British culture, having become completely inseparable from what it means to be British.

Tea has also been having important studies going on with it, with three glasses of green tea being shown to actually enhance the amount of calories that are burned in 24 hours. Imagine being able to help yourself burn away unwanted fat and combat obesity just by enjoying something you already love.

How to Celebrate Hot Tea Month
Celebrating Hot Team Month is as simple as brewing up a cup of your favorite tea, and sitting back and relaxing as you sip it. There is a whole world of teas out there, literally thousands of varieties that are picked at different stages of the Tea bushes growth cycle, and then are mixed or aged carefully to bring about a unique and desirable flavor and aroma.  Happy Hot Tea Month!
Note from Linda:  According to,  the website is "the ultimate guide to worldwide events, festivals, funny, weird, and wonderful holidays".  I can see lots of fun blog posts coming from this website. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Yesterday's Tea Cafe Holiday Tea Collection

Yesterday's Holiday Tea Collection was a Christmas gift from
Melissa and family.  I was curious about the packaging, having ten different
tea flavors in one compact package, and upon
opening it discovered sealed packets of the different flavors of loose leaf teas.
Each sealed package contains loose leaf tea in a T-Sac (paper infuser).
I chose Almond Cookie as the first to try. It is an almond flavored green tea.
The individual packets have specific brewing instructions.
This tea is a very smooth almond flavored green tea with a touch of sweetness. 
The infused leaves below with very thin sliced almonds.

This tea may be purchased from Susan at

Monday, January 2, 2017

Busy Family December

Christmas night at Hilton Head Island, SC
We were so ready for a relaxing break after a very busy December.
Austin's high school senior year has been hectic thus far.
Vocal and theater auditions at Transy in Lexington.
December choir and band concerts, homework, finals,
daily phone calls, emails and mail from colleges and universities.
And, last but not least, the building of Melissa, Tim and Peyton's
new house, just a short walk from us.
The #1 daughter is moving back to Berea after 21 years! 
We look forward to a fun and exciting 2017.


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