Tags: tea


Winter Tea Party

We had some extra heavy cream left over, so I decided to try a new scone recipe - or rather an old scone recipe; my aunt's cream scone recipe, in fact. No butter, just flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and heavy cream, and you get tall and fluffy scones.

Also my roommate has an awesome wintery tea set. (The design is actual gray flowers, not snowflakes, but hey! Same diff.)


Social butterflydom

I have been quite the social butterfly this weekend! I went to Indianapolis to visit my friend Becky, and we watched Song of the Sea, which is a gorgeous Irish animated movie about a little girl who can become a selkie - only no one knows it at the beginning, and her big brother blames her for their mother's disappearance - and the movie is about their changing relationship and magical adventures, drawn in a style inspired by medieval Irish art and just beautiful. I highly recommend it.

And then the next day evelyn_b stopped by as part of her road trip! And we had a lovely time: we went to a Mediterranean restaurant and chatted about L. M. Montgomery and Laura Ingalls Wilder, then repaired a bookstore (where she managed to add approximately a dozen books to my to-read list, although I only actually bought two of them, on the grounds that I can probably find the others at the library... although we'll see. It occurs to me that Gormenghast and A Canticle for Liebowitz might both be old enough that the library may not have them, even though they are minor classics), and then repaired to my favorite local cafe.

Which! I discovered that day! Sells tea by the pot!

(I attempted to include a photo of the teapot, but LJ won't load it and anyway you all know what a teapot looks like.)

I have not seen tea sold in pots since I left England. I am very excited about this, even though a whole pot of tea is actually a bit much for me to drink in a sitting. Clearly I will need to drag people here specifically for the purpose of making them drink tea with me.

Breaking Cat News Mug

My Breaking Cat News mug arrived! Collapse )

The one problem with an all-white mug, I have discovered, is that tea stains the sides really swiftly and obviously, which I do not like. So in the future I will take care to purchase mugs with colored insides. But this fly in the ointment has not spoiled my love for my adorable cat mug; I have decided that it is to be my mug for my evening tea (which is not actually tea, but a tisane, Stash's Christmas in Paris tea). I like to have specific times and rituals for things.
nature, food

December Meme Question 4

littlerhymes asked: Talk about all baked good things please. I always love the food details in your stories, how much of that comes from life?

Ha, well, the baked good obsession definitely comes from life. Once some friends and I went to Nashville, Indiana (it's a little town that was famous in the early 20th century as the home of the Hoosier Group, a pack of American Impressionist artists who decided to devote their artistic talents to the hills of Brown County), and we ended up eating five desserts or so over the course of the day. There was a pumpkin loaf, a blackberry crumple and an apple crisp, a foray into a fudge shop, and an ice cream sundae to round the afternoon off.

We were sharing these, not each having our very own of every single one, but that was still a lot of dessert.

I also liked to throw tea parties, back when I lived in a place where I had enough tea-drinking friends to appreciate it. But that was a while and a while ago.

I try not to write about food that I haven't tried at least once, because otherwise I'm sure I would mess up the description. And generally if my characters are cooking something, it will be something that I've cooked, too. Except that time that they set a plum pudding on fire. I have neither made a plum pudding, nor set one on fire, but I couldn't resist tossing that scene in.

December Meme Question 3

bunn asked: Do you have a favourite tea?

I do! Well, actually I have two. In the mornings, I like to drink Lady Grey tea: aromatic, citrusy, and without the harsh throat-scratching qualities of Earl Grey. Admittedly, it also doesn't have that delicious billow of bergamot-scented steam that Earl Grey has right after you pour the water on it, but one can't have everything.

But I don't drink caffeinated tea at night, so if I want tea in the evenings I drink Stash's Christmas in Paris tea, which is the perfect tea and glorious and... I'm actually kind of hard-pressed to describe it. In some ways it isn't what I would think of when I say Christmas tea: there's no ginger or cinnamon, and while there is a little mint, it's very understated, just barely a hint. (Usually I find mint teas much too minty.) There are hints also of chocolate and lavender, but it's so subtly blended that no particular flavor predominates, and it's just very nice.

I have been poking around that Adagio Teas site, considering the fandom blends. This Felix Felicis blend looks pretty delicious, for instance. But we'll see if I ever get around to it.

(There's still plenty of room for more questions over at the December Meme post!)

Anne of Green Gables Tea

I have had the most delightful idea for a tea party. Or, rather, I have stumbled upon someone else’s splendid idea for a tea party: an Anne of Green Gables tea.

I inherited the same edition of the book as one in the photo, so of course I have to have a tea party! Sometime in the spring, when we can have a center piece with great white flowers: flowering branches would be best, if we can get them, but we could make do with peonies. Or perhaps we ought to acquire geranium, and call it Bonny for the occasion? Oh, and we should all wear hats wreathed in wildflowers!

And there’s such an abundance of food mentioned in Anne of Green Gables!On Anne’s first night with the Cuthberts, she eats bread and butter and crabapple preserve out of a scalloped glass dish: I have a tiny glass tart pan that will serve, and I can use it to make raspberry tarts before. She loves chocolates and chocolate caramels, and she’s forever eating apples as she reads. And ice cream, just as Anne eats at the Sunday school picnic; and perhaps a plum pudding, with sauce (which we will carefully cover so no mice fall in)! Though plum pudding might not be quite the thing for spring...

And of course we must have raspberry cordial to drink. Proper raspberry cordial or currant wine: either would be fine. So many possibilities. The only thing we will definitely not be having is liniment cake.

It will be splendid! Something to look forward to through the dreary dark of February.

My Life with Tea

Via seascribe: Oh, I want to know about your favourite kind of tea. I see all your lovely tea pots and tea parties, and just talk to me about tea! What kind you like, how you take it, what tea goes best with what biscuits.

TEA. TEA TEA TEA. I like this question a lot and may get somewhat long-winded!

My favorite kind of tea is Twinings Lady Grey tea, the kinder, gentler cousin of Earl Grey. They share a similar gentle citrus scent, but Lady Grey doesn't have the harsh aftertaste that Earl Grey does. I drink it black: no milk, no sugar, no lemon.

This is the kind of tea that I drink most days, in the morning if I get up early enough. "Early enough" means at least an hour before I have to be anywhere, partly because it takes a long time for it to cool down enough for me to drink it. (My friend Emma can drink tea more or less directly after steeping. This may be a sign that she is secretly a cyborg.) But also it makes the day feel off-kilter if I'm rushed over my tea: as if I don't have enough time to get everything that needs doing, done.

So if I don't have time in the morning, I'll put my tea off until afternoon or evening.

The one problem with Lady Grey (indeed, with the entire Grey family of teas) is that its caffeinated, which means that if I drink it after six o'clockish I will be bouncing off the ceiling when I ought to go to bed. (I know that there are decaffeinated versions, but that is cheating.)

Therefore one of my ongoing quests is to find the perfect non-caffeinated tea. I like Stash's ginger-peach tea (although I'm not fond of either ginger or peach tea on their own) and their Christmas in Paris blend, and I also adore the honeybush caramel tea my lovely penpal poeticknowledge sent me from Revolution Tea.

The one problem is that, except for the honeybush caramel tea, none of these go very well with chocolate, and everything I like to dunk in tea has chocolate. I especially love McVitie's digestive biscuits with dark chocolate coating, because they remind me of England and they're just the right size - three bites per biscuit.

Oh, or biscotti! I made tons of biscotti last week, because I was done with papers, out of McVities, and had nothing to do but drink tea and read Sutcliff for three days. I make biscotti with almonds and chocolate chips and they are delicious.

Nutcracker tea

I had the Nutcracker this evening! And beforehand I had a Nutcracker tea, for which I was going to make scones, except I was missing one of the ingredients and did not feel like battling the snowstorm to drive over to the store. So instead I walked to the bakery and bought cupcakes. The chocolate-orange cupcakes were a big hit!


And the Nutcracker was splendid. I always think it's too bad they don't have a photo opportunity after the show, because of all the beautiful costumes: the peppermint costumes were particularly stunning, and it's just too bad that I can't share it with you all.

Autumn tea party!

My wonderful penpal poeticknowledge sent me an autumn tea set as an early Christmas present. Clearly, I needed to arrange an autumn tea post haste! (I realize the first few weeks of December are still technically autumn, but nothing will ever make them feel autumnal to me)

So I invited over my friend Chelsea.


As you can see, there are two teapots. There were but two of us, so I used the small pot for tea and the big pot for a centerpiece.

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We also had a couple of extra teacups, which I put out because they made the table look more balanced. "I hope you brought your imaginary friend," I told Chelsea.

"Of course," she said. "That's Sir Bob, and that's Orville Redenbacher."

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Tea Parties

I have been remiss, remiss in documenting my tea parties this autumn! This is partly because some of them did not yield good photos, like the Belgian chocolate tea party, which was scrumptious and involved scones and Belgian chocolates (my parents visited Belgium in September)...but somehow boxes of chocolates just don’t make very exciting photos. It’s a rectilinear grid with chocolates in it, it’s only exciting if you’re picking which one to eat.

Some of them, however, have been more successful on the “exciting photos” front. Way back in September, soon after I acquired my Grecian urn, Caitlin and Emma and I had a Keats tea.

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We read “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” stanza by stanza. Emma, our resident Keats expert, got to read the final “beauty is truth” stanza, as is right and proper.

And this Saturday, Caitlin dropped by my place after the farmer’s market for an impromptu tea. I just recently got the scarf on the table at the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon - another occasion that didn’t photograph well this year! - and I think the white open work looks very well on the dark table.

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And finally, today Emma and I had a Hadley tea, in honor of Hemingway’s first wife Hadley, as I had just finished reading the novel Emma loaned me about Hadley. We meant to have champagne - you can’t celebrate a twenties author without champagne - but the stores in Indiana don’t sell intoxicating beverages on Sunday, so instead we had sparkling cider and fudge and the last of my dates stuffed with bleu cheese.

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My next literary idea is for a Narnia tea, to celebrate C. S. Lewis's birthday on November 29th. But we are all agreed that a Narnia tea would be incomplete without Turkish delight, and as none of us can face the thought of eating it, the Narnia tea is probably not to be.