Friday, November 28, 2008

Snowy Day Tea Time

When the snow flutters down, lightly and softly this morning in New Hampshire, it's time for another cup of tea. What flavor shall I choose?

Perhaps a cup of Chai spice black tea. This should keep me going at my writing and business bookkeeping. Also, the aroma is so nice. My grandson comes into the room, "Nanny, what smells so spicy and good?"

What tea would you choose for a snowy day?

Also, you might like to read about our first snowfall of winter, which occurred earlier in the week.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Suggestions & Lists to Aid Your Christmas Shopping

Super Shopping

To aid you in preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and your other shopping, I've compiled lists and suggestions at my b5media blogs: One Book Two Book, Quilting and Patchwork, and Alzheimer's Notes.

One Book Two Book:2008 Holiday Gift Guide (Mary Emma)

Quilting & Patchwork:2008 Holiday Gift Guide for Quilters & Fabric Artists

Alzheimer's Notes:Holiday Shopping for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Did you find one list more helpful than another? If so, which one?


Happy Thanksgiving from Tea Time Notes

Happy Thanksgiving

We've been busy this morning getting the turkey ready. Yes, we're having the traditional turkey. My hubby selected it so has been monitoring the preparations. After I made the stuffing ("like Mother used to make!"), I left the rest to him. The engineer in him cooks to precision.

My daughter has been preparing her special recipes to add to our menu. She made her daughter's request of "glop" for breakfast...a combination of bread cubes, eggs, sausage, cheese, and milk. Some of us like that, while others have something else. (We live in a multi-generational home with six family members, a dog, guinea pig, and rabbit.)

Yes, I had my cup (actually two by now) of English Breakfast Tea with my serving of glop.

Perhaps you'd like to see my Thankful Poem, a project on my Quilting and Patchwork blog.

How about writing your own Thankful Poem this weekend? Or any time of year?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tea Time Mystery Parties

What fun! Tea Time Mystery Parties!

Have you ever thought of holding a mystery tea? I'd never thought of it either until I learned about the murder mystery teas in a kit that Maxine Holmgren organizes at Maxine Mystery Tea Parties. In fact, she's made a business of this, providing mystery scripts she's written, along with recipes, invitations, and other items for the complete tea party.

There's also an interesting article, Tea, scones and a murder mystery, by Hope Pierson that gives some details about Maxine and her parties, which now have become popular beyond her home area of Sun City, AZ.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sources of Tea Cups

Tea Cups & Saucers

Since it's not so easy to find fancy tea cups and saucers nowadays, when mugs are so prominent, I'll offer a few suggestions here. The ease of finding them depends on whether you want complete sets (of 4 or 6 or more) or will settle for single ones you mix and match.

Check out:

  • Stores that sell china

  • Second hand stores

  • Antique and collectibles shops

  • Auctions and estate sales

Also look here for:

Portmeirion Botanic Garden Tea Cup & Saucer; set of 6

Soul Mates Cup & Saucer

Camouflage Cup & Saucer - Butterfly Design

Demitasse Cups & Saucers; set of 6

Tea Glass Set of 2

Do you have a favorite tea cup and saucer?

Tea Cups & Saucers

Cups and Saucers

"What's a saucer?" a youngster asked me. "Is that a flying saucer?"

Nowadays, most children don't know what saucers for cups are. Most people drink their hot beverages from mugs, whereas we ALWAYS used saucers for tea and coffee cups when I was growing up.

The coffee cups were larger than the tea cups and not so dainty. However, they usually came with saucers. My dad used the saucer for cooling his coffee and tea, pouring some of the hot liquid into the saucer, blowing on it, then taking sips from it. (Mother objected to his doing this when we had guests!)

Mugs for Beverages

Then mugs gradually came into being. When these larger cups (generally coffee cup size) without saucers appeared, my mother thought they were "uncivilized."

She gradually changed her mind and began using decorative mugs herself. Mother kept the tea cups and saucers for serving tea to guests.

Do you use cups and saucers or mainly mugs?

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tea Time With Tasha Tudor

A Special Memory

When someone mentions the custom of afternoon tea, my thoughts often go back to sharing tea with children’s author Tasha Tudor in her country home many years ago. I was an aspiring young writer at that time, and this well known children’s author/illustrator invited me to meet with her to discuss writing.

Why she decided to make time for me in her busy schedule, I'll never know. However, I'll always be grateful for that lovely afternoon and the encouragement Tasha Tudor gave me which kept me going when I sometimes wondered if I'd become a published children’s author/illustrator.

Tea at the Fireplace

Tasha Tudor heated the water in a tea kettle hung on a crane in the large fireplace of her rustic living room. Once the water had boiled and we waited for the tea to steep in the pot, the author made cinnamon toast on a rack over the fire.

When my parents, who were visiting from another state, stopped to pick me up after their drive around the countryside, Tasha Tudor insisted they come in for a cup of tea.
That was one of the highlights of my mom’s life, too...tea with an author.


As I've become a published author, I've always remembered the time Tasha Tudor spent with me that fall afternoon and have tried to encourage beginning writers, too. She's an example of a author who unselfishly gave of her time and knowledge to a fledgling writer.

Her encouragement, and words of caution about the tough times, helped keep me going when I wondered if I'd ever be published.

(c)2001 Mary Emma Allen

Books for further enjoyment:

Pumpkin Moonshine: Tasha's first published book

Drawn from New England by Bethany Tudor (Biography of Tasha's life written by her daughter;

The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Tasha Tudor and Richard W. Brown

The Tasha Tudor Cookbook: Recipes and Reminiscences from Corgi Cottage by Tasha Tudor

Tasha Tudor's Garden by Tovah Martin; Richard W. Brown, photographer

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vegan Cookies With Your Tea

Would you like to serve vegan cookies with your tea?

The 20 Most Delicious Vegan Cookie Recipes Ever ebook features recipes for the vegan lover who wants to "Eat a Cookie! Save a Planet!"

Developed vegan Kirsten Nissen, this ebook offers you cookies made from organic ingredients for many occasions and tastes.

Check out what Kirsten has to say (link above) about these recipes and why she developed them.

Do you have vegan cookie recipes to share?

Tea Pots, Tea Cups & Accessories

Tea Pots & More

Where do you find your tea pots, tea cups, and tea accessories? Do you have a favorite store or online outlet?

Do you collect matching sets? Or do you collect whatever strikes your fancy and serve odds and ends, hit and miss?

Have your items been handed down from previous generations? Did you find them in antique and collectible stores? Do you buy yours from upscale or discount stores?

No matter where your items come from, they can be special to you.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Traditional First Lady Tea

First Lady Tea

Apparently it's traditional for the First Lady to invite the First Lady Elect to the White House after Election Day for tea. So, according to this, Laura Bush will be entertaining Michelle Obama for tea and talk.

I wonder if the menu will be posted anywhere. What kind of tea did they sip? Did they have tea cakes and sandwiches? It would be fun to know and perhaps even a recipe or two.

When did this tradition start? A lovely one to carry on.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Controversial Tea Time Gatherings May Be Banned

Tea Time Controversy

Can you believe it? Tea time gatherings and chats may be banned for this group of seven seniors, ranging in age from 69 to 96. They are deemed too noisy and anti-social as they gather on the benches outside their living complex in England.

Apparently they talk too loudly for the satisfaction of some neighbors. For most, this is their main pleasure of the day...gathering with their friends for a cup of tea and chat and fresh air.

Hopefully, if their benches are removed, another place to gather will be found.

What do you think of the situation?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Collecting Tea Time Accessories

Tea Accessories

Tea lovers often enjoy collecting tea accessories, those items that accompany tea use and tea parties. Such as:

  • Tea strainers
  • Teaspoons, antique and/or souvenir ones
  • Tea balls
  • Cups and saucers
  • Mugs
  • Teapots
  • Christmas tree ornaments shaped like teapots
  • Tea strainers
What do you collect?