Monday, June 30, 2008

Tea Postcard

Come and have a Cup
of Tea, here, with me.
Whenever I go antiqueing I search out tea pictures.
This is a postcard from Great Britain sent to Miss K. Law in Westheath Northfield Birmingham.
I can't decifer the date. It says:
Dear Kathy,
I wonder how the weather is at West Heath is it fine it is nice weather over here.
with best love from Baby
Isn't it fun to find these treasures, especially when they relate to tea?

My Family

Let me know introduce you to my family. Starting on the left is my son Tim, husband Jim, mother-in-law Stella, me, and daughter Jill. My family didn't think it was a good picture, but it was the best I had.

Friday, June 27, 2008


"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more
painful then the risk it took to blossom."
Author unknown
I am a quote collector and this is one of my favorites.
Think on these words and enjoy your day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jam & Tea


Each time I pick up a book on tea parties I am struck by the marriage of jam and tea. Recently reading Elizabeth Knight's book, CELTIC Teas with Friends, I came across several references that included jam with tea. She quoted "The Scots Kitchen" by F. Marian McNeill, "When I come to a friend's house of a morning, I used to be asked if I had had my morning draught yet. I am now asked if I have had my tea. And in lieu of the big quaigh (bowl) with strong ale and toast, and after a dram of good wholesome Scots spirits, there is now the tea-kettle put to the fire, the tea-table and silver and china equipage brought in, and marmalade and cream."

Marmalade, as described by Webster, is a thick, pulpy jam, especially of oranges and grapefruits. Jam does not include the pulpy part of the fruit and jelly is made only with the juice of the fruit.

Jam, marmalade, or jelly is best known at tea served with scones. Cream Tea, Afternoon Tea, Nursery Tea, and High Tea all include some form of jam. Most often served is strawberry jam; however, other forms of jam have also found their way onto the tea table.

There are several points historically found with different traditions for the tea table. In Russia 1 teaspoon of jam has often been put first into the tea cup, then tea has been added to the cup for a sweet tea. In the 11th century monks, it is written in Wikipedia, at Tavistock's Benedictine Abbey began the tradition of serving Cream Tea at the abbey with bread, clotted cream, and jam. Anna, Seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the early 1800's began satisfying the feeling of hunger in the late afternoon by asking her servants to bring tea and cakes to her sitting area; thus began the tradition of Afternoon Tea. Soon it became the tradition of the upper echelons of British society to serve tea, jams and cream, sandwiches, and cakes in the afternoon. Cake, bread, butter, and jam were the usual Nursery Tea and served at four in the afternoon. Tea in the nursery would be the children's evening meal, as they did not dine with the adults. Adults would sometimes join the children in the nursery. High Tea was what we today would call our evening "meat" meal. It was a hardier meal for the working class. There would be scones or bread with jam and tea, plus meat or meat pies.

Jam can be incorporated into any tea experience by the most common way of serving in a dish to top your scones and breads. However, there are many other ways jam can be included in a tea experience. A spoon of jam can be added to a tart shell for a Jam Tart. I know of one tea shop that puts Marmalady's Chai Applebutter in the tart shell and then adds a slice of fresh apple to decorate the top. Jam and jelly are very pretty in Thumb Print Cookies. Marmalade can be brushed onto poultry or meat during barbecuing or baking to add a lovely flavor and glossy finish. Mix with cream cheese for a lovely spread on tea bread or sandwich. Use as a glaze on cupcakes, cake, or muffins. Mix in a special vanilla cream frosting to give a different flavor and color. Topping ice cream is delightful with jam. Swirl through brownie batter for a special treat. But most of all use your imagination to find new ways of serving jam, marmalade, or jelly on your tea table and enjoy. (Note: I would love to hear your ideas for incorporating jam into a recipe)

My love of jam and tea led me to begin Marmalady's in March of 2003 with tea infused jams, jellies, and marmalades. They are the perfect blend for any tea table.

Written by Marilyn Miller, posted June 25, 2008 on

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The view is sitting at Trillium Lake looking at Mt. Hood in Oregon.

Just when I was enjoying a million dollar view and having tea, I was tagged by Nancy at Sweet Remembrance and Rosemary's Sampler.

The rules of the game: Each player answers the questions themselves. At the end of the post the player tags 4 people and posts their names, and goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment letting them know that they've been tagged asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answers.

10 years ago ~ I was working full time as an apparel patternmaker for Jantzen, Inc. and only dreaming of a day when I could sit and drink tea and enjoy the view.

5 things on my list today ~ work in the herb garden (it's a mess), get dressed, ship an order at the post office, read, and enjoy the sunshine (finally).

Snacks I enjoy ~ Chocolate, any kind of fruit, French Macaroons, and pastries; of course all with tea.

Things I would do if I was a millionaire ~ Enjoy beautiful views all over the world, buy a secret hide away to share with friends and family.

Places I have lived ~ Sebastopol, California - San Jose, California - San Francisco - Southern California - Beloit, Kansas - Portland, Oregon. By far, Portland has been the best and longest stay.

You have now been tagged:

Elaine, The Tea Lady
Tammy, A Spot of Tea
Angela, Newman-Coweta Magazine's Tea with Friends
Melissa, Melissa's Cozy Teacup

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I love to bake pies. This week I baked a marionberry pie. When I started baking pies many years ago I decided I would have a signature on my pies. What do you think I chose as my signature, can you tell? If I took a pie to a potluck my children would know immediately which pie was the one I baked. Do you have a signature when you bake a pie?
After making the pie what do you do with the left over pastry crust trimmed from the edges? My mother taught me to not waste the pastry crust. Roll out the leftovers, spread with a little butter, and sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, cut in strips, place on a pie tin or cookie sheet, and bake. Sometimes this is the best treat ever in making a pie. They are like calories that you forget to count, a hidden treat, something to be savored all for yourself with a cup of tea.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Be Present

"each moment is holy, worth bending down, demanding attention to the layers of beauty in God's creation, urging me to be present." Joel Bock

Recently I read the above comment and it fit so well with what I was thinking. A cup of tea gives those moments to pause and breathe in the peaceful; to pay attention and notice the present; to share a story with a friend. My camera gives me the opportunity to notice the beauty of the small things, such as the blossom on my tea plant. God's creation is everywhere, even the dandelion can be beautiful when we take a closer look. Be present and breathe in the beauty of the day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yellow Rose

Yellow is my favorite color, it always has been.

Reading Tea in Texas, Spring issue, I came across a description for yellow roses. No it wasn't describing the yellow rose of Texas.

"Yellow roses are the flowers of "friendship", they also have joy, gladness, and welcome as a part of distinct meaning."

I guess that is why I love yellow roses, they bring great joy and gladness to my heart.

In my wedding bouquet 44 years ago I had yellow roses. Enjoy whatever brings gladness to your heart, whether a yellow rose or maybe another color.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tasha Tudor

Tasha Tudor passed away June 18, 2008. She was an award winning illustrator and children's book author, one of the best. I treasure the opportunity I had to meet her a few year's ago. I always wanted to be her and do the things she did, such as candle making, drinking tea, cooking, making puppets, weaving, caring for her pets and animals, and gardening. She was one of my favorites over the years and she will be missed.

Posted by her family on their Memorial website: The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take Joy.
Fra Giovanni

Visit the Memorial website at:
Also visit: for a lovely tribute to Tasha Tudor

WuWo Tea Ceremony

I pluck the petals that are wet with dew, and drink my solitary cup in quiet.
When it is empty, pour myself another, The Sun goes down and all of nature rests.
T'ao Ch'ien, China 400CE
The poem was read at the WuWo Tea Ceremony this month. WuWo Tea Ceremony was developed in Taiwan about 1969 as a simple ceremony celebrated in the out of doors. You see my tea tray is set ready for the ceremony with Floating Leaves Tea Company's Baozhong Taiwan Wuyi ready to brew. There were 6 of us this month in attendance and we sit in a circle. When it is time to start brewing there is silence as we each steep our individual teas, strain to the serving pot, and serve each of the 4 cups. Then we stand and serve the 3 people to our left and serve ourself last. We sit again, enjoy the fragrance of the tea, and sip. We steep again and repeat the process 3 times.
The ceremony was developed to share equally no matter the status of each person, whether a king or a pauper. Tea is enjoyed in the out of doors by each of us.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


As I was purchasing strawberries from a Russian family at the Farmer's Market I noticed they had gooseberries. I had never tasted gooseberries. When I asked the mother in the family what she did with gooseberries her eyes twinkled as she told me they were good for pies, jam, and even in fruit salads. They must be good by the way her eyes twinkled; so home came one basket of gooseberries for a fruit salad. After arriving home I picked one up, it was very hard. Then I tasted it, it was so tart. This small basket was not going in any fruit salad. What to do, there wasn't enough for a pie. Well I would make tarts. I ended up making 12 small tarts with plenty of sugar to sweeten them up. Gooseberries - try them, they are good in tarts.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Farmer's Market

As I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver, I am becoming aware of the importance of supporting our local farmers. So off to the Farmer's Market I went on Saturday. Oh what beauty is to be seen at the Farmer's Market. I was there bright and early, as the market opened a bell rang and a cheer was heard from each of the vendors. It was a joyous occasion. I brought home cherries, strawberries, gooseberries, butter lettuce, carrots, sugar peas, artichokes, purple potatoes, and chocolates. I must say Oregon grows the best berries. The chocolate was from my favorite local chocolate artisan. She had some chocolates filled with a Meyer lemon filling, yummm! What fun it has been to enjoy each of the small treasures brought home from the Farmer's Market.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chuckle of the Day

About a year or two ago I found this comic in our local newspaper. I loved the sentiment shared in the Rose is Rose comic and thought others might enjoy it too. It brings a chuckle to my heart whenever I read it. Some days are just like this.

Tea in the Park

Recently I took an hour to share tea and conversation with my daughter. We had oolong tea and because it was morning some Raisin Bran Muffins were the perfect food. This pause in our day is a special time we take occasionally and always say we should do more often. Stopping for tea is a time to say "Ahhh", a time to connect and reflect.

Yes, the pots are small and used for oolong tea only. The brick colored pot is for steeping, then it is poured into the brown serving pot. The serving pot has a strainer that strains the loose pieces of tea. The small cups are for sipping. Since we can re-steep oolong tea, we end up having plenty to drink. I have my red thermos, which keeps the water warm for many pots of tea.

The Raisin Bran Muffins are a recipe I use to make often when my children were growing up, but hadn't made for a long time. What is great about this recipe is you can make a large batch and keep it in the refrigerator to use regularly for up to 6 weeks. Enjoy the recipe and enjoy special moments framed with tea. Thanks dear friend Karen for this recipe many years ago.

Raisin Bran Muffins

1 - 15oz. box raisin bran
1 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 quart buttermilk
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons baking soda

Mix raisin bran, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add beaten eggs, shortening, buttermilk, and mix well. Store in covered container in refrigerator and use as directed. For muffins fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake in 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Yesterday I had lunch with my 88 year old Aunt Arlene at the retirement home where she lives. These are her hands, they remind me of my mother's hands. We sat with a couple and I enjoyed listening to them chat about trips they had taken in the past. They are not able to travel now, but said how important it was that they had created those memories in the past. It really struck me that it is important that we live life to the fullest, enjoy each moments, and create memories for a time when we can no longer get out and play. Please if you are reading this take this as a reminder to live life fully and laugh as much as possible.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Mom's Teapot

One of my early memories of having tea was with my mother. Now I don't know if it was with the teapot I am showing. This teapot was in her belongings when she moved to a nursing home several years ago. It says Sadler England under the teapot. As the daughter of a single mother sometimes money was very tight. At times like these my mom would bring out the Lipton tea bags, the teapot, and a plate of toast strips and we would pretend we were rich ladies having tea. We held up our "pinkies" and drank the tea, ate the toast, and giggled. Oh how it lifted our spirits.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Apple blossoms are a reminder of my background. My grandfather, uncles, and aunts were apple growers in Sebastopol, California. I grew up running barefoot through the warm, soft soil of the apple orchard. Eating apples fresh from the tree, warmed by the sun, was my daily snack during apple season. I have many memories of building tunnels with the apple boxes and crawling through the dirt. What a mess my cousins and I must have been by the end of the day with dirt and apple juice running down our arms. Thus I have chosen the apple blossom as my heading for my hearts delight of today.