Friday, August 29, 2008


I just love the way tea looks in this tea cup. A special friend, who brings me special treasures, gave this cup to me. In China they fill the cup half full, the other half is left to fill with friendship. I recently learned that while watching the Olympics and a short story on tea in China. I never knew why I only filled half way, but now I know. Thanks Caryl for the special treasures you find for me and sharing half full cups of tea.

Friendship Tea
by Earlene Grey
Either for a lifetime or
Just a little while,
Some people need many friends.
Others need just one or two
Honest souls to walk with them
Along the way.
Whichever I am to you,
Or you are to me,
Let us take tea and
Enjoy our marvelous company.

A quote:
To have a good friend is one of the highest delights of life;
to be a good
friend is one of the noblest
and most difficult undertakings. --Anon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tasha Tudor's Birthday

Today is Tasha Tudor's Birthday. She was a special and unique woman. I treasure the books I have that she wrote or illustrated. In honor and to share here is her Stillwater Iced Tea receipt from The Tasha Tudor Cookbook.

As an introduction Tasha says "This is one of my specialties of which I am inordinately proud. You must start with real tea, made correctly - that is, with freshly boiled water steeped for no more than five minutes. Fresh spearmint is another must."

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
5 tablespoons either English or Irish Breakfast loose-leaf tea
1 quart fresh, cold water
6 fresh oranges
6 fresh lemons
6 fresh limes
1 quart ginger ale
fresh spearmint sprigs for garnish

To make the sugar syrup, place the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring just to a boil and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the flame and place the sugar syrup in a canning jar. Allow it to cool before placing a lid on it. Keep the syrup at room temperature, as it will congeal in the refrigerator.

Put the cold water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place the tea leaves in a large pitcher and pour the boiling water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, stirring once. Pour off the tea through a strainer, into another pitcher. Allow it to cool but do not put in the refrigerator, as the cold will cloud the tea.

Allow the juice of half an orange, half a lemon, and half a lime per glass - squeezed, of course, and strained.

For each serving, put the fruit juice in a large glass, 10 ounces or so, pour in the tea to half-fill the glass, and then fill the remainder with ginger ale and 2 ice cubes. Add sugar syrup to taste. Place a sprig of fresh spearmint in each glass and serve.

Serves 6-12

Visit for more Tasha Tudor tributes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Breakfast Tea Party for One

One morning last week I was feeling sort of down and thought a tea party would cheer me up. It was breakfast time and I wondered if it was OK to have a tea party for breakfast. I decided it was a good idea. In my freezer I found a lemon verbena cookie and a white cupcake. Lemon curd was added to the center of the cupcake. Then frozen bread was cut into heart shapes for the open face sandwiches. The hearts were spread with a mixture of cream cheese and chopped red pepper, cucumber, and smokey green olive. The tea for this instant tea party was a black orthodox Nilgiri tea, a sample picked up from the World Tea Expo. On the packaging it said "Bliss from the Blue". It was bliss, a smooth black tea, which was the perfect tea for a morning tea. So if you are ever feeling down and need a little pick me up consider a breakfast tea party for one. Look in your freezer or cupboard, be creative, and you can also have that special treat for yourself.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Walk in the Park

Saturday I was delivering Rose Tea Jelly to the Rose Garden Shop in Washington Park.
My husband and I decided to stay after the delivery and take our morning walk in the park.
What a beautiful morning! Enjoy the walk with us.
We begin here by the tennis courts. Aren't the flowers pretty?
Down the trail

Through the Rose Garden

The Rose Festival Queens each have a block with their name
and the year of their reign here.

The roses are in full bloom now and beautiful!

We walk past the amphitheater. I once danced on that stage.
When I was 40 years old I was in a performance and danced a Hungarian Folk dance with
a group of women as the mama's with their young daughters. Our heads were encircled with
flowers and ribbons flowing down our backs. It was such fun and one of my dreams
in life was met.
Jim admiring the roses. He definitely is a rose lover.
Stop to smell the roses each day!

Monday, August 25, 2008


All set, let's make sushi. It is a great meal on a summer evening, but it would be great served at an afternoon tea too. Here are all the veggies cut, the rice made, the nori (sheet of seaweed) layed out, and the crab ready to go. I often use imitation crab to keep the cost down.
With a wooden spoon spread the rice on the nori and add a line of imitation crab.
Note: don't put the rice clear to the edge as it will squish out when rolled.

Now add the veggies. I added slivers of cucumber and avocado here.
This would generally be called a California Roll.

Now start rolling everything. Oops! my nori tore alittle, but it still will taste good.

Now slice the roll in about 1/2" to 3/4" slices.

Now here is the finished plate. Enjoy!

From the Little Japanese Cookbook by Emi Kazuko
The term sushi is a corruption of sumeshi, meaning vinegared rice, which is used in all sushi dishes. (the rice is the secret to holding it all together)
Vinegared Rice
2 cups short grain rice (cooked) I usually use about 3 cups
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp salt
Cook rice. Put the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Transfer the boiled rice to a large, preferably wooden, bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over. Using a wooden spatula/spoon, fold the vinegar into the rice; do not stir. Cool to room temperature before using.
You can also use slivers of zucchini, asparagus, green onion; use your imagination and have fun!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tea and Beauty

A page from The French Art of Tea, Mariage Freres, on Tea and Beauty. It says: Rinsing Auburn hair in Tea will give it wonderful coppery highlights. Tea mixed with a few drops of lemon is an excellent astringent for oily skin. Tea steeped in pure water with a lump of sugar can be used to soften the skin after cleansing or shaving. It is also used in the East for personal hygiene. Tea compresses on the eyelids reinvigorate tired eyes. Tea can be dabbed onto face, neck, and even arms and legs to give a delicate tan to skin that has not yet been tanned, or to prolong a tan acquired on holiday.

"Teaism is the art of concealing beauty that you may discover it, of suggesting what you dare not reveal." Okahura Kakuzo (1862-1913) The Book of Tea

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations"
Faith Baldwin
The picture is part of my children's vintage collection.
This dress is from the 1920's.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tea Chuckle

It is always fun to find a tea reference in the comics. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thoughts of Tea

A tea set given to me by a dear friend in Taiwan when I retired from Nike. The woven piece is so nice on the teapot, it protects the fingers from the heat of the pot. The finish on the pot is so smooth to the touch and the teapot has a small filter inside to keep the tea leaves from flowing into the cup. I enjoy holding this cup in my hands while I enjoy my tea. Sharon, thanks so much for a lovely tea set.
Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves -
slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.
--Thich Nat Hahn
If man has no tea in him,
he is incapable of
understanding truth
and beauty.
--Japanese Proverb
Tea is drunk to forget
the din
of the world.
--T'ien Yiheng.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lavender Farms

Jardin du Soleil, Sequim, Washington

Cederbrook Lavender and Herb Farm, Sequim, Washington

Lavender Wind Farm on Whidbey Island, Washington

I have been away for a few days visiting lavender fields in Washington. What a beautiful sight to see each farm. There were special things about each farm. Hummm! I thought they would all look the same, but each had there own personality.
The Lavender Wind Farm had sunflowers and red poppies interspersed in the lavender, a lovely pond, and a labyrinth of lavender.
Cederbrook Lavender & Herb Farm had soft colors of Provence Lavender, herbs, and flowers. They also had a wonderful cafe where they served beautiful salads and lavender lemonade.
Jardin du Soleil was the most fragrant and vibrant of colors with the Grusso Lavender their main variety. Their gift shop was full of wonderful lavender soaps.
If you ever want a lavender experience that feels like a touch of the South of France, Provence, visit Sequim, Washington in the summer.

The Word Winner

This morning we had a drawing in our home. It was for the pin I love TEA. A tea lover won by the name of Gwen. CONGRATULATIONS, Gwen! It will be sent in the mail this week once your address is confirmed. ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Final Word

I Love TEA

Here is the final words, ones I think many of you would enjoy.
Starting today for anyone that leaves a comment here, you will be
entered in a drawing for the Austrian Crystal I Love TEA pin.
If you have not left a comment before but visit me in the next
few days, please leave a comment. It is OK for you that don't
have blogs to leave it under Anonymous.
This give-away is compliments of Marmalady's and Delights of the Heart.
The deadline for entering will be Sunday at midnight.
I can't wait to see who wins it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tea with my Aunt Arlene

When I planned to retire I thought I would like to take tea to people in nursing homes or retirement communities. It was my way of paying back for the care given to my mother, as I lived too far from her to do so myself. I decided I should start with my Aunt Arlene. Recently I served my aunt tea in her retirement community apartment. My niece, Suzie, came along and we had a lovely afternoon of sharing over cups of tea and food. My aunt had recently given me her china, which I used to serve the tea. She enjoyed seeing her china and serving pieces again and reminisced about each piece and where she had found it. She was great at finding treasures at garage sales. As my aunt loved flowers I tried to incorperate them into the menu. For sandwiches we had calla lily sandwich of cream cheese and Marmalady's Orange Triple Sec Marmalade, chicken curry on croissants, and egg salad with nastursiums. Included in the menu was fresh fruit salad with many of the locally grown berries. Then for sweets we had cupcakes with lemon curd and apple oatmeal cookies. The apple oatmeal cookies were a recipe created by another aunt. In eating the cookies we had fun discussing recipes and how each of my aunts liked to cook. It was a great afternoon of sharing and enjoying each others company.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tea with a Princess

A few years ago I felt like we were having tea with Princess Diana. Kensington Palace was her home and here we were at Kensington Palace for tea in The Orangery. When you enter the door you are greeted by the beautiful table full of scones and sweets. What a sight to see all of those scones stacked up. It is enough to make your mouth water and your tummy growl. It was a delightful afternoon tea with the sunshine shining through the tall windows. After tea we visited the gift shop and I found this lovely teacup. Now whomever drinks their tea from this cup feels the same feeling of having tea with a princess.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Taiwan Tea to the Olympics

Two Taiwan teas picked as 'Olympic First Teas'
08/08/05 20:48:11
Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) Two high quality, Taiwan-grown organic teas were among 12 recognized by Beijing Olympics organizers as "Olympic First Teas, " the Association of Taiwan Tea said Tuesday.
The two winners from Taiwan were the premium "Yipaohong" black tea and "Yipaolong" oolong produced by the Fofashan Organic Ecology Tea Farm in Taichung, central Taiwan.
They defeated several thousand Chinese and Taiwanese farms in a "battle of the teas, " winning the right to be displayed and served along with 10 other teas at the Beijing International Media Center during the Olympics.
"It is an honor to have the chance to join the 'cultural' dimension of the Games, " said Buddhist monk Shang Lun, the founder of the Fofashan Temple that operates the organic tea farm.
Olympics organizers are displaying tea, porcelain and silk in Beijing as three core elements of Chinese culture.
Master Shang Lun built the Fofashan tea farm in Dakeng of the Taichung county 15 years ago to grow tea through natural cultivation -- that is, without using chemical fertilizers or herbicides.
Association of Taiwan Tea Secretary Liang Ming-chan touted the farm's organic tea as "Buddhist tea that is injected with the Zen spirit in its planting, production and consumption." Taiwan's teas were the only organic teas selected to be "Olympic First Teas."
The honor recognizes Taiwan's efforts to promote environmentally-friendly "green agriculture," Liang noted.
In July, Fofashan's Yipaolong tea won the top prize in the oolong category of a national organic tea competition co-sponsored by the Taichung-based association and the Agricultural and Food Agency. The Yipaohong was the top prize-winner in the black tea category in the 2007 competition.
Liang said that Beijing Olympics organizers screened popular tea products from around China and Taiwan, inviting more than 100 Taiwanese tea producers to enter their best teas in the contest.
Teas were selected in six categories: oolong tea, black tea, green tea, white tea, yellow tea, and dark tea. (By Elizabeth Hsu) ENDITEM /JA 

From Central News Agency in Taiwan

Many Words

Walking in my neighborhood a few evenings ago I came across this jumble of words. So many words running through my mind. I love words in all forms and this ceiling of neon words was full of many words. Wouldn't it have been pretty all lite up? Couldn't you just see the EATS hanging in an old vintage cafe? And Bruno's Spot clock, I wonder where that clock once hung? Marylyn's Cleaners, that is almost my name. How fun words can be in all shapes and forms.
I have enjoyed sharing words with you the past few weeks. Now only one more to share next Wednesday. Visit Delights of the Heart on Wednesday and I will have a surprise Final Words give away drawing.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Big People's Shoes

Child's shoes picture found on internet.
My shoes


Not to long ago while dressing for work, I looked down toward the floor. Standing next to me was a pair of ladies size 9, black loafers. Instantly it hit me that those were big people's shoes. Why were they there next to me? Where were my tennies, my brown and white saddle oxfords, or my mary janes? I couldn't possibly be a big person wearing those shoes. When did I grow up? Where were those carefree days of flying through the sky on that old rope swing? What does it feel like to be a big person? Sometimes it's scary, like jumping off a roof thinking my box airplane would fly. Sometimes it's lonely, hiding all alone high in a tree. Sometimes it can be joyeous, like the times I would sing Happy Birthday or have it sung to me. And sometimes it is just plain hard, it feels sad, it feels angry, it feels tiring, it feels wonderful, and it feels so many things inside of me all jumbled up and hard to get out. But sometimes it still feels like that child that dreamt dreams of flying, of drawing in the sky, of wondering over God's creations, and running with the wind.

I wrote this a few years ago and still my big people's shoes carry me along on this life adventure.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Day at the Lake

Ready for a day at Trillium Lake on Mt. Hood with family.
This is one of my most favorite things to do even when it is cloudy.
It was cool in the morning; so tea was the perfect thing to warm us.
We sat and drank Keemun Mao Fang from Floating Leaves in Seattle.
Tim, Renze, Annette, Mark, Jim, and myself enjoyed the Saturday together.
For fun we took bubbles and spent some time chasing bubbles.

Food was shared. We enjoyed fruit, chicken curry sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, hummus, feta, olives, and pita bread; plus apple oatmeal cookies with more tea.

The day finally cleared enough to see Mt. Hood. What a majestic sight.

Always a perfect day, especially when there are special friends to share it with.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena is a herb I must have in the herb garden each year. Just to touch it smells divine. Instead of adding a slice of lemon to your iced tea, add a small twig of lemon verbena. You can add a twig to lemonade or cocktails also. Lemon Verbena can also flavor pound cakes, custards, shortbreads, and creams, plus add a citrusy-sweet note to a vinaigrette.
Organic Gardening recommends using it as follows:
Cut 10 6-inch-long stems from your lemon verbena plant. Strip the leaves from the steams and crush them in your hands until they release their scent. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the leaves and 1 cup of sugar. Stir the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 24 hours. Then pour the syrup through a strainer to remove the leaves. Drizzle the syrup over fresh fruit or use it to sweeten iced tea.
Personally I wouldn't want all that sugar; so I might follow the instructions but just leave out most or all of the sugar, then use it to make iced tea or to add to other recipes for flavoring. I have made and served Lemon Verbena iced tea for parties in past summers.

Monday, August 4, 2008


"Earth laughs in flowers."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Flowers always make people better,
happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food, and
medicine to the soul."
Luther Burbank

"Nobody sees a flower, really -
it is so small -
we haven't time,
and to see takes time,
like to have a friend
takes time."
Georgia O'Keeffe

Friday, August 1, 2008


Another word in my home is "sing". What does sing mean to me? On my jars of Marmalady's jam I say, "tea makes the heart sing". For me the words sing means something that makes me very happy, I feel like smiling or laughing in joy. Tea is one of those things that gives me a smile and a sense of peace. When I sing, I feel joy. When my children were growing up and I was feeling very happy I would sing "Happy Birthday" to them. They thought that was very silly because usually it wasn't even their birthday. A beautiful bouquet of flowers, a beautiful garden, the ocean, a colorful sunset all make my heart sing. What makes your heart sing?