Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tea Tasting Time

 Once or twice a year Shuiwen from Floating Leaves
comes to Portland to do a tea tasting.
It is always a delight and full of laughter and the sharing of tea.
 As she pours the tea, she shares stories of tea in Taiwan.
 Recently we gathered together to taste tea.
There were seven teas on this wet Sunday afternoon.
Mostly oolongs, but with a puerh tossed in for pure pleasure.
Each tea was different and most beautiful in the
scent, appearance and taste.
Can you see the differences of colors of the spent tea?
If you have never sat at the table and sipped tea
with Shuiwen you really must do so.
She has a shop in the Ballard district in Seattle;
so if you are traveling through Seattle or live nearby
for sure plan to stop and sip tea at her table.

I came home with Baozhong Competition style Oolong,
which has a floral bouquet and lovely to sip as we head toward spring.

Linking to Bernideen at:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

On a Mission

 Saturday we headed for the Lan Su Chinese Gardens.
I thought we were there to enjoy the Lion and Dragon dance.
When we entered I realized very shortly that we were on a mission.
 It is the year of the dog and there was a scavenger hunt going on.
 We were searching for 10 dogs hidden in the garden.
I could hardly keep up with this guy.
There was no distracting him.
He was going to find those dogs.

 We looked high, we looked low, we looked all around the garden.
 The Lion danced for us, but our guy insisted this was a dog.
 We stopped only for Oriental Beauty Oolong tea and a red bean mooncake.

 We saw the dragon and a Chinese yo-yo demonstration.
The yellow dragon danced through the garden.
The challenge was met,
he found all of the dogs in the garden.
Well wasn't that why we were there.
It certainly wasn't to celebrate Chinese New Year or was it?
It was fun even with a mission.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

Originally an outdoor pursuit, tea making in
China was an informal affair.  All that was needed
was a good fire, fresh-preferably mountain-water,
a vessel for boiling water, tea leaves, and a bowl
to pour the tea into.
~Lam Kam Chuen

The teapot has been in my collection for a long time.
It is a clay pot with plums on the outside.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cuddle Up

With freezing temperatures in my part of the world this week
I was thinking of cuddling up with my favorite bear
and a warm cozy blanket.
Then dreaming of grabbing that suitcase,
tossing a few things inside,
and running (not walking) to the nearest warm beach.
Do you dream of escaping to somewhere warm
when the weather is cold? Brrrrrrrr!
Yes, let's go!

Where would you go to satisfy your soul and warm your toes?

Happy Dreaming and Weekend, dear friends!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Back to Winter, Or is it Spring?

 Spring had begun in my part of the world;
 And it was beautiful with yellow daffodils, purple and golden crocus,
hellebore in shades of magenta and creamy whites,
and primrose all blooming in the garden.
 Then as if in a one night stand the morning after,
there was snow covering the ground.
 It has been beautiful and wet and full of delight.
 And like Camelot the next afternoon it was gone,
but yet to return again at night.
 So I am enjoying the beauty, but looking for the flowers to return.
Some daffodils are hanging on the ground and I have rescued them.
When the sun comes out in the afternoon some daffodils
have popped back up and again they shine.
 I am thankful for this beauty of winter.
Now go away!
And it has!
Spring, Ahhhhhh!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Teisen Cymraeg (Welsh Cakes) Recipe

Welsh Cakes
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup currants
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
butter, honey, or marmalade topping

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter
with a pastry blender or 2 knives. Mix together currants, 1/2 cup sugar, 
and egg and stir into dry ingredients. Sprinkle in milk 1 tablespoon at 
a time. Mix until all ingredients are moist or dough almost cleans side of bowl.
Gather dough into a ball. Roll out 1/2-inch thick on lightly floured
board and cut into 2 1/2-inch rounds.
Cook on lightly greased griddle or skillet on the stove top
about 3 to 5 minutes per side until golden brown.
Roll in sugar. Makes about 2 dozen Welsh Cakes.
Delicious with orange marmalade and tea.
They are a bit like a sweet biscuit.

Tea time today will be with a bracing black tea and a Welsh Cake.
A different sort of tea time for me, but perfect for a winter day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Welsh Tea Time

Recently cleaning out old cookbooks from my collection
I came across a cookbook called Warm and Tasty.
In it was several pages for a Welsh Tea time.

"Welsh immigrants left their land of mountains and deep green
valleys in the early nineteenth century and brought their songs,
language, and religion to the United States, hoping to keep all
things Welsh intact. They lost most of them to Americanism,
but their singing survived. Church and community song fests
 remain the greatest recreation of Welsh descendants in this country.

Hold a Welsh tea on a Sunday afternoon with your singing friends.
Savories, sweets, and strong tea that kept the working man's soul
in harmony make this a gala Welsh tea stove top party, which will
bring out the Welsh in all of us. Serve the fare with handwoven linens
and ironstone cups and plates in a green and white color scheme.
A true Welshman would display the ancient druid red dragon with an
upright knotted tail and fill the air with harp music."
~Warm & Tasty, The Wood Heat Stove Cookbook
by Margaret Byrd Adams

The suggested menu included: Strong Tea, Welsh Cakes (in pictures),
Raisin Bread, Seed Cake, Glamorgan Sausages,
Lemon Curd and Toast, Butter, Cheese, Orange Marmalade,
and Salmon Spread

Tomorrow I will share the recipe for the Welsh Cakes.
Linking to Bernideen at:

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

" Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time
the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company."

Friday, February 16, 2018

Tulips in Winter

 Last Thursday these gorgeous pink tulips
posed for me in the garden for tea.
Now this week they took on another role
with most of the stems cut off.
They had grown so long something needed to be done.
Cutting off much of their stems and all of their leaves,
I placed them in a bowl where they could again shine
and take on a different role.
Tulips are a metaphor for life.
They continue to grow even when cut down.
They open and flourish in the light.
Each step of the way they shine and delight.
And then as they wither and die,
they take on a different spirit and fly with the wind.
They retain their beauty each step of the way.
Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sending Love for Valentine's Day

 When I walk through an antique mall or shop
and see a bunch of cards or postcards I can't resist
going through them to see if something grabs my attention.
Of course most of the time I am looking for tea themes,
which I don't usually find.
 But still a few have come home with me.
I just can't resist all the time!
 Did you exchange Valentine's in school when you were young?
I never will forget the time my class was learning about the post office.
We built a post office from boxes and on Valentine's Day
sent our cards through the mail to the others in my class.
Some years we would decorate a paper bag or a box to carry
our cards.
These are such special memories!
My cards are now standing at attention on flower frogs across my mantel.
Those little frogs are handy for more than holding flowers.

Do you still send Valentine's?
Do you love receiving them?
Do children still decorate a bag to carry Valentine's?

Happy Valentine's Day to each of you, dear friends!
Have an extra special day.
I hope you receive at least one Valentine from someone special.
One friend always surprises me and that makes me extra happy.

Enjoy the day!
Sending Love to you!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Stacked to a Tea

Recently for a teatime snack I made a stacked tea sandwich.
Not the neatest or the most beautiful I have seen,
but still delicious.
Using what I had on hand there was a layer with cucumber
and butter, curry chicken finely chopped, and egg salad.
The bread I had in the freezer was sourdough.
Though I love the flavor of sourdough,
it didn't really give the clean cut to make a pretty sandwich.
Next time I would use something more pliable,
such as whole wheat or plain white bread.
I called this a stacked sandwich,
it is sometimes called a ribbon sandwich.
They can be very pretty on a tea plate.
Sometimes you can coordinate colors
to carry out a theme. 

So if you have a little bit of this and that in your refrigerator
and you want something pretty and fun for your teatime delight,
why not try a stacked or ribbon sandwich.

The teacup was a gift from a friend along with a blue matching cup,
Royal Crown Pottery, Balfour, made in England

Linking to Bernideen:

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

"Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea
is never far from our craving for beauty."
~James Norwood Pratt

The cup is quite old teal transferware,
made in England before handles were added.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Colors of Springtime

In my part of the world this past week we have seen some sunshine.
It feels like springtime with the crocus making an appearance.
I decided to take tea to the outdoors one afternoon
and celebrate springtime in my garden.
The tulips were at the market and as you see,
I couldn't resist bringing some home.
What a delight to enjoy a little springtime.
It refreshes my soul.
 The sweets came later in my kitchen, but thought you would
enjoy seeing more colors of springtime.
Heart sugar cookies with a bit of citrus flavoring
and maraschino cherry mochi.

I know many of you are buried in snow,
but thought these cheerful colors might give you hope.
Yes, springtime is coming.
When it comes to you grab your shawl,
some pretty flowers, and a cup of tea
and run outdoors!

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Best of British Tearoom

Best of British Tearoom opened in my part of the world last year,
but I guess it really hadn't occurred to me to visit until recently.
Since I am on the planning committee for TeaFestPDX on July 21st,
I stopped by to chat with the owner last week about her involvement
in the tea festival.
We had a lovely visit over a pot of delicious Harney & Sons Darjeeling,
sitting right by the stove.
How special to be able to share over a cup of tea
our love of all things tea.
If you are in the area, she has a wonderful array of English teaware
and food from England.
Sally knows all things British as she grew up in England.
The room off to the right is packed full of delicious sounding teas
to tempt your palate and delight your soul.
Now I can't wait to go back and nibble on little sandwiches and sweets.
You can find Best of British Tearoom at:
4810 SW Western Avenue
Beaverton, Oregon 
Phone: 503-367-4828
Tell Sally that Marilyn sent you.

Linking to Bernideen at