Wednesday, July 31, 2019

At Twilight

 As twilight descended on a summer evening recently I ventured to a farm nearby.
Along with me, my "live-in gardener", and another couple we joined people
from different lives over a meal from the farm.
 It has become our summer tradition to do this
and I look forward to the time over food and fellowship with others.
 We were greeted with a table of appetizers as we waited to be seated.
 Each item came from the farm where we were or
nearby at another farm.
I could have just stopped here and nibbled the night away;
but there was more.
 The chef worked nearby, such magic he plated and sent for us to enjoy.
Now I must say, my intentions were to show you the food,
but enjoying savoring the evening delights the evening slipped along
without a picture to share.
There was fresh corn on the cob, salad with lettuce and peaches, green beans,
tiny little roasted potatoes, chicken roasted with a lovely rub, bread,
and blueberry buckle.
 Well I did finally realize I was enjoying the meal when
the blueberry buckle was served.
A picture was snapped and then to my delight I did eat it too.
 The evening slid more deeply into twilight as I noticed the sun go down behind
the big oak tree.
What a special way to celebrate summer and time of fresh garden delights.
Summer is never complete until there is a meal under the twilight sky,
food from the garden or the farm with flavors that sing to my soul.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

Beatrix Potter's birthday yesterday.
In celebration we are walking in her garden, which I visited in 2016.
Can you just imagine Peter Rabbit hiding there?

 "Don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden:
your Father had an accident there;
he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor."
~Beatrix Potter
Kind of a strange garden quote, but fun all the same.
I loved visiting there in the spring when the blossoms were coming out
and the sheep were in the pasture.
Have a smile on your face today
and remember that rabbit pie.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Tea and People

“Tea takes time, and tea takes people”

Recently I read that quote in an article,
but not sure who said it.
Such a perfect description of tea,
it really is about the people whether sharing
together or just savoring alone.

Last Sunday, the day after the tea festival,
my "live-in gardener" and I opened our garden
for friends and neighbors (people) to come and sip tea
and nibble on some goodies.

Wishing you all could have been there.
There was plenty of iced tea and lemonade,
along with savory spreads for crackers
and sweets of granola bars, chocolate chip cookies,
herb cookies, brownies, apple bread, scones,
and buttermilk cupcakes.

But best of all was just sitting in the garden
and visiting with special people. 
After all, it is about shared time together
and what could be better than time in the garden?

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

TeaFestPDX - Another Year in the Bag!

What can I say but with every event a little rain must fall.
Actually this is the British Tea Tent, which was set up last Friday
and ready to go for Saturday.
During the night the sprinklers came one and soaked everything.
So with the opening time of 9:30AM we pulled all the tables and chairs out of the
tent at 8:30AM to let the sun dry out the chairs, tables, and tablecloths.
At 9:30AM we pulled everything back in the tent and set up for the first event
in the tent at 10AM. We made it with some damp tablecloths, but we made it!
The teacups had to all be wiped down too, 
but thankfully no food was there yet.
At 10AM the first event was set to begin.
Thanks to the presenters for helping to dry things off.
Let the festivities begin!
 Lisa Hand and her two assistants came in full Victorian costume.
The presentation was Afternoon Tea and Victorian Pretties.
A cream tea was served as Lisa shared.
The scones were provided by Newberg Bakery and looked delicious.
The tea for my tent was provided by Twining Tea.
Magazines were provided by Tea Time Magazine.
Flowers, teacups, and tablecloths came from my own home.

 The second event was Teri Gelber of T-Project, a local tea shop,
sharing tips for blending your own tea.
Teri is a former food editor for a Los Angeles newspaper, 
so blending tea for her is just like creating new recipes.
 The third event of the day was Emily Martin, the sales rep for Twining Tea.
She shared the story and history of Twining Tea.
I was fascinated by the new product they are coming out with next year.
It is a teabag that you can toss in your tea canister, shake, and have
a lovely bottle of flavored water much like what you buy in cans and bottles now.
With this product you will be able to use and reuse your own container.
 Since I don't often have opportunity to visit the full festival,
this year I planned a 50 minute break to quickly make my way
through the other events.
It was quick for sure because there were close to 50 vendors.
 I always make a brief stop to see what is happening in the back 
of the vendor area.
Lots of tea sipping for sure!
 Then entering the big tent is where you find the most action and people.
Everyone was enjoying themselves and definitely tasting tea.
The tea farmers, Jason and Timmy, came from Mississippi.
It was great fun to meet them in person.
My dear friend, Ana, was helping out at the Floating Leaves vendor booth.
In the back Shuiwen was serving tea.
Lucky were the ones that got to sit with her there.
Everywhere you could see beautiful teaware and people sitting or standing with a cup of tea.
 Back at the tent there was another cream tea and music.
Mike Doolin, a local guitarist, serenaded the attendees as they nibbled 
on scones, fruit, and sipped tea.
The table at the front was holding the free tea and magazine.
Many stopped by to help themselves.
Babette Donaldson, author of the Emma Lea books, shared on having tea with children.
It was fun to sit in on this and watch our one little attendee picking
out books from Babette's table to look at.
And at the end of the British Tea Tents day was one final speaker, me.
I spoke on taking tea outdoors, my all time favorite thing to do.
Not really being a speaker this is a real learning experience.
I will be doing this same talk in October for a tea shop in town.
By the end there wasn't as much sipping,
I think people had their fill for the day.
It was another good year with close to 2000 in attendance.

Maybe next year you will plan a trip to Portland, Oregon during tea festival time?
If not, just come on over and sip tea with me.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Garden Quote 2019

"A garden is a grand teacher.
 It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; 
it teaches industry and thrift; 
above all it teaches entire trust.”
 ~Gertrude Jekyll

Every once in the while I love putting on my macro lens
and getting up close and personal with flowers in my garden.
Is this being watchful?

Just yesterday, as I sat quietly in my garden,
I was watching!
I found a beautiful array of birds in the garden
just enjoying the day in peacefulness.
It was extra special to see them.

Have a good week, dear friends.

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Picnic with Tea

This coming Saturday, tomorrow in fact, I will be speaking
at the TeaFestPDX on Packing for Tea Outdoors.
The two pictures in this post will be shared.
The first is my "live-in gardener" that I think loves
tea outdoors as much as I do.
He is carrying much of the tea picnic outdoors
as we walk the trail at Silver Falls here in Oregon.
It is a beautiful place for tea.
So off we went one summer day.

Two of the quotes I will be sharing are as follows:

"Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors."
~Alice Walker
 I say: Whether tea is indoors or outdoors, it is always a picnic.

 "A picnic is a state of mind
and can be made anywhere."
~Susan Branch
Do you love picnics?
Have you ever taken tea along?

It really is quite easy if you have a thermos of hot water and some tea.
Just take a small pot to brew in and some small cups for sipping.

What food will you take?
Maybe some cucumber sandwiches and a cookie?

Plan a picnic with tea this weekend and celebrate from afar.
I will be celebrating tea this weekend with about 2000 people.
I have planned for it since January and finally it is here.

Monday I will rest!

Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tea Time with Friends

 Leach Botanical Gardens is beautiful any day of the year,
but on lovely summer day with friends it was especially lovely.
There several flowers in bloom, which always touches my heart.
 What I was there for last Saturday was tea time with friends.
Each table on the patio was set with a different color theme.
I loved the cheerful, happy theme of our table.
The volunteers served their special black with roses tea.
It was made just right and not bitter at all.
Just about the time our teapot was getting low someone
would come along to refill it.
Having tea with tea friends means we drink a lot of tea.
 The sandwich plate had the following:
Chilled strawberry coconut soup
Mango chutney cream cheese
Chicken surprise*
 Ham and Slaw
Lemony pea pesto
 The scone was orange current with jam and Devonshire cream.
It was delicious!
 The dessert plate had the following:
Chocolate chai cake
Lemon curd tartlets
Butter mint patties
 I could say I had tea with my tea daughters, as they are all
my daughters age; but I love them dearly.
 It was a special day!
Leach Botanical Garden operates in partnership with the Portland Parks and Recreation.
A place of solitude and beauty, a place to spend walking and exploring alone, or
a place to spend over tea with friends.

*We asked for the recipe for the Chicken sandwich, but it is for 12 quarts.
Here are the ingredients:
Cooked chicken, chopped
Celery, chopped
Apple, shredded
Sliced almonds
Sliced green onion tops
cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt
The spices is what made it unique.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, 
and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs,
 is more elastic, more starry, more immortal—that is your success.” 
~Henry David Thoreau

Friday, July 12, 2019

Oatmeal Cake

One of my favorite cakes is Oatmeal Cake.
Now I never was a fan of coconut, but on the top of this cake it just works
and I love it. It's a great cake for a potluck or with tea.

Oatmeal Cake

1 1/3 c. boiling water      1/4 teas. salt    
1 c. quick oatmeal (I use regular oatmeal)
1 teas. vanilla             1/2 c. butter     
1 1/2 c. flour           1 c. each white & brown sugar    
1 teas. baking soda           2 eggs          1 teas. cinnamon   
Pour boiling water over oatmeal and let stand while mixing the cake.
Cream the butter with sugars.  Add eggs, salt, and vanilla and beat well.
Add oatmeal and beat until very light.  Sift together the flour,
baking soda, and cinnamon, add to batter, mixing well.
Bake in greased 13 X 9 pan 30 to 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
6 tblsp. butter         1/2 c. coconut
1/2 c. brown sugar            1/2 c. nuts, chopped
1/4 c. milk or cream         1/2 teas. vanilla
Melt or soften butter and combine with other ingredients,
spread over warm cake and return to oven or put under broiler
for a few minutes while frosting bubbles and coconut browns.

This recipe came from Delphian Delicacies.
The cookbook was made to celebrate Kansas centennial in 1970 
by the Delphian Jr. Woman's Club

I was living in Beloit, Kansas at the time
and several of my friends belonged to this group.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
My computer is back and running wonderfully.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

 The front of my house right now.
The blue hydrangeas are particularly delighting me.
This is a repeat picture, but I love it.
 Playing with a couple close ups in my backyard.
I just smile to see this bunny.

“Successful gardening is not necessarily a question of wealth,
 it is a question of love, taste, and knowledge.”
Vita Sackville-West 

Having found quotes by Vita Sackville-West recently,
I am intrigued to know more about her. 

Have a good week, dear friends! 

Note added 7/9/19 - I may be offline for a few days,
as I am transferring to a new computer.
Thankful for the new computer and excited!