Tag Archives: tea

Custard Creams

A cup of tea and a nice biscuit, just go hand in hand in England. It seems wrong to have one without the other.

However, I quite often have one without the other and I drink my tea all wrong as I am mostly a black tea drinker and not a milk or milk and sugar tea drinker.One of the local coffee shops has started creating giant versions of some of England’s best loved biscuits to have with your hot beverage of choice. One of these biscuits being a custard cream. This homemade custard cream is absolutely divine and the perfect thing for a Monday morning breakfast!

I definitely needed a pick-me-up this morning as we have been up since just before 3am with Mr. Michie getting sick and I have left him at home and in bed today. I spent a good hour of early yesterday morning getting rid of ants that had invaded my kitchen over night. We discovered that their nest was in one of the pots by our front door that contained my climbing rose.

Unfortunately the entire pot had to go as the hive was just too large to contain, they started to spill out of the pot and they were inside some of the dead areas of my rose that were clipped down at the bottom. I am always sad to lose plants as I am attached to them. They bring me such happiness. But, there are more flowers by my door now, and that tub will really fill out in a week or so.

I also re-potted my orchids, so hopefully they will be happy with fresh bark and new pots, we will just have to wait and see. We made homemade pizzas last night with crumbled sausage, fennel and sauteed rapini. It was a really nice combination, It was light and tasted of Spring.

Mr. Michie also took me on a Saturday date and we saw “Iron Man 3”. We both really liked it. There is nothing better then watching a good movie, munching on popcorn and holding hands with your sweetie!

So, all in all it was a really good weekend, it just went by in the blink of an eye!

Sunday Tea

The rain is coming and going today. The sunshine has come out to play for a little while, but the breeze in the air has kept everything quite cool in our little neck of the woods. So, I have been sitting on the couch, cross-legged with a quilt over my legs and a sweater on.

I have been working away on a small project. I am putting the final touches on an invite for a party that will be held for someone very special. I might give you a sneak peek soon, but I don’t want the surprise to be ruined for the party girl!

Mr. Michie made me a wonderful cup of tea to keep up my creative strength! Nothing better than a Sunday cup of tea with your honey next to you on the couch!

I think the tea tastes even better, because not only was it made by him, but it was served in a cup that I got when I was antiquing with my Mom in a store in Wexford, PA. What a little treasure trove that spot is! My Mom and I love finding places like that, hidden gems!

A Tea Party

On Wednesday afternoon for completing my first 1/2 term at my new school, I was invited to an afternoon tea with the principal. Which, I thought was a very charming British thing to do.

It was lovely, the table was laid with the most gorgeous trays of sandwiches and cakes and scones with oodles of clotted cream and strawberry jam to lavish upon them. There were also the most divine miniature coffee eclairs. After working away in the cupboard all day, all that wonderful sugar on offer was pure happiness!

It was all created by the students in the Home Economics department and they had worked tremendously hard. It was an absolute delight and, a pretty neat way to welcome in your new staff too!

(Image: A Su Blackwell piece)

Summertime in the South

It’s hot here! This is the hottest weekend of the year so far. As a girl raised in the South, I am used to heat. Heat, mixed with humidity that seems to dew on your skin the moment you step outside. Heat, mixed with humidity that takes your breath away when you open the door. Heat, mixed with humidity that feels as if you are breathing through a wet cloth.

Summer, in the South, symbolizes the beginning of so many things. It means fresh fried chicken with sliced tomatoes straight off the vine, cucumber salad and cantaloupe dripping its melon nectar to mingle with the vinegar of the salad on your plate.  All purchased that afternoon from the Farmer’s Market. A large shed that held inside its walls the best of Summer: fresh vegetables, watermelons, boiled peanuts. Bushel baskets by the door to place your selected items in as you shopped.  The smell of the sun and warmth, on the vegetables, that had not long come in from the fields.

Not all Sundays, but on some occasions after church we would head to the local family restaurant in town.  A place that served Southern food at its finest! No calorie counting here! Turkey & Dressing is always served on Sundays with a choice of vegetables and fresh yeast rolls. That was usually my choice over ham or fried chicken. That lunch mixed with the Summertime heat would often make you sleepy and an afternoon nap on the hammock would ensue.  

When my grandmother was a child in the South the big meal of the day was eaten at lunch, or as people called it then, “Dinner” and “Supper” was a lighter evening meal of cold lunchtime leftovers, sandwiches or biscuits, grits and frizzled ham.  They lived at the top of a big hill and when my great-grandfather Red would come home for lunch, each child would have a turn during the week riding up the hill with him.

He would place his arm out of the window and help the “rider” onto the foot board, holding onto them with his big worn hands as they gripped the open window frame, they would ride up the hill with their daddy, squealing and laughing all the way as the wind blew through their hair.

For that is the South.  Sweat rolling down your back; ice clinking in glasses as it slowly diffuses into sweet tea. The laughter of gossip carrying over the yard as children swing higher on their swing hung on the boughs of an oak to feel the breeze cool their faces.

Harper Lee described Summertime in the South best, in one of my favorite books, “To Kill A Mockingbird”:

Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum…A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer.

 

I love that line: A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. The days did always seem so much longer when you were little, with one day slipping into the next an endless parade of Summer days. Now, time seems to fly, there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. But, that I suppose is how it should be, there is a time to everything and so there should be a time to rest as the sun comes to its end and our pace slows to match the softness of the moon.

(Peach Truck Image: Re-vamped Allman Bros. Album Cover, Pink Tag & Tape on “To Kill A Mockingbird” Image, The Pugly Pixel, Background on same image: The Graphics Fairy, Farmer’s Market & Palm Tree Images, copyright J. Michie)

Tea Party

We went shopping this weekend and I came across these silicone tea cups:

Unfortunately, the store was out of stock, they just had an empty display box, stating more stock would be in soon. I thought that this would be an adorable idea for a children’s tea party, or even a grown-ups tea party for that matter. To have delicious cupcakes baked in these pipped with twirly-whirly swirls of icing in a rainbow of colors and sprinkles.

And you could serve them alongside these yummy lemon raspberry sandwich cookies:

These little ham & cheese thumbprints:

Mini cucumber sandwiches made with my Mom’s mouth-watering cucumber and carrot spread and a selection of delicious vegetables with a homemade buttermilk ranch dip. I am getting hungry just thinking about it!

The day started out rainy this morning, but now has gone sunny and deliciously cool, the perfect tea party day, for bunting strung in trees, white tableclothes billowing in the breeze, good music floating through the garden and a group of friends to enjoy the afternoon with as day slips into night.

When these get back in stock, they might just jump into my hands, because I think this is a truly cute idea!

(Click on the cookie and thumbprints pictures to be taken directly to the recipe, tea party girl by Belle & Boo)