Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tea Party

Do you love a tea party?  I sure do!

I have experienced High Tea twice.  Once at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. and once at The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, CA.  Both were wonderful!  They were special events, memory makers.

Well that started a love of tea parties.  I love High Tea - Low Tea or just plain tea and biscuits.

We have fun tea parties at home too.  We dress in our finery, pull out the collection of fine bone china tea cups, no they don't match, they are an eclectic mix that I love.
We set the table with all the fun stuff.
The first course is fruit, the second little sandwiches 
(cucumber, egg salad, peanut butter and jelly for the little girls since that is their favorite, etc)
the third course is an array of wonderful confections.
You can certainly have more courses - you can easily add in a cheese course.
And throughout you offer wonderful tea.
I do cheat a bit and also make a pot of hot chocolate in case the girls would prefer that. 
Its really all about the fun.  Getting together, making memories, and having a special table set just for them.

Below are some additional pictures of fun tea parties.
Summer is a great time to have a tea party outside - a garden party...

Have a great spring day - hope you have a lovely cup of tea too.
a little bird

Monday, May 26, 2014


Starting to harvest our chamomile.
This is a great to dry for tea.  It actually has anti-inflammatory properties.  So if your achy or wanting to calm down in the evening this is a great tea.  

It's also good if you are fighting a cold.
We like to grow and dry it.  I have purchased chamomile tea at the store and was very disappointed...  There just wasn't much flavor at all.  Home grown is full of flavor and a lovely yellow color.

Image courtesy: Thinkstock/ Gettyimages
To harvest pick the flower heads off.  That's all.  The plant will re-flower and continue to pick off the flower heads throughout the summer.  When it gets close to fall let the flowers go and they will reseed the plant for next year.  I lay the flower heads on a paper towel on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight. They dry very nicely.  Then I like to vacuum seal them in small jars for storage.  It keeps the tea wonderful and fresh.  Do make sure the flowers are completely dry or they could mold in your jars.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A bit more putting by and some Rhubarb Shrub

More spring onions, chives, cilantro and rhubarb went into the freezer.  The rhubarb is beautiful!

eight quarts for the freezer

Rhubarb Shrub 
Isn't this just a beautiful color.  Appealing to the eye and the taste buds.

1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup apple cider vinegar (make sure it's the real stuff not just flavored)
2/3 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients in a clean glass jar.
Allow to sit at room temperature for 2 days.
Place in fridge and allow to age for  7-14 days until the shrub achieves the taste you want.  
Strain out the fruit.  Keep the shrub in the fridge to mix with sparkling water, ice water, or straight up over ice.  I tasted ours today (day two) and it is wonderful!!!  

Shrubs, also called drinking vinegar's, are restorative drinks from the Colonial days predating soda pops and sports drinks. Prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. Shrubs were popular in Colonial America, mixed with cool water to provide a pick-me-up on hot summer days. A proper shrub has a flavor that's both tart and sweet, so it stimulates the appetite while quenching thirst. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Home Canner

Mrs. Hansen, a farmer's wife in Utah, is seen with her store of home-grown, home-preserved fruits and vegetables. This photo was taken in 1940 - an era in which housewives would can 500 quarts a year to feed their families during the winter.

1930's - 1940's women put-by in large amounts for their families. 

I really enjoy vintage canning books and photos.
Just thought I would share a few with you in case you too enjoy them.
a little bird


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