ELSIE’S Guide To Afternoon Tea by Julie Maggi

  • Elsie's Guide to Afternoon Tea by [Maggi, Julie ]

Full of recipes, tips and secrets, this book is the perfect gift for those who love organizing tea parties, for Afternoon Tea fans and for everyone who knows that there is nothing better than a good slice of cake and a tasty cup of tea. Whether you are a traditionalist who prefers Earl Grey, or an adventurer whose tastes run to Green Tea, Chai, Rooibos or even Chamomile, this is the right book for you! Inside you will find loads of delicious recipes for treats like: Lemon Drizzle Cake, Welsh Cakes, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet Roll, Egg Custard Tarts, Blueberry Tart, Shortbread and of course all sorts of tasty sandwiches. You will also learn how to make sure your Afternoon Tea party goes well, how to present a beautiful table, make your guests comfortable and add that air of charm and elegance through special invitations (templates included).

This sweet little book is full of lovely ideas for teas! The illustrations alone make me smile. This a new book and is really nice. The recipes are yummy as well. Welsh Cakes? Yes, please! Lemon Drizzle Cake? You had me at Lemon Drizzle!

There are so many ideas and even templates for invitations and such. For any one who has little girls or boys or grandchildren, this is a great book to share with them. And I love that the author put together a Kickstarter Campaign to get her books for kids out there. Way to hustle!

I know a couple of little girls this is going to!

It’s Thursday and we are no longer in the deep freeze! Should be some 60’s and 70’s coming our way! According to our weather guy who said on the news last night, Spring is right around the corner, to which I replied,” It’s Spring!”, and OU Boy replied,” Uh, that’s not what he said.” Well, I’m going to go ahead and say it is, you know put it out there in the universe for Mother Nature.

xx Patricia   Enjoy your own little tea party this afternoon. A pause in the business of life.

 

Sharing Some Chai and a Dead Deer

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Yes, you did read that correctly. It is still cold out but at 30 degrees I guess we can’t complain. Well we can, but we won’t. Especially since I have a lovely pot of Chai sitting next to me! Nothing like all of those warming spices to get those bones warm!

Today was the Corneal Surgeon appointment. It was really early but I think I covered my jammies nicely! My lovely doctor made it back from Korea safely. He had some nice tales to tell. As he was explaining what comes next, OU Boy quickly got up and hustled to the waiting room. He has a thing about people poking things in my eye.

I had to wear these weird steam punk looking glasses and then I had to sit in a chair, bend down and look at the floor. Dr. D. sat on the floor between my legs and popped a fluid filled lens on my sclera. And then I was rattling off those eye chart letters! Keeping fingers crossed I will have one more surgery to fix some flap the lens sits on and then I can get this Scleral Lens. Not to be confused with a Sclera Lens, which makes the zombies look dead. No sutures came out but he may just leave them in forever.

But it gets better, he always has a Resident or a Fellow with him and he explained my case and then said, “Removing the cataract that developed because of the massive steroids was really easy because she is so young.” Yep, right then and there I fell in love with him all over again.  So that is the good news. The bad news is this lens costs around $4,000.00 but it’s for life. Insurance covers some but not the bulk of it. I’m trying to decide if I want this bad enough to forgo my entire Spring wardrobe. I’m still thinking.

OU Boy just sent me this on the way back…only in Oklahoma…

Yes, that is a gutted deer on the roof of an SUV. I have no words.   Stay warm and Be Nice. Try a cuppa Chai!

xx Patricia

Where There Is Tea, There Is Hope

Well this morning has started out with a 6 degree reading on the thermometer! It just seems so wrong for it to be so cold and yet the sun is advertising something else entirely!

Today’s tea is brought to you by the lovely folks at Taylor’s of Harrogate. A rich and full-bodied Scottish Breakfast Tea with a splash of milk. I’ve been meaning to ask y’all about the milk thing. I know the debate will forever rage on adding it to the cup first or after you pour tea. I don’t care. But I do care if it’s cold. I heat my milk separately and then add the tea. And I only add milk to full, black teas. What’s your way?

I have an appointment with my Corneal Surgeon tomorrow and I expected that darn Anxiety Fairy to pop up this morning, as I like to worry in advance, but so far it’s just the Frozen Fairy. I have been a bit anxious over the past 3 weeks when my doctor went to Korea for the holidays. Korea. I grilled him like the CIA before he left.
“Will you be able to get back?”, ” Are you sure?” “Can you let me know you got home all right?”  He knows I’m nuts, but he is also a fellow tea lover so I can’t wait to hear what new teas he tried.

I’m also hoping for good news about the next surgery. As at the moment I have no lens in my eye at all. Just a lot of really bright light….sort of like the one people see on the way out of this life. So hopefully they will have figured out a way to put one in there.

OU Boy decided to make a cake about 9 p.m. last night. Just the cake. No icing. Is it even called cake if there isn’t icing? I’m not complaining because at least he isn’t smoking! Doing really well with that. So what if he wants to make cake at bedtime. We’re weird and we own it.

xx Patricia   Have a great Tuesday! Have a cup of tea and some cake!

You,Me and a Cuppa Tea!

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Good Morning Y’all! Since I am still fighting this sore throat thing I am sticking to some good Zen Tea from Tazo this morning. Since I was so rudely shaken out of bed by a text from my sister! Yep, that would be you Victoria Beth!

She is such a kind and good soul, she has been up in the frozen tundra we call “as far north as you can go and still be in the USA”, taking care of our mother while she recuperates from a broken pelvis. And to be sure I asked her what the heck she was doing out of bed! Turns out Momma gets up at 5 a.m., you know that time when most murders happen. True Story. Honest.

We are trying to get used to this new schedule of having Friday and Saturday off, but I am as confused as heck! Yesterday I stayed in bed all day reading with a throat so sore I thought I may have swallowed acid. Thank goodness today is better.

I guess this is a Bank Holiday as it is closed. And for a good reason. Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr. A man I never met, although I have met his wife. I wonder what he would think of the current political debacle? I wonder how much progress we have made and whether he would be disappointed in us? Most of all I’m wondering why race is an issue. We are all members of the human race. Period. No distinctions needed about color,who you love or who you want to become. Seriously, we are all the same. Except Trump, I’m not sure where he came from but I do wish he would go back there!

Enjoy your Monday. Be Nice. Be Kind. Be a Human Being!

xx Patricia, who is going back to bed.

 

It is Positively Frigid! The Audacity!

The kettle is getting a workout this morning. Winter has had the audacity to send her cousin Frigid Temperatures to Oklahoma. Thank the gods for tea! Otherwise this could get ugly!

Yesterday was cold and overnight the temps took a nosedive into the low teens. Yes, I understand what the North is going through and I don’t care. You chose to live there. But this is our first day off in a long time and I wanted to do something out-of-doors. Nope. It’s tea and a book with some fuzzy socks thrown in.

Yesterday I made a huge batch of stew so we have soups and stews to warm our insides but I don’t care if the house is on fire I’m not going out until it’s at least 50 again. I’m calling it Hibernation. I am positive it will warm up in a snap. (keep repeating). Much like a bear, I have stocked up on food, found a comfy and warm spot, and in a few months I’ll pop out well rested and ready to roll. Of course I’ll pop out for Mardi Gras. Although this year Mardi Gras is on Tuesday and Ash Wednesday is the next day, the beginning of Lent for us Catholics. So you better pig out on that Valentine candy quick before the season of fasting begins!

Enough rambling for today. I need more tea!

xx Patricia      Stay Warm. Stay Inside. Stay Positive!

Warm Up With Some Bengal Spice Tea!

One of my all time favorites, especially during cold weather is Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice! It’s chock full of good warming spices such as Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger,Cloves, Nutmeg!

This is the first Herbal tea I recommend to new herbal tea drinkers. It’s so flavorful and sweet and makes you warm all over.

So, what is a Warming Spice? They are spices used in cooking or tea brewing that warm the body and improve circulation.  There are a number, but my favorites and the ones I use the most are:

Black Pepper, which has antiseptic and antioxidant properties

Cardamom, a member of the Ginger family, is an expectorant, helping to open the respiratory passages.

Cayenne, a member of the Nightshade family, is rich in vitamin C, and helps relieve chills, coughs, and congestion. You can even sprinkle some in your shoes in winter to keep your feet warm.

Cinnamon, a member of the Laurel family, helps dry dampness in the body and warms people who are always cold and suffer from poor circulation. It is an antiseptic and a great digestive!

Garlic, a member of the Lily family, helps fight infection. It is a potent vasodilator and improves circulation by helping to prevent the blood from clumping together.

Ginger, a member of the Zingiberceae Family, is a natural antioxidant and antiseptic. It improves circulation in all parts of the body. Ginger baths are warming, muscle relaxing and cold and flu relieving. Make a Tisane with ginger and add to your bath!

Horseradish, a member of the Mustard family, is high in Vitamin C and aids in the digestion of fatty foods. It is antiseptic and a strong decongestant.

It’s so easy to toss these in whatever you are cooking or brewing. Chai Tea is full of these lovely warming spices. Not garlic. Don’t do that.

These are my go to spices in winter. They keep you going and glowing, warmly in the coldest weather.

We are plunging from being in the 50’s and still wearing shorts to today, which is supposed to drop into the 20’s. We will be using every one of these spices to keep warm!

xx Patricia

 

 

 

 

 

Planning A Tea Party Without Losing Your Mind

Planning a little girl’s Tea Party doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg along with your sanity! Here at the Pirate Nation we are planning a simple, pink tea party for a young lady.

No, I’m not spending hours in the kitchen. These are all simple to do. I even found a picture on Pinterest breaking down the Naked Cakes, as I call them, Get yourself a Sara Lee Pound Cake and slice it into 3 equal lengths and then just choose a round or as they did in the picture, a decorated cookie cutter and pop some out. Squeeze a bit of icing and plop on a flower.

What could be easier than Rice Krispie Treats? Just dunk them in some melted candy dots in pink. Same with the pretzels. Easy, as well as eatable! Kids don’t care about fancy, they like simple things and you’ll only work yourself up into a snit paying $4/cupcake when they only eat the icing. And a simple heart-shaped Strawberry Jam tea sandwich will be a hit.

As for decor, Boas are cheap at the party store and tutus are easy to make and you can customize your colors.

I like the pink tea tins and I have a few…or maybe more, but we like using a Red Rooibos Tea as it gets pink. Nothing is as cute as tiny baby food jars, painted and topped with tiny crowns and full of jelly beans. Great favors. And the paper straws are a must. I snap them up any time I see them. I have been known to design a tea around a straw. Think Flamingo!

My little miss Charli Ava loves those straws so much I have taken to hiding them!

Have yourself a little tea party with your favorite girls! I promise they will love it!

xx Patricia

Where There Is Goodness There Is Magic

Good Sunday Morning to you! Sitting here in the office savoring my morning tea. English Breakfast by Tazo. I popped a pinch of cinnamon on top this morning and with a dash of Almond Milk, that stuff is delicious!

Outside it’s looking pretty gloomy. And windy, very windy. But at least we haven’t had to turn on the heat yet. Supposed to rain today and we desperately need it. I swear this is the driest place I have ever lived. We go through lotion by the gallon.

One of my beliefs is that if you can dream it, you can do it. A little bit of magic, a whole lot of hard work, and a strong network of women who keep you on the right track and you can change the world. Or at least your little corner of the world. And that is what I wanted.

I believed in my husband until he believed in himself and Boom!, he took off like a bottle rocket. I am so proud of him I think I have stars in my eyes, or maybe those are floaters in that left eye. Either way, he had a dream and he made it happen. The fact that it came at the same time as my dream was a bonus.

Every challenge I’ve taken on, this man has been right there beside me cheering me on. And now we get to do that for each other. You see, after having several heart attacks and open heart surgeries before he was even 35, then being told there is no more they can do, he was pretty much just waiting to die. Now he is fighting to live and not only live but flourish. The smoking is gone, the diet is great, lost about 15 pounds since Christmas and I couldn’t be any prouder of him. I mean good lord, one day I found him cleaning out and organizing his dresser and closet! A man throwing away socks and underwear! It’s a miracle I tell you!

This year instead of just dreaming a little dream, how about living a little dream!

xx Much Love  Patricia

Trying Celestial Seasonings Lemon Lavender Lane Herbal Tea!

Waking up to sunshine pouring through the windows this morning. Should be in the 50’s. Great news for us. Sipping on a nice cup of Lemon Lavender Lane Herbal Tea from Celestial Seasonings. I’ve been wanting to try this one!

On opening the box, the aroma of lemon with a hint of lavender hits your nose. It’s a bright and very aromatic tea. The flavors came through very well. The Lavender tones the Lemon down and you end up with a smooth cup of a very nice herbal tea. This one is a keeper.

Apparently some people like to keep food in their cupboards so I have been forced to move some of my teas to my office. As you can see in the picture, what you can’t see is the tins and boxes stuck behind the ones in front. Or the ones still in the kitchen cupboards.

I also wanted to show you how lovely this dresser thing is. The box in the background was my mother’s. My Uncle made it for her. Speaking of Momma, she gets to go home from the hospital and my sister from Denver is going up to help her for a bit. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that,but Oklahoma is as far north as I’m willing to go.

Enjoy your Saturday and pick up a different tea today and give it a try! Let me know what you find!

xx Patricia

A New Barn and Silo! With A Side of Gratitude!

Great selection to choose a perfect cup of tea,

Things have most certainly been wacky around the country this week! Here we are edging towards 50 degrees and our friends and family in the deep south are in snow while the Northeast gets a bomb blizzard!

So it just fit with the wackiness of things when OU Boy came home last night with a truck full of stuff from the grandparents storage. All of my fellow lovers of free junk we can re-finish or paint or turn into other things will understand my giddiness. There was an old Marine trunk full of woodworking tools, paint brushes, hand carved crochet hooks with indentations for my fingers even! Material that just so happened to match my living room decor perfectly! Black and White Herringbone with Red trim. Enough craft supplies to keep my babies busy for years!

And then I unwrapped this….    After some digging on-line I found out it is from The Barnyard Collection by J.S.Nicol made in Sri Lanka. The little barn is a cookie jar and the silo is a Teapot!!!! Cuteness overload.

There was also 6 sets of luggage which was never used and a lot of blankets which we donated today. One huge box contained nothing but gift bags, tissue paper and bows! One was full of picture frames and gorgeous antique mirrors, even a lovely dresser tray for my combs and such and lots of candy dishes. Since OU Boy is quitting smoking I’m filling those with mints at home and some for his office.

Next time it will be shoes. She is cleaning out entire rooms of shoes that have never seen the light of day and we are the same size. So all in all it was a kick ass day! Our 2018 is starting off with a bang.

How are things where you are? Snow? No snow?  It’s almost tea time so I’m going to brew up some nice Earl Grey from Harney and Sons in my new Silo Teapot!

xx Patricia