Monday, October 31, 2005

Tea-Themed Halloween Fun

The DH (dear husband) and I attended a costume party on Saturday. I wanted a tea-themed costume, so I became an Asian courtesan. I had intended to walk around and serve tea from one of my Asian tea sets, but I refrained. There were a lot of people at the party, and I was afraid of dropping the teapot or cup. The party was fun. All kinds of crazy costumes. My favorite was psycho Betty Crocker.

The hair was the best part of my costume. It was fashioned out of women's black tights and bubble wrap! See this link for instructions.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Perfect Book for Halloween and Tea

I am reading Dracula, by Bram Stoker. It's a perfectly dark read. Ironically, tho the story starts in Transylvania, most of it takes place in England. There are a number of tea references that I enjoy finding. It is a fast-paced read, and I hate to put it down. I will practice restraint and save the very ending for Monday - Halloween.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What Is Lemon Curd?

Just had a comment on my Teaberry's post wanting to know what Lemon Curd was. Oh, what a misery to have never tasted this heavenly nectar! You must do so as soon as possible! The question caused me to wonder how many others have never tasted the lovely tangy-sweet confection. So, here's a definition, a formal recipe and a Stephanie recipe.

Lemon Curd: This cooked mixture of lemon juice (and sometimes grated zest), sugar, butter and egg yolks makes a rich, tart spreading cream that can be used as a filling. Many variations exist using other citrus fruits. (from Google definitions)

Lemon Curd Recipe: From

Stephanie's Recipe:
1 - Go to the grocery store.
2 - Head to the jelly aisle.
3 - Purchase a jar of Lemon Curd. The jarred versions are pretty good, and are becoming a common item at larger grocery stores. If your grocer doesn't have it, try a store that carries international foods.
4 - Use it as a topping for hot scones. OR, on graham crackers. OR, as a filling in cake layers. OR, on ice cream, etc. etc.
Tip: Go easy on your first try. It's a very sweet thing - a little goes a long way!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

For Those of You that Knit...

A link to a pattern for a tea cosy.
You enter the dimensions of your teapot, and it arranges a pattern for you. Interesting!
Wish I knew how to knit!

Thanks to Tea Posur for sharing.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tea Room Review: Teaberry's (Flemington, NJ)

I was at the wedding of a good friend in Princeton, NJ recently. I had the good fortune to squeeze in a trip to Teaberry's, in Flemington, NJ. Teaberry's is set in the antique/historic part of town. It's a lovely, restored historic home. The inside has been decorated very tastefully. I sat in the front parlor, next to a window.

The menu offerings were quite diverse. The tea room serves lunch as well as afternoon tea. I chose the Duchess, which included sweet potato/pear soup; a large assortment of tea sandwiches; a currant scone with devonshire cream, preserves and lemon curd; and another large assortment of desserts. I chose the raspberry Darjeeling tea. The food was delicious. I'm not sure I would choose this particular tea again. I think I prefer my Darjeelings unflavored.

I was a little disappointed in the quality of service at Teaberry's. I wasn't made to feel completely comfortable. Nonetheless, the setting and the food were lovely. I will assume my service experience was just an "off" day and continue to recommend a visit to this tea room if you get the chance!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bean Blossom Covered Bridge...

....and other Brown Co, IN sites. Yes, Indiana has a town called Bean Blossom. I've become fond of the quirky name.

My family came over this weekend for a "tour of the leaves." It was great having them here! The leaves are still a little green, but we took in their beauty nonetheless! We also visited two of Indiana's famous covered bridges.

What does this have to do with tea? Well, my mom, sis and I drank it a lot during the visit! Black Currant Decaf and Murchie's blend No 22.

Enjoy the photo tour...

Sweeping view in Brown County State Park

I call this one "flame tree."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Second Tea Skirt

It's a blue toile print. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)
This skirt (my second from the pattern; actually, my second ever) was a little easier to make b/c I knew how to work the waistband this time. Plus, I didn't sew a wrong side to a right side.

I'm in love with toile. Here is some good background info if you're not familiar with the pattern.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fall Colors

Here are some leaves that I picked up yesterday...

To make the bouquet, I pressed the leaves for 24 hours in the phone book, with a big dictionary on top. That simple! I am amazed at the variety of color! These are all maple leaves.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Another Fun Tea Blog

Check out this fun new tea blog. Isn't it great how the world of tea blogging is growing in leaps and bounds?!!

My favorite teapot shown is the Wedgwood blue "Dancing Hours."
The post called "I'm a Bigger Teapot" is also very cute.
Oh, and I never knew there was a constellation called Sagittarius Teapot!
What are your favorites?

Thanks to Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea for originallly pointing us toward these.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Etiquette Tip #2 - It All Starts Here

Please and Thank you. Each of us thinks we're masters at this, no?
Let me ask a few questions...
  • Do you say please and thank you consciously, really meaning it, or is it a rote matter of protocol that barely reaches awareness?
  • Do you always say please and thank you to your loved ones, those you treasure the most?
I encourage you to track your communication behaviors for a day or two. You might be surprised! For example, the DH (dear husband) recently made me aware that while I use these two golden phrases with most folks, I sometimes neglect to use them with him. first, I didn't believe him, but then I started paying close attention. He was right. Here is a classic example: "Hey, hand me that spatula." In the midst of cooking frenzy, this might not seem too impolite. Now compare it with this, "Hey, would you please hand me that spatula?" It's a subtle distinction - the first being an order and the second being a polite request. The DH, being a bit of a rebel type, cringes at the order. If I ask politely, the DH will do most anything for me. He explained that when I give an order, he feels unappreciated. This example highlights a very subtle communication pattern. Nonetheless, these things add up over time. I want the DH to feel much appreciated, so "Would you please pass the sugar, dear?" it is!

My next example is from a recent interchange with a convenience store clerk. He counted back my change. I was impressed, as this skill seems to have vanished. I said to him, "Thank you for counting back my change. That was very helpful." He smiled and said, "Oh, you are very welcome." That tiny moment of engagement lifted my spirits, and I hope his. I could have mindlessly said, "thanks" when I got my change, but would I have meant it? My goal now is to be very conscious with my please and thank yous. This work is not easy - it takes a lot of focus and concentration! I think the work is worth the return.

Ultimately, please and thank you lead us to be ambassadors of good will. For example, the US is experiencing quite a tug -- political, philosophical, environmental, etc. Please and thank you, when given with consciousness and meaning, are simple but important gifts we can share. These two phrases really mean this: I respect you, I value you, I appreciate you.

Please share your thoughts with me. Thank you for reading!