Tag Archives: recipes

October’s Virtual Tea Party

Nothing beats a hot cuppa & a bickie on a rainy morning!

Tautimai! (Welcome!)

Today may be dark & dank outside, but inside it’s bright and cheerful, with the kettle steaming quietly in the background as friends drop by virtually for a cuppa, a nibble and a natter.

After visiting Su’s glorious tea party yesterday down in New Zealand, it’s nice to share some of that conversation with friends up here, and catch my breath, so to speak. 😉

Toast & apricot puree ~ yummy, if I say it meself. 🤣

We seem to have a “normalising” in the whole wheat flour production industry up here, so I’ve splurged a bit and made an extra wholemeal loaf for everyone to enjoy. Also on hand is an apricot spread I pureed as part of an experiment. 🤫

The homemade digestives are in the tin, and there’s also a plate of oatmeal chews for those with a sweet tooth (the recipe is here.)

Yummy, chewy, with almost a caramel flavour.

Visiting with Su (Zimmerbitch) creator of our virtual tea parties, I learnt Americans aren’t the only peeps worried about elections.

The NZ election for their Prime Minister is this Saturday (our Friday, so today), and they’re sounding a great deal like many of us up here.

But we’ve got three more weeks before our official election day. (Although several million of us voted early).

How’m I coping? By almost totally not watching telly. I do check several online newspapers each day (headlines only), local online news (mostly for weather), etc. And for entertainment, I’m leaning more and more on BritBox shows with absolutely no mention of anything political.

For example: Has anyone seen a current program, Shakespeare and Hathaway? If you haven’t you can read about it on Wiki here, and do a bit of watching over here. I like the actor playing Hathaway and that led me to watch the first episode.

Then I became intrigued with the other main cast members, not the least of which is the town (city?) of Stratford. I haven’t seen much architecture from Shakespeare’s time, so I’m watching more than just imaginative costuming. (Why do the British love dressing up so much?!)

On another note, somewhere around late Spring I discovered, from one of my lovely blogging mates whose name I don’t remember (sorry, luv!), Kate from The Last Homely House. Do you know her? She’s a crafty, gardeny, cooking sort of person living up on a Northumberland farm.

I find her YouTube videos calming, humourous. and thoroughly addictive. If you don’t know Kate, sit yourself down, click over to her YT channel, pick out a subject and begin watching. (I’d recommend this one , which is a charming introduction to herself and her videos.)

Thank you for coming round today for our little tea party. Sit yourselves down, have a hot cuppa, we’ll toast you some bread and pass down the digestive tin and the oatmeal chews. They’re virtual, so no calories or allergies, and no worries about indulging yourself at the end of the week.

#virtualteaparty2020 for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images over there.

And so, on with the conversations! Any good programs to suggest? What do you think about the ones I watch? D’you think the chews are too sweet? I shorted the sugar, but don’t trust my un-sweet tooth which thinks they’re still too sweet. (Remember, I drink my cocoa without sugar, so . . . 🙄)

Thank you all for coming and being such delightful guests! Until next month, everyone please be safe, take care, and come back soon! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

(not so) Silent Sunday

It’s been one of those weeks.
Again…

Hello, Lovely Readers!

An unexpected hardware glitch last Monday took me off-line for the rest of the week. . . and I’m not talking about any “conversion” by WordPress to their new editor, either. Speaking of which . . .

(The Widow BadAss has written an encouraging post all about that.)

Anyhoo, I’m back today with a tardy invitation to our monthly Tea Party this coming Friday, 16th October.  EVERY ONE of you wonderful peeps are invited!

I’ve tried keeping in touch visually with as many of you as possible, and IG has been usable. But this is scooping even IG.  It will be loverly getting back in touch, dear friends!

Yummy, chewy, with almost a caramel flavour.

I’ve been trying out new recipes, and think you might like this one, from Marion Cunningham’s The Fannie Farmer Baking Book.

Pardon my brevity ~  will try to return later today.

Until then, toddle pip and Cheerio!  💋  💋

PS/ Here’s the recipe:

August’s Virtual Tea Party

From the top: Spiced Foundation Cake, grapes, and Aldi’s scrummy Garlic & Chive Pita Crackers with Swiss cheese and tomato.

Welcome, Everyone! I’m so delighted to see you! The virtual kettle’s on the boil, and the goodies are all ready. Come in outta the heat and, as the Welsh might say, “fill your boots!”

There are lots of summer berries and grapes in our shops just now, so I’ve got selections of a few favourites, plus some new flavours for you to try.

Goodness! Are we really half way through August? It doesn’t seem possible!

See top photo for slices of Spiced Foundation Cake

There I was yesterday, anticipating greeting you lovely blogdom friends, whilst mixing up my American granny’s Foundation Cake recipe.

I’ve no idea where she got it. It almost reads like an offshoot of the Depression and war-era recipes I’ve served in the past, until you get to the then-expensive or rationed eggs and milk.

Taking time, I measured out everything before getting out the mixer and really doing things thoroughly. The result is a very light cake with a lovely texture. (See top photo)

I added “pumpkin pie” spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice), but no raisins. You might think it would be too much like a Raisin Spice Cake, but to me it’s lighter in flavour.

Blueberries & cream over chocolate cake!

Ripe berries are now in season, so strawberries and blueberries are on offer for today’s tea, along with the lightly spiced Foundation Cake, and chocolatey Wacky Cake, which I made in a loaf pan this time.

The recipe says you can do that, so I lengthened the cooking time and it turned out beautifully. I did the same with the Foundation Cake, so there were the two loaves to slice and sprinkle with fruit and cream, as desired. (Sorry, I didn’t get a piccie.)

Now let me tell you a bit more about grannie… She never talked much about her childhood, and only came to stay with us when widowed. Even then she shared her time between her two sons, so she wasn’t always with us.

The only thing better than strawberries & cream is adding chocolate cake!

As a child, her family traveled westward from the Ozark Mountains by covered wagon, settling in what’s now Oklahoma. (“Indian Territory” was the government’s designation then.) I learned more recently that the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma was very fluid then, which today’s genealogists find very confusing.

Growing up in the heart of the Depression’s Dust Bowl region made for a hard life, and neither dad nor uncle talked much about their experiences. My uncle said sometimes they would shell pecans for a nickel a bucket. If you’ve ever shelled a pecan, you know how hard that it.

Many of our ancestors have known and survived hardships and deprivations over the years.  I hope that remembering them can help bring today’s problems more into perspective.

Meanwhile, go in Peace and Be Safe, Dear Friends. . .

❤️     ❤️     ❤️   ❤️     ❤️     ❤️

I’m joining in with Su’s Virtual Tea Party. Do go over and try one of her tarts – they look amazing!

silly saturday

Isn’t this wacky fabric? From auntyacid.com, have had it stashed for about 4 years. Am making a mask for a friend.

It’s been severe storm warnings this afternoon and yesterday, with morning temps into the extreme range.

Am not complaining about the storms, as they do cool us down considerably. Phew!

But one does avoid phones, and most electric appliances… Reading from a real book is definitely safe!

As promised, here’s that recipe for the chocolate cake.

Converted this to a JPG file for uploading. You should be able to download & print it.

The raisin spice cake recipe can be found here. And there’s a Wiki article here.

The original Wacky Cake recipe is here, and it’s Wiki article is here.

Happy baking, everyone! Be sure to let us know if you try these out!

You’re invited to tea!

Always have a raisin spice cake on hand, and somewhere there’s a bowl of whipped cream, if anyone would like to sample what we call Heavy Cream up here.

Hope to see some new faces coming for tea this month!

Su has gone out of town for a richly deserved change of scenery, so I’ve invited everyone from her New Zealand tea up here.

She always has such wonderfully exotic creations for her teas and we shall miss them this month. Hopefully some of my efforts will fill in.

Thought I’d put a bit of chocolate icing on the chocolate cake. 😉 If it’s too rich add a dollop of cream!

I’ve got a question for everyone, to start the ball rolling:

When making traditional cheese & pickle sandwiches, describe the pickle. And do you use mustard on the bread?

I’ve used diced small sweet gherkins, which Americans call sweet pickle relish and use on hamburgers. The mustard (on the white/whole meal ones) is called Spicy, but that’s a relative term.

The cheese is a thick-sliced Swiss. Probably not neeearly as good as a British cheese, but easier to get over here.

Now please don’t stand on ceremony! If inclined to speak your mind on something, then do.

Above all, a HUGE welcome to my little patch and thank you so much for coming. Virtual hugs to all!

 

PS/ If you’re on Instagram, see #virtualteaparty2020

Updated ~

Virtual Tea Party

Welcome, dear ones! So glad to “see” you this month!

A word before we begin . . .

I know many parts of my  country are in varying stages of reopening, but my city’s mayor, concerned about rising numbers, has mandated mask wearing. And social distancing. All of which makes it a bit diffy to eat and converse.

So let me welcome you  to this virtual feast, and let’s pretend our conversations are in person instead of in the Comments section.

What a month it’s been over here.

I thought twice about this tea party, but decided everyone might need a moment to gather together and enjoy the singular pleasure of a cup of their favourite hot or cold beverage, and a bite of something decadent to go with.

I’ve mixed up a slight variation on the Wacky Cake recipe, and I think I like it better that my family’s recipe. (It has more cocoa. 🤣)

Alas, I’ve scraped the bottom of the whole wheat barrel, and wasn’t able to do our usual bread & butter, but there’s always scones!

Had difficulty deciding what recipe to make, but in the end, since there was already a sweet, decided on a savory recipe. I’ve made these olive oil and herb scones before, and they’re delightful, especially with a hunk of cheddar on the side.

Chatter on amongst yourselves. In my little world, it’s been difficult to decide who to pay attention to. However, there’s no doubt as to what I shall ignore.  Honestly! Anyone who insists on spouting outrageous lies doesn’t deserve anyone’s time.

I’ve been doing lots of research-style reading, and will write a bit more about that later this month. Su (Zimmerbitch) sent interesting links to a New Zealand virtual film festival! But everything I wanted to see is not available in this country. Pooh! I understand why, but am still disappointed.

There is a short about one of the films that I found fascinating. If you’re feeling sad and would like a change of perspective, take a look.

Oh! Lynn (Tialys) mentioned The Clangers this week. Anybody  heard of them? Adorable episodes are available on YouTube!

Su will be out of town next month, but I plan on being here, so everyone is invited up here. I warn you, it’ll probably be hot! And might be rainy. But we shall let the good times and conversations roll on!

Cheers, everyone! Please go gently with all, especially your own lovely selves.

xx

Come for Tea!

Quality Control: Everyone’s favourite spice cake

Chiming in with the North American edition of Su’s Tea Time in the Blogosphere.

Welcome! It’s good to see you! Hope you all have been keeping well and are ready for a gentle entry to your weekend.

If tea seems a bit sparse this month, flour is getting worrisome yet again, so I’ve included an unusual ingredient, and we don’t usually feature a cookie.

The South is teetering on the brink of summer heat & humidity today, but don’t worry! The air con is working, so we can talk up a storm in comfort.

What’s happening in your world? What “stage” are you currently in? How’s that being interpreted? As usual, feel free to bring your latest completed or in-progress project to show off, or work on whilst having a sit down and a bite to eat.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until pale gold.
Store in air tight container up to two weeks. Can also be frozen. Makes about 4 dozen.

A special request: Only honest opinions on the cookie, please!

Personally, I’m of two minds. Corn meal isn’t a particular favourite, but when I tried a sample of today’s cookie with tea, without thinking I dunked it.  Then another.  They didn’t disintegrate, and kept the distinctive corn meal crunch. So dunkers, please give it a go and let me know your verdict!

Made the batter Thursday, rolled into 2 logs and froze them overnight, then cut & baked this morning. Knife does need to be sharp.

I should report I didn’t have any cane sugar, so used dark brown sugar instead, and not the full amount the recipe calls for. Corn is naturally sweet, and American recipes in general tend to have more sugar than necessary, imho, so you can go scant on that if you liked these.

(That reminds me – This corn meal’s use-by date is next month, which begs two questions: 1. Are people not buying it so it sits on the shelves; and 2., Has it gone a bit stale as a result?  Am not a connoisseur, so haven’t a clue, but am keeping the remainder in the fridge just in case. )

Cookies do not spread so I loaded up the cookie sheets and let them bake a tad longer.

My recipe, used in the dim & distant past, is from an old issue of Sunset magazine, a California publication. I’ve a caveat for the link: Sunset asks you to allow all their adverts & still inserts some if you decline. BTW, the recipe is exactly the same as the one in my photo . . . 😉

Whoops! “Times winged what’s it” to quote the murderess in Christie’s Hallowe’en Party. Better get out the china, put on me tea frock & a bit of flash & glam. Early birds get to help set table and taste test!

Note: If your oven’s hotter in one spot, turn your cookie sheet round half way through baking. I forgot, and had to “dispose” of several overly browned ones. 🤣

Happy Mother’s Day

First, hello, Lovely Readers!  How’s your week gone? Hope everyone is holding up under whatever rules & regs are in place in your space.

Today is Mother’s Day in the U.S., so Happy Mother’s Day to you all, but let’s extend that to all Mothers in any country.

And let’s extend it to all those Dads who’ve had to be both Mum & Dad.

We’ve been having wonderfully cool weather, and I’m sending a giant THANK YOU to Canada for shipping it down to us.   ❤️   🇨🇦   ❤️

It’s been heavenly — mostly breezy with low humidity and 60’s for highs. As we’ve really had no winter to speak of, the prolongation of moderate temps is MOST appreciated.

[Could we talk about repetitions in June, July, August, September…]

Having recently met folks who had no idea there was such a thing as raw peanut butter, which separates quite naturally if not stirred, I looked it up, and discovered our Northern Neighbours created it! Another reason to be grateful to Canada! 🇨🇦

🐸 Crochet 🐸
Crocheting continued until Thursday, when I thought I had finished the ski hat and could go on to the pompom. Then I tried it on. Oops.

The bulky superwash wool yarn I was using was bulkier and less stretchy than I’d bargained for.

Currently the cap would fit a very short and extra-wide head. Am preparing to rip it, and maybe do a scarf instead. . . .

Friday’s #VirtualTeaParty2020
Still unable to purchase whole wheat flour for my weekly loaf, I started reading about substitutions. Taking my own advice, I did a quick check on the Library of Congress’ website, wondering about flour substitutes. Found a few things that might be doable, if I can get corn meal. Both are circa 1918. You can see them in situ here and here.

Photo by SDP ~ thank you!

If anybody’s missed my Wacky Cake or Boiled Raisin Cake recipes, they’re here and here. And here’s a variation, kindly sent down to me from SDP’s collection.

Friday’s #VirtualTeaParty2020
Please do stop by either Su’s place, on the 14th New Zealand/Southern Hemisphere reckoning, or right here on Friday, the 15th if you’re Northern Hemisphere/East Coast North America, or both.

Come as you are, or in your best bib & tucker. No need to bring anything, but you can if you want. There’s always an interesting assortment of peoples and conversations about food, recipes, coping, whatever. But we keep it civilised. It is a Tea Party. 😉

 

P.S./ Here’s a closer look at that page with recipes . . .

Sunday Sevens 2020 #3

Courtesy of BBC One. Please click to go to web site.

(aka, Great British Sewing Bee Season 6)

Frequently referred to simply as GBSB, most every sewer across the pond (and a few of us over here and elsewhere) have been waiting with bated breath for this year’s season to arrive. Next Wednesday, 22 April, it will.

I’m pleased to know one of this year’s participants, Ali, over at Thimberlina.  (She’s front row, second from left, sporting her usual big smile.) We’ve been sewing buddies for a few years and I’m sooo delighted for her.

Now, a question for anyone who might know the answer: How can I (in the U.S.) watch GBSB??? Puh-leeeese, I hope there’s some way.

Anybody wanna hold their phone up to their telly for an hour with  me on t’other end watching?!  (If Ali isn’t working she’ll be doing that with her family.)

The official announcement came at 12:02 Tuesday morning, and has eclipsed whatever else happened—or didn’t—last week.

(Except I’m still trying to get a roll or two of t.p.  I’m down to my last one, and trying not to use it up.) 😬

Wednesday (tomorrow) is our monthly Virtual Tea Party and I hope you’ll all drop by for a cuppa and some of my spicy Moosehead Gingerbread, from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book (by Cunningham).

I usually heap up the spices, adding whatever’s in the spice cupboard, so it should be an eye-opener. 😉

Lest I forget, reading has continued. Am finding myself really enjoying Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Am quite surprised to rather be reading it than Jane Austen’s Emma. Both are available for free from Project Gutenberg because they’re out of copyright.

Very scenic, ain’t it? Not!

A special thanks to everyone who posts lovely photos of their walks. I don’t have scenic spaces here and really appreciate your photos. For anyone like myself, here’s an article with additional suggestions (in the “Deep Read” selection) of ways to get our Nature fix each day.

Those who would like to participate in Natalie’s Sunday Sevens should take a peek at her blog, Threads and Bobbins, for details. It’s very simple, and you don’t even have to post on Sunday. Which in my case is a good thing. 😆

Lots of retaining walls to hold back the hills around here. This is the other side of the walkway and the parked cars.

Hope everyone is staying (somewhat) sane and safely inside.

let’s have ☕️

You’re invited for tea❣️

Su has invited us over for tea. Here’s her invitation ~

I was so pleased to get positive feedback on my last tea party, that I’m going to continue to post once a month — mid-week, mid-month probably — at least for the rest of 2020.

If you’d like to contribute a post of your own — that would be great.
Maybe a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it, A recipe. A few words about what you’re doing/reading/making. What’s making you happy or pissing you off?  I’ll update each of my posts with a ping-back to everyone’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.

#virtualteaparty2020 for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)

I’d love to be part of a global rolling tea party. Hopefully a few of you would too.

Hope this cookie cutter works on bread…

Stop by here first if you’d like to go over as a group, want to visit my fabric stash, or just to natter a bit.

If you’re early, maybe you ‘d help with  sandwiches.  I’m not sure about that cookie cutter. 😉

If you feel a pressing need, bring cake or whatever you’d like.

I’m planning on traditional bread and butter sandwiches, hot buttered toast, and maybe a few raspberry jam sandwiches, using my bread machine’s whole meal bread.

For afters I’m also bringing  a fresh Raisin Spice cake . (Recipe is here.)

Hope you can come and join the fun!

Last month’s Raisin Spice Cake ~ click pic to go to recipe