Tag Archives: Virtual Tea Party

February’s Virtual Tea Party

Welcome to our second 2021 Virtual Tea Party!

Amidst the stormy weather, we can carry on, because the tea stays hot & the food never runs out.

Cranberry Bread. I’ll post the recipe at the bottom, if anyone’s interested.

This month we’re having a scrumptious Cranberry Bread, chock full of cranberries and sliced almonds.

Although it’s not quite bready enough to toast, we can always put a few slices in the oven, on Low, and you can enjoy a crunchy version.

The other treat this month can be similar if you choose. Tea sandwiches with a spread based on non-fat plain Greek yogurt, with additional ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard, in a combination known only to my taste buds.

For those who might prefer a dip instead of a spread, I’ve toasted thin slices of homemade bread. There are also the traditional Jacob’s Cream and Ritz crackers, cheese slices and cherry tomatoes for garnish.

Shall we compare notes on who has managed to get a C-19 vaccine shot? Or exchange more recipes? It seems to me that my state and  county aren’t playing nice with each other just now.

Everyone’s trying to register with both, but nothing much is happening. Which isn’t such a bad thing, I guess, as  vaccine availability is so limited.

Hate to think we’re looking at another year of social distancing and wearing masks, don’t you?

Quick – let’s change the subject.

Su (Zimmerbitch) and I share hosting a Virtual Tea Party each month, around the 15th. Everyone is welcome to join in, write a post of their own, contribute a recipe, or just enjoy the party. You can also find us at #virtualteaparty2021 on Instagram.

Thank you for coming!

I have 1 loaf pan, so I halved the recipe.

 

 

Save the date – Friday, 19 February 🫖

Echoing Su’s post you’re all invited to tea here on Friday, 19 February, so’s not to conflict with Valentine’s Day.

Su’s suggested a wonderful fruit tart I’ll be debuting, using blueberries and cherries to honor the Presidents’ Day* holiday here.

(* Created by consolidating holidays for Lincoln and Washington, both born in February.)

Friday’s Virtual Tea Party

A lovely, well-aged New York cheddar — not too sharp — that compliments the ritzy crackers as well as Jacob’s more neutral flavours. Add grapes for a palate cleanser. Just right for those interested in something light!

Welcome, everyone, and Happy New Year!

I’m delighted to welcome you all to our first Virtual Tea Party of 2021.

And special thanks to Su for continuing our monthly get-togethers.

Could someone please settle a question I’ve had ever since hearing John Thaw remark he needed some water after “too many crisps?” (Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence mini-series.)

Are crisps what Americans call chips? Those ultra-thin, deep-fried  slivers of potato slathered in a bazillion different flavours?

Then do I have it right:  Crackers are crackers on both sides of the pond, but chips are crisps in Blighty?

Thank you! This won’t give us world peace or dissolve that pesky pandemic, but it will ease my personal anxiety.

As you saw in the photo above, I’ve got some light snacks for those who’d prefer them.

And for those yearning for something more substantial, I’ve carefully thin-sliced some of my homemade whole wheat bread, and topped it with chicken salad.

And, she announced with a flourish, for those with a sweet tooth, please enjoy this triple chocolate cake.

I’d love to welcome you all over for a rousing party, but since that’s not gonna happen, please join in with a comment or post of your own, perhaps with a piccie of your cuppa or nibbles. I’ll list your post below.

🫖     🫖     🍰     🫖     🫖

Dear Deb from up north in Canada has grasped the nettle to deliver the most astoundingly delicious trifle for our enjoyment. (I’ve got dibs on licking the bowl.)

Jen at #ffynant has baked a delicious Welsh Bara brit for us to enjoy, using her traditional family recipe! If you’re on IG, join in the spice discussion.

I have it on good authority that Anne has made chocolate chip cookies, and will be posting/joining us. Find her also on IG as #compulsive_seamstress.

Meanwhile, please enjoy the virtual feast — guaranteed calorie-free!

❤️     🫖    Thank you for coming!     🫖     ❤️

If you fancy yours being a bit melty inside, we’ll pop it into the microwave – guaranteed to be gooey!

 

 

 

 

 

2021, continued — or, Can I stop career dressing?

Diaries by paperblanks – my latest now in use.

I knew during the 2019-2020 winter that I needed to sew up some winter clothes a basic winter wardrobe, but I had an intuition to put it on hold. (It was a short, warm winter 😉.)

After decades of dressing professionally — whatever that means — my fabric and pattern collections mirrored that style. Meanwhile, I was working from home, trying to ramp up on-line diction & coaching sessions, and living a more relaxed life style.

Last March the rest of the world reluctantly joined me.  My resistance to more casual styles started to crumble. So did everyone else’s.

By November the wonderful world of indie pattern designers were churning out more appropriate patterns, and smart U.S. fabric stores were bypassing the post office for UPS or FedEx. BUT: Would I go the PDF route?

For me, everything started to coalesce when Love to Sew aired an October podcast, Sewing Loungewear. Then Vogue Fabrics had a quick fleece sale, PDFPlotting announced a big PDF pattern printing sale, and several indie pattern companies also announced sales.

Resistance fled.

3 of 4, washed (brown’s drying). The top navy (& brown) are for pants, gold & green (below gold) are for tops.

Thus, I find myself with 4 pieces of nice, soft and cuddly fleece for pyjama-style tops & bottoms, and a couple other pieces for spring makes. Heaven knows I’ve already got enough rayon for hot weather wear.

Now I’ve gotta run . . . there’s an LB Pullover pattern needing glue stick attention, and a Talvikki, and I need to consult my jacket pdf pattern pile . . . oh, and get those muffins done for Friday’s Virtual Tea Party. You’re all invited!

See you then . . . . . I hope! 😘

 

 

Virtual Tea 2021

This week’s loaf.

Wednesday morning I started writing out my next post, a  sequel to the previous, and decided to pause for a late lunch. . .

. . . and an online meeting. “Chatting” afterwards someone said rioters were storming the U.S. Capitol.      WHAT? ? ?

You know what I saw when I turned on the TV.

Nevertheless, Su and I managed to exchange a few words about our virtual tea party and you’re all invited to my portion on Friday, 15 January.

I’ve been drinking a lot more tea and eating spice cake like it’s going outta style since Wednesday, so expect them to be on the menu.  And maybe something chocolate.

Please plan to stop by any time round about 3 P.M. New York time, which is 5 hours behind London.  (When Big Ben chimes  8 PM, it’s 3 P.M. over here.)

If you’re an Instagram person, we’ll be shifting over to #virtualteaparty2021.

No doubt there’ll be lots to chat about, so I hope you’ll all feel comfortable dropping by.

🫖     ❤️     ❤️     🫖     ❤️     ❤️     🫖

2020’s Last Virtual Tea Party

Welcome, Dear Readers!

When Su and I first discussed a virtual tea party a year ago, neither of us knew how it would resonate with our followers. We certainly wouldn’t have believed what the world was about to experience.

A most extraordinary year later, still in the midst of pandemic and societal injustices it’s helped expose, I’m not feeling very analytical.

But I do recognise that some things haven’t changed — the need to eat, to communicate, to enjoy the company of others — and these things can be shared electronically. New interests can develop, new life paths can be found.

The humanity of mankind can and does flourish, especially in hard times — in pot banging to support first responders, in childrens’ rainbow pictures in windows, in communities banding together to give a single mom a car…

And we can all enjoy the comfort of a warm (or cool in summer) cuppa, with a bit of a nosh along side.

Cranachan ingredients: Whipped sweetened cream, toasted oatmeal and raspberries or fruit of choice

For this month’s Tea Party I decided to try making — or prepping things so you can make your own — Cranachan.

Cranachan is a traditional festive Scottish pudding of whipped cream, toasted oatmeal, raspberries, and whiskey.

Alas, my kitchen doesn’t run to the last, but if you’ve got your own wee flask, suit yourself. 😉

As is also traditional, I’ve got plates and bowls of the ingredients so you can mix your own – in layers or all mixed together. And if we run out of raspberries, I’ve blueberries, raisins, cranberries – but this is virtual cranachan, so there’s no fear of running out!

It wouldn’t be a holiday for me without an extra spicey Raisin Spice Cake, and some digestives for those without a sweet tooth.

If you’d like something more substantial with your tea, I’ve Mrs. Beeton’s scones – a delicate, plain variety to offset a mustard chicken & grape filling, with some sunflower seeds to give it extra crunch.

Not being much for champers, I usually toast in the New Year with either a good seltzer & fruit mix, or hot chocolate.

Whatever your tipple, enjoy it as we look forward to the beginning of 2021!

Your invitation
Please feel free to celebrate with us with a post of your own, a recipe, or a piccie of your own cuppa.

I’ll update this post with a ping back to your post. If you’re an IG person, we’re at  #virtualteaparty2020.

The Lovely Canadian, Deb (The Widow Badass), has posted a most delectable  tea, and you will not believe the ornament at the top of her post!

From this past year’s tea parties ~

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🎄 A Holiday Tea Party Invitation–17 December! 🎄

Hello, all!

Hope everyone is well and comfortable – cool if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, or warm if you’re not.

As you can see from my digestives biscuit tin, it’s that time of year again. While this hasn’t been the happiest of years, I hope there’ve been pleasant surprises. Let’s celebrate those.

With countries and their citizens just a few clicks away, I hope you’ll join me and Su of Zimmerbirch on the 17th to raise a glass. Er, cuppa!

Catching up on other news… What have I been reading? Seems like not a thing. (Trying to get used to this latest editor is enough, as far as I’m concerned. 🤪)

However, there has been some sewing going on, even if for the home rather than m’self. After all, this has been a year of trying to be comfortable while being at home some/most/all of the time.

sofa + 3 20″ x 20″ pillows

This summer I realised I never sat on my sofa. I started considering why and decided to sit on it, after I cleared off the piles of fabric and the patterns that were usually sitting/reclining/totally covering it.

I made myself sit on it for at least an hour every afternoon for a week. And I began to realize why I was uncomfortable.

It felt like I was trying to sit down and lean on beach balls instead of soft squidgy pillows. Oh! We sewers know how to fix that!

And there was no place for a reading light.   Or a cuppa. 😱  No wonder I wasn’t comfortable!

It just so happened… coincidentally… I’d just collected a couple pieces of fabric I hadn’t quite known what to do with, but thought “You can always make pillows.”

SO, whilst me and my comfy sofa would love to welcome you all personally to my home, it’s not the year for it.

However, I hope you’ll find time to click and drop by for a quick cuppa on the 17th.

❤️  ❤️  Meanwhile, please take special care!  ❤️  ❤️

 

November’s Tea Time

Here it is, the middle of November, and time for another virtual tea party.

Welcome, everyone! I’m especially delighted to see you!

After what we’ve all been through one way or t’other, can’t say we’re not ready for a hot cup and a warm scone or two. It’s been quite a month, and frankly, I’m glad to see the back of it.

But I’ve always been one for phone calls and now FaceTime and Zoom and Skype.  (Did you know I was teaching a monthly vocal workshop, including a Spanish soprano in Málaga (Spain) in 2000?) I’ve been waiting a long time for video teaching to come of age. 🥴

Can you see cranberries sticking out?

Back to our tea. . .  My little scone & biscuit book (here it is in U.K. and U.S.) has a cranberry scone recipe that I decided to try out. Have been having a thing for dried cranberries lately (with chicken, but that’s another story) and decided to try the recipe.

The dough is very soft and makes huge round scones. As usual, I skimped on the sugar and the taste was fine. But I should have soaked the dried berries first. Duh! Luckily, most of them were plump anyway, so the occasional chewy one didn’t bother me.

However, their size had me eating half a scone, and saving the rest for later. So I decided the next batch should be half size, and baked for a shorter time. Now they’re much more appropriate for tea time nibbling! But everything went so quickly I forgot to photo the scones, so have to rely on the photo through the oven door (the first batch, above). Sorry! 😥

Savory digestives waiting for a topping of your choice ~

Then I decided to do my favourite digestive biscuit recipe. Strangest thing – they decided to become savory instead of sweet. Found myself adding  garlic, pepper, and basil and leaving out most of the sugar. After rolling them out much thinner, I left them in the oven longer so they’d crisp up.

They looked about the same, and the taste was wonderful! Love that peppery note on the back of the tongue, and will try more garlic next time!

Virtual Tea Party
When Su (Zimmerbitch), a talented New Zealand photographer and  crafter,  mentioned a monthly virtual tea party last year it seemed a wonderful idea to me, so I asked if she’d like to go international, and if so I was volunteering.

Little did we know what was about to happen . . . . .

So we’ve continued inviting everyone to join us virtually around the middle of each month, for a cuppa and some goodies. As Su  writes, the tea is always hot, and the calorie-free goodies never run out. So come as you are, when you feel like company.

For those who favour IG, we can be found at #virtualteaparty2020.

You’re welcome to bring something to share, or a recipe, or just your own Good Selves.

Updates!

Deb, aka The Widow Badass, has brought the most amazing lemon-almond cake we’ve ever tasted! Her post describing it is here!

Wishing you all peace, joy, and good health!

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️