Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Showers will bring May flowers!

That's right! April showers brought lots of tulips that are going to last well into the first part of May! The Tulips are everywhere this spring! While I was out running errands in the afternoon, I passed by these on my way home........take a look........aren't they beautiful?

I wish these were in my garden but all we have is grass. These are in Ned's garden, a friend who lives down the hill from us, and he said I can take pictures of his tulips and flowers anytime I want! I love the pointed petals on these tulips. They almost look like they are daffodils! After enjoying a little walk around Ned's tulip garden, I headed home because I had picked up something delicious at the bakery that I planned to enjoy with a cup of tea.

And it was that yummy looking apple turnover you see on that pretty blue plate. I had my favorite cup of English breakfast tea and relaxed with a few pages of "Little Women". I've seen the movie lots of times, but thought I'd read the book. I don't recall ever reading it as a kid. Then's been awhile since I was a kid so maybe I did and don't remember it! :-)

I had been doing some stitching on some tea towels and finished up a couple that are similar to the one in the photo. I thought you might like to make one so I am sharing the little tulip pattern that I drew for a quilt block exchange in our Prior Lake Quilter's group back in 2003. Just right click on the pattern page, save to your computer and you can print from the file.
I prewashed my towels although I'm not sure that's necessary. I made them just for "pretties" but I like the feel better after they are washed. I used woolfelt that was white and then washed with red to get the mottled effect on the tulip. I want real tulips that color in my garden next summer! Perhaps next time I sit down for tea, I should grab my gardening catalogs and start shopping. :-)
So the question for the day is.........

are there tulips growing in your garden or will they only grow on teatowels and quilts?
Have a lovely relaxing day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I think it's high time for a cup 'o tea!

That's right. It's been too long! When I last wrote, my mom was having health issues and she is doing well now. Can't believe how busy things have been since then. However, today is St. Patrick's Day and I sat down for a cup of tea and a bit of a rest. No sewing, just rest and a little reading.

These were the books that I laid on the kitchen table to enjoy with my tea. My favorite of all the books is the one on the left........"Shamrocks, Harps and Shillelaghs". It's a relaxing read that covers bits of history and traditions of the holiday. I am fond of every holiday so I have every one of Edna Barth's holiday books. :-) They are geared more to children but they always provided just the information I needed when I wanted to do a project with my kids or as background for a library or community ed class. That's a new copy in the photo because I ruined my first copy when I spilled a glass of water on it when teaching a kid's class. I think part of why I like her books so much is that they remind me of when my kids were young! Plus, she's from my home state of Iowa!!!!
The newest book is the "Tour Ireland with Pat Sloan" book. I couldn't resist that beautiful cover photography and all the gorgeous pictures of her quilting tour to Ireland. Someday, I'm going to get there, too! I also want to make that little sheep quilt on the front cover. They remind me of sheep that we saw when visiting the Lake District in northern England. That was the same year that we visited Scotland so when I saw the next book "Clans & Tartans of Scotland and Ireland", I had to have it. While on that trip, we visited a mill and watched the tartans as they are woven and I brought home a wee bit o' wool and a lovely piece of Douglas plaid for my mom.
Now that last book is one that I found at the library a couple of weeks ago and I really did give it the "old college try". I wanted to know more about the history of St. Patrick's Day and I tried to read the book but it was just too "deep" for me. I do think I'd like to buy it, though, so I could read it when I feel like it and not under pressure because I need to finish it to avoid a library fine!
I expect to be here for tea in April. I think some spring tulips are in order then. Join me, won't you?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No time for tea today......

My mother is going to have a surgery for kidney stones on Friday so I am busy preparing to leave to go to Iowa to be with her. I'll have to postpone this month's tea to another day. Sit down and have a cup for me, okay? :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tea Gifts in the mail!

It's TeaTime but I have to be honest....I have had a lot of tea in the last ten days because of the flu and I was not "in the mood" for a "cuppa" today. I did cook up something rather tasty, though, and I'll get to that in a minute.

First, I must tell you about this cute little bag that I received in the mail. It's a gift from Pat at ArtfullyOoglebloops. She was having a little giveaway recently and anyone who signed up to be a follower got a chance in the drawing for this little tea filled gift tote. I couldn't believe it when she e-mailed me that I had won!! The tote was filled with her own tea blends, a little charm and the darling little teapot tea strainer! And then she made a little pincushion that I can add to my collection. I am saving the tea for later on this fall when I'll be having some friends over and we can sample it together. Thank you so much, Pat!!
Another tea-themed package arrived in the mail one day last week when I was totally in the grasp of the flu. It really cheered my up because it was unexpected and held many surprises. The package came from my Aunt Loretta and it contained a cookbook and the letters and photos you see below..........

The cookbook - titled "Economy in Cooking" - belonged to my Grandma Goldie (mother to my Aunt Loretta. Written inside are the lines "give to Loretta when I'm gone". My grandma passed away in 1994 and so the book went to Loretta. But now Loretta is selling her home and down-sizing and she decided it was time to pass the cookbook on to the next family member who will care for You can see why this really cheered me up. I didn't know the cookbook was "out there" and that it came to me was a real treasure, a real gift! Written on the inside cover of the cookbook is a cookie recipe for "Sultanas" and it says it was a favorite of Loretta's. I thought about making some today but I did not have the right raisins for the job. I need the golden ones and the grocery store downtown only had regular raisins. There were letters (one is written on birchbark!), recipes, newspaper clippings and photos in the package, too. In the photos on the lower right, you can find my Grandma in the center (3rd one from the left) and the photos on the left are pictures of me at Christmas when I was about 3 years old. I am so glad that Loretta passed this on to me so that I can care for it and then pass it on, too. :-)

So, what did I make today that was "rather tasty"? I was hungry for a good meal so I decided to experiment. :-) I made this.............

It's a potpie, of sorts. It made me think of the English pasties that we would eat in pubs years ago on trips we took to England. It really was tasty. Instead of tea, I poured a cold glass of milk to enjoy with a slice of this vegetable pie....................It really was good!
Want to try it? It was easy. Here's all you do.
You will need..........
One box Betty Crocker pie crust mix for 2 crust pie
One can Campbell's Chunky Beef with Country Vegetables Soup
One can Mixed Vegetables (drained and please feel free to remove the lima beans!)
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
Mix pie crust as directed on box. Roll out just over half the dough and place in pie pan. Remaining dough should be rolled out and ready to place on top of pie.
Place Chunky beef soup in mixing bowl.
Next, mix 1/4 cup milk and flour into thin paste and add to beef soup, mix well (this helps thicken the soup broth).
Add drained mixed vegetables and blend.
Pour mixture into pie crust. Place upper crust over this mixture, crimp the edges and then brush milk all over top of pie crust. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Since oven temps vary be sure to watch carefully if you bake this. Makes six servings.
There was not a drop of tea consumed this day but the time still revolved around tea. :-) Comfort tea, comfort food, they both work for me!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Goop Scoop!

I hope you enjoy this post as it makes me smile just to write it. :-)

Yesterday, August 25th, was my mother's birthday ( go here to see her picture). We will celebrate the next time I go home to visit in a month or so. In the meantime, I thought I would bake up one of the things that we (my brother, sister and I) would request as a treat for our birthdays. While her chocolate mayonnaise cake was delicious, for me and my brother, nothing could beat her CHOCOLATE GOOP!! Yes, I know it doesn't sound very elegant but the taste is rich, chocolaty and scrumptious!! It was a recipe from a 1950's cookbook and was called Butter Crunch Crust but we always called it Chocolate Goop. I have no memory of how it got that name. I only remember the taste. ;-)

I haven't made this in several years because when I make it, I generally eat the whole thing. That's not good as it makes a 9 x 13" pan of Goop. But today was Tea Time so I wanted a special treat. Plus, I need a dessert for our crazy quilting meeting tomorrow night so unless I get totally out-of-hand with my Goop cravings, there should be plenty left for tomorrow night!!

This afternoon, I sat down with a good-sized portion and my favorite cup of tea. I added a good book and some fabric for inspiration. What could be better? Hmmm, another slice of Goop!! Hee hee!! Seriously, though, there is nothing quite so good as a favorite piece of pie or cake or a cookie that recalls good times and good folks!!

Speaking of good times and good folks, you will find that in the book you see in the photo. My friend Arlis gave me the book "Aprons on the Line" for my birthday and it is a lovely story of an elderly lady named Virginia who learns to see life anew after a stroke. I highly recommend it. And interestingly, author Traci DePree is a Minnesotan and has other titles that are just as good. Be sure to check it out at your local library.

There's one final charming item in this photo and it's that pack of fabrics, Charm squares by Moda. Instead of a project this month I thought I would offer up a little prize. Several weeks ago, I bought two of these packs at Firefly Quilt Shop and I'm keeping one for me and the other one................will be won by one of you reading this post. Summer's coming to an end and I thought "why not give away a sort-of Last Rose of Summer" and that's what this fabric represents. All you have to do to win is leave your name (make sure your comment links back to your e-mail address or include it in your comment) and tell me what your favorite cup of tea is. And if you want more than one chance to win, then tell me what my favorite tea is and you'll get your name in the drawing twice! Comments must be left on this post and a winner will be announced on Friday at 6:00 p.m. August 28th.

Edit: It's Friday night and my husband has drawn the lucky winner........and it is.........Anett!! Congrats, Anett and thank you all for joining me for tea!

And in case you haven't heard enough about Goop, then read on.........because, you see, when my kids were small, we had this old book and in it was this poem..........

The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops, they lick their knives,
They spill their broth on the tablecloth,
Oh!, they lead disgusting lives!

Well, that poem is 100 years old and if you want to learn more about the poem, it's author, minding your manners and more, then check out TheGOOPS. I think you'll enjoy the visit. :-)

Now would you like the recipe for Chocolate it is..................

The recipe for Chocolate Goop!

Chocolate Goop isn't difficult to make and requires ingredients you might have on hand. If you don't have chocolate pudding on hand then any pudding will do.

Assemble these items:
A 9 x 13 pan (mist with cooking spray)
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup angel flake coconut
2 cups flour
You will also need....Two packages pudding mix and 4 cups milk.
Soften butter (but not as much as I did) and then mix in brown sugar. Blend well and add the coconut. Add one cup flour and mix, then second cup of flour and blend til crumbly.
Place mixture in baking pan and press til flat. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
While the crust bakes, you can prepare the pudding mixture. Combine milk and pudding mix and follow package directions to prepare pudding. When pudding is done, set aside but stir frequently so that you do not get a hard layer on top of pudding.
Your crust should look like this when you remove it from the oven.

Let it cool a bit and then chop it up with a spoon and fill one cup of mixture in a measuring cup. You will use this mixture for top of pudding.

Next step is to press the crust back down in the pan and pour in the pudding.

Spread the pudding across the entire crust, then with your hands, sprinkle the cup of crust crumbs over the top of the pudding mixture.
Adding a dollop of whipped creme is highly recommended but I had no whipped creme on hand. Cool whip would do in a pinch. :-) I enjoy it just as it is!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Saturday morning cup of tea.......

I only really post once a month here on my tea blog but this morning I am sitting down with a cup of tea and thought I would share two things with you..........

one, is that I am reading that lovely book that my friend, Barb gave me titled "Time for Tea - Tea and Conversation with Thirteen English Women" - and I love it! It's such a relaxing "read" and it makes me wish I was in England. If you go to my stitchingblog you will see Barb and how she delivered this lovely little gift. :-)
Now, the very best cup of tea I ever had was in a little tea garden in the English countryside. I was a lucky girl. My husband's job took him overseas a great deal and as airline miles accumulated, I would get to go along about once a year. I have some lovely photos that I should share of those trips. That means unpacking photo boxes so it could be winter before I get anything posted. That will give you something to look forward to.

Second thing, is that I have had a link on my sidebar to "TheTeaGuy" ever since I started this blog. There are wonderful links there to other tea sites, too, and many things to check out while you are also sitting down with a favorite cup of tea. But what I really enjoyed over at the "TheTeaGuy" this morning was the videos he shares. I do not recall ever hearing Paul McCartney and the English Tea song. It was too cute! Check it out!

Now it's time to get back to relaxing with my morning "cuppa". Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend wherever you are!


A little stitching poem.........

This little poem was written for one of my beginning quilting students - only 8 years old but her stitches were those of a natural seamstress!

For Bailey Anne . . . .
When this you see, think of me.
Sit down and have a cup of tea.
Then place your quilt upon your lap,
begin to stitch . . . no time to nap!
Stitch patiently and you will see . . .

how fine a quilter you can be!

©1999-2008 Sandra E. Andersen