Congratulations goes to this year’s winner – Jessica Andruss of Charlottesville, VA shown here holding the public’s favorite tea cozy – Summer Catnap.
“You made a really fun competition and I enjoyed seeing pictures of all the cozies that people had made,” said Jessica.
This year we received 53 entries from all over the United States and close to 1,000 people from across the world placed a vote.
In addition to the collection of teas, tea accessories and gift items, Jessica also won a year’s subscription to Tea Time Magazine, a copy of “Tea Parties Around the World,” and “Teatime Parties”, a free on-line subscription to The Tea House Times and gift certificates from Cedar Ridge Soaps, Teresa’s Treasures and Catoctin Creek Farms.
Measure the oil and sugar into a bowl, add the segmented clover heads and beat in the eggs.
Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and add the grated carrot. Fold the flour and carrot into the oil, sugar, clover and eggs. Then fold in the milk.
Turn the mixture into prepared pan and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes until the cake is firm and well risen (it will shrink away from the sides of the tin). Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then turn the cake on to a cooling rack.
To make the frosting: sift the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl and beat in the softened butter. Add most of the segmented clover flowers, reserving a few to decorate the cake.
Spread the frosting on top of the cold cake and sprinkle the reserved flower segments over the top.
The British have always been big gin drinkers and the always popular highball cocktail, gin & tonic, has long been a standard drink especially during the summer months.
It’s being enjoyed by drink lovers around the world as it enjoyed a resolute renaissance. The juniper elixir is now produced in all corners of the globe and the gin industry is thriving in the British Isles.
The cocktail was introduced by the army of the East India Company in India. In India and other tropical regions malaria was a chronic problem but Dr. George Cleghorn discovered that quinine could prevent and treat the disease. The quinine was put into tonic water, but the taste was awful so British officers in the early 1800’s started adding water, sugar, lime and gin to the quinine to make it easier to drink, thus gin and tonic was invented.
During the time of the Raj, the cocktail became a stand drink among the tea planters as they retreated to their clubs. As G&T gained in popularity with the planters it gradually made it way back to the UK.
Two of life’s greatest pleasures are gin and tea, so it makes sense to put them together in the name of the ultimate thirst-quenching experience.
Mixing tea in cocktails isn’t new, in the 1800’s tea was used to lengthen drinks and once again it is popular with bartenders who claim that tea works really well with gin because it has lots of botanical flavors to play against.
Tea infusions are easy. Most importantly is to select a good quality alcohol as cheap liquors will still taste astringent after infusing. Loose leaf teas work best for infusions, as they have a fuller flavor.
Combine the sugar, ginger, thyme and lime
in a cocktail shaker. Don’t have a shaker? Use a sturdy mixing bowl or pint
glass. Place the muddler in the glass. Don’t have a muddler? Use the end of a
rolling pin. Press down with it lightly and give a few gentle twists. You
should see juice squirting out from the limes and the ginger and thyme will
begin to break down. Add the lime juice, stirring until the sugar is totally
Strain the mixture into a pitcher partially filled with ice, or divide between
four tall ice-filled glasses. Top with the tea and stir well. Garnish with lime
4. Pomegranate Iced Black Tea
Nothing cools you down on a hot day like iced
tea – and the drink can be a beauty elixir. Tea has compounds such as
antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and tannin – that enhance the look of your
skin. The results can be increased by adding ingredients such as pomegranate
juice which has its own beauty benefits.
1 Tsp black tea or tea bag
Sugar to taste
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
Steep tea in 1 cup of boiling water for 3 minutes. Add sugar to taste and stir until dissolved. While tea is cooling pour pomegranate juice into a tall glass over ice. Add brewed tea mixture and stir to combine. Makes 2 glasses.
We discovered this treat in a tea shop in Wexford, Ireland. Was intrigued with the name because the only “tiffin” I was familiar with is the India tiffin.
During the time of the British Raj, it was used to define the British custom of afternoon tea. It is derived from “tiffing”, an English slang term meaning to take a little drink. By 1867 it was used by Anglo-Indians in northern British India to mean luncheon. In South India and Nepal, tiffin is generally a snack between meals. In other parts of India, it mostly refers to a packed lunch.
The tiffin we tried was a cake-like confectionary that doesn’t need baking. Instead, following preparation of the mixture, it is chilled until set. Apparently, it was invented in the early 1900’s in Troon, Scotland.
½ cup salted butter
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons of golden syrup or light corn syrup
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
8 oz. crushed rich tea biscuits or McVitie’s Original Digestive Biscuits
1/3 cup raisins, or to taste
8 oz. milk chocolate chips
8 oz. dark chocolate chips
Combine butter, sugar, golden syrup and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium-low heat; cook and stir until smooth about 2-4 minutes. Stir in crushed biscuits and raisins. Pour into a 8”x8” pan; press down firmly to flatten.
Melt the milk and dark chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir frequently and scrape down the sides of the pan with a spatula to prevent scorching. Watch carefully. Cook 3-4 minutes. Pour melted chocolate over biscuit base.
Refrigerate until set. This will take at least one hour. Cut into squares.
I had never considered adding curry to cookies before that pantry raid, but it’s a delicious combination.
The curry powder gives these shortbread cookies a warm, golden color and intriguing, almost savory flavor. So even though these cookies make a great dessert, they are just as at home with a glass of champagne or a cocktail.
1& 1/2 Sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ Cup Sugar
1 & 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 & 1/8 Teaspoons Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
¾ Teaspoon Paprika
¾ Teaspoon Turmeric
¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Set oven rack to the middle. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift flour with spices. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until blended. Scrape dough onto parchment paper and shape into a log shape. Chill until firm. Slice dough into ¼ inch pieces. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick each slice with a fork before baking for 20 minutes. Particularly good with a cup of fine Indian Darjeeling – the champagne of tea.
Would you like to host an afternoon tea but don’t have the time or inclination to spent hours in the kitchen?
The following menu has been planned around items that are readily available at any supermarket. Just remember that nothing sticky or too moist should be served. Bite size is the right size. Everything should be easily eaten with the fingers.
SANDWICH AND SAVORY COURSE: *
Chicken Salad Sandwich – Deli
Pimento Chees Spread – Dairy
Mini Quiche – Freezer
Devilled Egg or Egg Salad Sandwich – Deli
SCONE COURSE:(Scones do NOT have to be served!!)
Scones – Bakery
Clotted Cream – Deli (Sometimes called Devonshire Cream) Again, it is not obligatory to serve clotted cream. A buttered scone is equally as good.
I like to garnish the serving plates with whole strawberries and/or colorful seedless grapes. It is not necessary to serve ALL these items, they are merely suggestions.
Donut Holes – Bakery or Dunkin’ Donuts
Mini Chocolate Eclairs or Cream Puffs – Freezer
Small “store-bought” cookies
Mini Phyllo cases filled with lemon curd – Freezer
Tea Breads – Bakery
*Notes: Suggest using Pepperidge Farm Thin Sandwich Bread because it has a firmer texture and is more suitable for tea sandwiches. If the chicken or egg salad filling is too moist, drain off the excess moisture. Don’t be overly generous with the filling or it will ooze out the sides. After preparing the sandwich, press down firmly on the top layer. With a sharp bread knife,using a sawing motion, cut off all the crusts and then slice the sandwich into quarters. Each guest will get one quarter of the sandwich. (It is customary to provide four different types of sandwiches or savories per person.)
If you don’t have a tea set, ask your friends to bring their own cup and saucer and to share its history with the other guests.
Remember the importance of afternoon tea is the memorable time spent with one’s friends, not all the elaborate food and fancy china.
A Very Simple Table Set-up
It is customary to use a table cloth for the table.
Place a side plate in front of where each guest will be seated.
A luncheon knife goes to the right of the plate.
The pastry fork (or a salad fork can be used) goes to the left of the plate.
Place the folded napkin on the center of the plate
Set the tea cup and saucer at the top right corner of the plate. Keep the tea cup handle pointed towards the right. The teaspoon goes behind the cup and across the saucer.
The tea pot, trivet, sugar bowl and milk pitcher should be placed at the center of the tea table, so that everyone can easily handle these items. If you are using bagged tea instead of loose tea, make sure to provide a plate(s) where your guests can deposit the used tea bags.
The serving plates for the food should also be put in the middle of the table.
This recipe was on our old web-site and we’ve had lots of requests for it to be reposted on the new site. It was one of my Mum’s best recipes and she always made the tarts at Christmas time or when I went back to England to visit. They were a special treat.
(Butter tarts are a type of small pastry that is primarily eaten in and associated with the English-speaking provinces of Canada. It is thought they were common in pioneer times.)
Pastry: 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ cup of unsalted butter ½ cup lard About 1 cup of ice- cold water
Put first five ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Empty into a large bowl. Add the flour, a little at a time, using just enough to bind the mixture. Collect all moistened particles into a ball. With as little handling as possible, form dough into a round disk. Place on a lightly floured surface. It should be soft enough not to break when it is rolled. Handle the pastry as little as possible. Kneading will toughen it. Roll with a light even pressure to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut into 3-inch circles and line tartlet pans.
Butter Tart Mixture: 1/3 cup unsalted butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 beaten large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ cup currants
Preheat oven to 450˚F
Mix all the ingredients together and place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into tartlet pans that have been lined with pastry. Put on center rack in the oven. Bake at 450˚F degrees for eight minutes. Reduce to 350˚F degrees and bake until the pastry is lightly browned. Remove tartlet pan from oven and place on cooling rack for about ten minutes.