Literary Tea Parties

So I few years ago I did a post on a tea party that we had at my church. Of course, you know how I love books…I just had to tie them in together!

To read the whole post, click here. So every year at my church we do a Christmas Tea Party, and the past three years my friend and I had a table that I’ve been in charge of decorating. And if you think I just had to feature a book each year, than you are right! I love books!

In 2016, the theme was “Our Journey”, and shoes were the center as it was about “the paths we take”. Of course shoes made me think of one thing:

As Dorothy and all her friends go on a journey, along with having a magical pair of shoes,  it was PERFECT! We did a:

  • Yellow Brick Road Runner: Canvas that we painted with three different shades of yellow
  • Poppy Magnets as our favors: I used this one from Hometalk and did button centers and glued magnets on the back.
  • Mason jar water glasses with gingham ribbons and red mugs for coffee or tea.
  • Wicked Witch of the East candy straws: I got the straws from Wal-Mart and made the shoes from Swedish Fish.
  • We painted our own Emerald City on glasses.
  • And I sewed a sock monkey king of the flying monkeys, out of black and white socks (just like the ones the Wicked Witch of the East wears). Yes, I sewed it-help from Madsen Creations and my mom.
  • We made our own Dorothy’s magic red shoes, but they weren’t ready when I took the picture, so I put my own red shoes in there.
  • And of course, a copy of the book.

The next year the theme was “Friendship”

So my friend and I choose to do:

Last Christmas the theme was Holy Ghost…hmmm ghosts. Which book? 🙂

  • We used a holly and cranberry patterned runner on the table.
  • Sheets of music as place mats, with red chargers over them.
  • The centerpiece was a Christmas Tree, as those became popular in the Victorian era with Prince Albert, that I strung with popcorn.
  • I also placed a basket with the Christmas gifts/favors as that was how Victorian tables were set up. Each package was a different copy of A Christmas Carol. I got them all by swapping on PaperBackSwap.com I wrapped them up in brown paper and red yarn.
  • We had chestnuts on the table and each place setting got on orange, as they were very popular gifts, but I didn’t put cloves in it as you can’t eat them when you do that.
  • We had Earl Grey Tea, Hot Chocolate, and candy canes.
  • Each person received a homemade Christmas Card (made by me), and each had a little token in it, my version of the Christmas pudding.

This year the theme is gifts and I have to admit, I’m a bit at a loss. Any ideas of a book that gifts plays a role?

Please help me!

For more on The Wizard of Oz, go to Bookish Thank You

For more on A Christmas Carol, go to Book Club Picks: A Christmas Carol

For more tea posts, go to I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea

For more book-filled posts, go to Stranded at the Bookstore

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I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea

So buttermilk…I have never really drank it or used it except when making Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Next year I promise to do a post on it, for now if you want to make it yourself, head over to my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.comAnyways, every year I am leftover with buttermilk and have no clue what to do with it.

I know most of you are thinking: pancakes.

I’m not really a big pancake fan, so I’m not into that.

Meh.

The other day I ran out of milk, and I LOVE milk in my tea. I don’t like to drink my tea without it.

Now normally I would just go to the store and buy more but its been raining.

Actually, that’s not an accurate description. It has been storming-windy, sheets of water, etc. The type of weather that makes you want to just stay home in pajamas with a good book or movie…

 

And tea!

But I had no milk!!!!!

So then the idea came to me…what about buttermilk?

I had never even drank buttermilk before, I mean I know you can make a substitute using vinegar so I’m pretty sure it isn’t sweet. And I know in the one Ramona book they call it “sour”

“How else am I supposed to reach things?” Ramona successfully broke the egg and tossed the shell onto the counter. “Now I need buttermilk.” Beezus broke the news. There was no buttermilk in the refrigerator. “What’ll I do?” whispered Ramona in a panic. “Here. Use this.” Beezus thrust the carton of banana yoghurt at her sister. “Yoghurt is sort of sour, so it might work.” The kitchen door opened a crack.“What’s going on in there?” inquired Mr. Quimby.” Ramona Quimby, Age 8

But then in Westerns they always have the men drinking it when they come back from working the fields and such.

So I tried it and…

It is so sour! It’s like drinking plain greek yogurt.

I can’t imagine drinking a whole glass of it. But I thought maybe a few drops…?

It came out…okay. I only did a tiny bit and put in quite  lot of sugar. I don’t recommend it for everyday use, but only in a tight squeeze and only a little bit.

Well in the end it worked out, and I got my tea.

For more tea posts, go to I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Infused Facial Cubes

For a recipe that uses buttermilk (which I had completely forgot about), go to Harlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme Scones

For more rainy days, go to A Water-Logged White Christmas

For more C.S. Lewis’ quotes, go to Book Club Picks: A Wrinkle in Time

I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Infused Facial Cubes

So last month Tea & Me did a post on freezing tea, and then placing these cubes on your face. (You can read about her experiences here.) When I read that I was like:

But hey, I’m down for trying it out, at least once.

My skin and I do not get along. As I have said before it is dry and oily-making it so hard to try to figure out what skin care/products to use.

Besides that I have very sensitive skin. It is so sensitive I don’t even know half the things I am allergic to. Sometimes I am just going about my life and my skin gets irritated, hives break out, and next thing you know I’m scratching and breaking the skin.

It burns

Like my post on a Tea Hair Rinse, I waited so long to do this review, because I wanted to try out at least three different teas.

  1. Boil water.
  2. Make a cup of tea.
  3. Steep until tea has cooled
  4. Once tea has cooled pour in clean ice trays.
  5. Freeze for two hours or until completely frozen.
  6. Try and open pores by putting a warm clean washcloth on or using steam from shower.
  7. Wash face.
  8. Using a washcloth, grab an ice cube and rub all over face.
  9. Rinse face with warm water.

So first I tried the Kukicha Green Tea.

“Green Tea [contains] antioxidant and disinfects.”

The second time I did the lavender tea.

“Lavender Tea soothes irritated skin and disinfects.”

The last one I did was Earl Grey, my favorite to drink.

“Black Tea disinfects.”

So I’m not sure I did it right, but I just used the cube around my face until I couldn’t stand the cold, after rinsing my face with warm water. I loved doing it in the morning as I have to get up 5-5:30 and that really woke me up as it was freezing cold!

The first one I did, Green Tea, I felt was the best. Like I said in a previous post, Green Tea is great for soothing irritated or dry skin, which I had been struggling with-more than usual. You know this weather.

Ugh!

The lavender and black tea I didn’t see an immediate response like the green tea, however, the other day my period came and was awful.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

And I got this giant zit on my chin, that ended up popping. It hurt so bad and when I bleed, I bleed a lot. I put the Earl Grey iced cube on it, which not only numbed, but disinfected and helped stop the bleeding.

For more on Tea & Me, go to I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Hair Rinse

For more tea posts, go to Use Tea to Soothe Dry or Irritated Skin

I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Hair Rinse

So a couple weeks ago Tea & Me did a post on things to do with your tea bags and loose leaf tea, after you make your cup.

Something that has always bothered me about making tea is throwing the leaves away after you use them. Even though you can’t make endless cups with them (that would be SUPER weak tea), if only there was something you can do with them.

A MYSTERY!!!

She gave out a list of things you can try to do with tea, and one was to do a hair rinse.

Hmm…

My hair and I have a “special” relationship. Basically it does whatever it wants and I hope that I can do something with it.

Even my hairdresser has said she has never seen such contradictory hair. If I want it to be dry-it stays wet. If I want it wet-it dries instantly.

When I get it a way I want it-DONT MESS WITH IT!

Lately my scalp has been driving me crazy. I have been switching from product to product-trying to find something that would help-but to no avail.

Ugh!!

So I was psyched about the tea rinse. I waited so long to do this review, because I wanted to try out at least three different teas.

  1. Make a cup of tea-as you usually do.
  2. When you finish steeping your tea, put them in another cup and steep in hot water for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Allow the tea to cool completely before using.
  4. Detangle your hair before you step into the shower to avoid knots and breakage.
  5. Wash and clean your hair well with your usual shampoo.
  6. Proceed to condition your hair. …
  7. Rinse the conditioner out of your hair.
  8. Pour your hair rinse through your hair and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  9. Do not rinse hair any further.

So first I tried black tea, Earl Grey, my favorite!

“Black Tea [is supposed to] strengthen hair roots [and] darken hair.”

The second time I did the green tea, Kukicha Green Tea.

“Green Tea prevents early grey hairs, [along with] strengthen[ing] and shin[ing] hair.”

The last one I did was this calming Lavender tea that my friend bought me.

“Lavender Tea moisturizes and conditions hair.”

So after the black tea I didn’t feel any different. I’m sure this is something you would have to do over time to see a difference. I’m not sure I will as I do not want to darken my hair.

With the green tea-I don’t have a grey issue, I think the strengthening would take time, and my hair is always shiny looking-so I couldn’t really tell a difference.

Hmm…?

I did see an improvement with the lavender tea as I needed my hair to be moisturized and conditioned.

Above all, I really enjoyed this as I loved using the tea bags and leaves. It was great not just throwing them away-it definitely felt less wasteful and that I was recycling.

For other things to do with your tea bags and leaves, check out Tea & Me’s post, I Made Tea…Now What?

For more tea posts, go to Use Tea to Soothe Dry or Irritated Skin

For more hair posts, go to Why the Princess Leia Crown Hairdo is Awesome

 

Scottish Oatcakes

I was cleaning out my old room at my parent’s house and I found a pile of papers with recipes on it.

What is this?

I have no clue where this came from, but it sounded good and easy to make. And perfect for tea! (You know me, I’m always looking for something new for tea time.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 Cup of Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp of Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup of Unsalted Butter, Cut into Pieces
  • 2-3 Tbsps of Water
  • Honey (Optional)
  • Marmalade (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees F
  2. In a food processor fitted with metal blades, process oats to a fine meal.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter.
  4. Process briefly to mix well.
  5. With motor running add 2-3 tbsps of water and process 20 seconds to form a crumbly dough.
  6. Add as much water as needed to achieve the desired texture.
  7. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
  8. Knead a couple of times to incorporate any crumbs, then form into a ball.
  9. Cut in half.
  10. Using a rolling pin, roll out each half into rounds 6 inches wide an 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Crimp edges with your finger and thumb to make a fluted border.
  12. Using a metal spatula, transfer he rounds to a baking sheet and cut into four equal wedges. separate the wedges slightly then prick the top of each one 3 or 4 times with a fork.
  13. Bake until pale and tan and no longer soft (about 25-30 mins)
  14. Transfer the oatcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  15. Serve with honey or marmalade, if desired.
  16. Makes about 8.

So the first one is when I didn’t pay close attention to the recipe, while the second is from following the directions.

These were fantastic! So good, and perfect with your tea!

I would ground the oats in the processor or blender, but when you get to the water just put it in a bowl and use your hands.  Otherwise, delicious!

For more recipes, go to Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

For more items to go with your cup of tea, go to Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

Use Tea to Soothe Dry or Irritated Skin

So recently I have started following the blog Tea and Me and they posted on other things you can do with your tea/teabags after you have made tea. There are some interesting suggestions that I plan to try out.

But after reading the post, it reminded me of something I’ve done with tea before.

I remember…

Now I have horrible skin. I think I’ve said before. It is dry and oily-making it so hard to try to figure out what skin care/products to use.

Besides that I have very sensitive skin. It is so sensitive I don’t even know half the things I am allergic to. Sometimes I am just going about my life and my skin gets irritated, hives break out, and next thing you know I’m scratching and breaking the skin.

Ugh!!

The worst is when my skin gets abnormally dry, typically when the seasons change. My skin becomes so dry it hurts. Lotion doesn’t help-it seems to just make it worse and more painful.

Ouch!

Somewhere online I read to use green tea to soothe irritated skin. I tried it and loved it! It made my skin feel great as it was so cooling and excellent.

And I feel happy when my skin feels good!

Here is what you do:

  1. Boil water.
  2. Prepare a cup of Green tea.
  3. Let the tea cool.
  4. Once the tea has cooled, dip a washcloth in the cooled tea and lay on the affected area.
  5. Repeat as much as needed.

It was amazing. I have never had anything so calming and soothing! I highly recommend it for any with dry or irritated skin. (Especially those who may have a significant other who’s unshaved skin upsets your skin).

And I promise to try out Tea and Me’s tea care suggestions and let you know what I think of them afterward.

For more tea posts, go to Earl Grey Infused Blueberry Smoothie

For more on the skin I’m in, go to It’s the Most Woeful Time of the Year

For more Audrey Hepburn quotes, go to Why I Still Love My Fair Godmother

Tea Chocolate

Chocolate, you know how I feel about that.

And Tea, you know what I think about that:

So when I found a tea chocolate

Yes, you heard me. TEA CHOCOLATE!

I had to buy it.

I was so excited, I felt like Charlie Bucket opening his chocolate.

And then it came the time to eat it, would it be good? Could it be?

OMG—it was AAAAAAAAMAAAAAAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so good, I didn’t want to stop eating.

If you get your hands on some-buy as many as you can and enjoy!

For more tea posts, go to My Niece Wanted a Tea Party

For more on chocolate and candy, go to Candy Girls