Books, Tea, and the Trinity: Twice Baked Potatoes

Back in 2020, some friends and I started a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We met every Wednesday and worked our way through the Chronicles of Narnia and are currently working through the Lorien Legacies. When we started I resolved to share all the recipes, we have made-but I haven’t gone through them as quickly as I hoped. 

When we completed The Magician’s Nephew,The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and A Horse and His Boy; we moved on to book four, Prince Caspian. This book is one of my favorites in the series as I love Prince Caspian (although the Disney film version is horrible). Like A Horse and His Boy, this book did not mention a lot of specific foods, so we planned whatever we wanted to make.

As I wasn’t in charge of this book, there will be no discussion questions, just recipes. 

The first week we had Apple Cinnamon Scones: Salmon Radish Cucumber Canapés, Cinnamon Bread-Honey-Cheese-Apple and Ham Sandwiches, Kellogg’s Cheese Potato Crisps, and Applesauce Cake; all paired with Caroline’s Coffee Roaster Princess Earl Grey (as we needed to have some royal-tea).

The next week we had lavender flowering tea, Irish Soda Bread, Tuna Salad, Twice Baked Potatoes, carrot soup, and Quaker Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips.

I originally wanted to make the Teatime Magazine twice baked mice potatoes in honor of Reepicheep entering the story; but when I went to the market they were all out of the small potatoes and I had to buy larger ones. I will attempt this recipe again, with small potatoes, and try to make them as nice

Ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) bag small red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 24 (2½x⅛-inch) slices green onion, green parts only
  • 24 sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 black olives, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, approximately 18 minutes. Let cool on pan on a wire cooling rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut 12 potatoes in half lengthwise. Peel and discard skins from remaining potatoes. Transfer peeled potatoes to a medium bowl.
  6. Using a ¼ teaspoon, scoop a small well from potato halves, adding pulp from wells to bowl with whole, peeled potatoes. Using a fork, slightly mash whole, peeled potatoes. Add cheese, sour cream, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add milk, beating until incorporated (mixture will be thick). Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with an open-star tip (Wilton #4B).
  7. Pipe potato mixture back and forth into potato shells. Return filled potato shells to baking sheet.
  8. Bake until warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let potatoes cool to room temperature.
  9. In a medium bowl full of cold water, place 2½-inch-long green onion slices to curl for tails. Blot dry on paper towels just before using.
  10. To create whiskers, using a sharp knife, gently cut a slit at each end of ¾-inch-long green onion slices.
  11. On each potato, gently press into place 2 almond slices for ears. Using tweezers, place 2 olive bits for eyes, green onion whiskers, and a green onion tail. Serve within an hour.

Notes: Potatoes can be prepared and filled up to 3 days ahead, let cool completely, place in an airtight container, and refrigerate. Up to 2 hours before serving, warm filled potatoes in a 375° oven. Let cool before decorating as mice.

So I did try to turn my large potatoes into large mice, but it just didn’t work out. Instead I had to admit defeat and just make regular twice baked potatoes.

These were delicious and like I said above, I plan on making them again. And even though they were not boiled, I do think Mr. Collins would have enjoyed them too.

For more from our Books, Tea, and the Trinity tea times, go to Applesauce Cake

For more potato recipes, go to Cheese Potato Crisps

For more Teatime Magazine recipes, go to Brisket and Slaw Roulades

For more recipes, go to Rice Krispies Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe

My Week With Jane

When I was in elementary school, my brother was in the army and stationed in Hawaii. We took a trip to visit him, but problems with the plane arose and the flight was delayed for a few hours. This was two years after 9/11 so we didn’t want to leave the airport and instead had to wait.

While we were waiting I noticed a lady across the way waiting with a big paper something. Of course being a curious child, I moved closer to look and saw it was a paper boy. Not a cardboard cutout, but like someone traced a boy and decorated it. I was trying to figure it out, when the lady noticed me looking and told me that it was Flat Stanley. A group of teachers had been reading Flat Stanley and passing him around taking pictures and when one had a friend going to Hawaii she asked if she could take him with her.

Wow!

I thought that was the coolest thing. For those of you who don’t know Flat Stanley is a book in which a boy, Stanley, is flattened by a bulletin board, becoming flat, and goes on a series of adventures. One of them is visiting his pen pal by being mailed in a giant envelope.

All I could think was what a great idea and how cool and fun to be a part of something like that.

Well…

Fast forward to Summer of 2020, everyone is glum about restrictions and most of us are not having fun.

When I saw that the Jane Austen Society of North America: East Washington and North Idaho (JASNA EWANID) was doing a Flat Jane.

Look at that!

After all:

They decided for the summer they would be sending Flat Jane about, she staying with the person who signed up for a week and then moving them onto the next home to visit. They then asked people on instagram if they wanted to sign up and I was like, yes please!

This actually became so popular they made several of them. My turn arrived and I was so excited and couldn’t wait to take her out on adventures.

Tea first!

Day 1) Sunday, January 3rd

What a Jane of a day! Today my friend gave me the Jane Austen adaption, Jane in Love by Rachel Givney, and then when I got home I checked my mail and inside was Flat Jane. I am so excited to start all our adventures.

It was great reading the Jane Austen Travel Log and getting to see all the adventures and things people had done. I couldn’t wait to add my own. Sunday I had my niece so I didn’t get a chance to do anything with Jane until later that day.

That night my sister and I did our usual #perioddramasaturdays It was my sister’s turn to pick and she chose Outlander, which I had read the first book but had not seen the TV show. For the occasion I made Blueberry Oat Scones (I’ll share the recipe later), that I had adapted from Plum Deluxe and we had Lavender Flowering Tea.

Flat Jane joined us for tea but declined watching Outlander. She was tired from her long journey from East to West and retired early. She espechially liked seeing the flower created from the tea leaves.

Day 2) Monday, January 4th

Ever since COVID19 Monday night has become Game Night! Jane and I played my new Pride and Prejudice game that I had received for Christmas. She won as I just couldn’t get the exact number to make my remaining half of the couple get to the church. I kept rolling over or under. I was planning to try playing Marrying Mr. Darcy with her, but I didn’t end up getting a chance to. I do plan to review this Pride and Prejudice game soon.

Afterwards, we played a singing board game with my sister, a sort of creating a song to a tune like in Who’s Line is it Anyway? When my turn came up I felt a lot like when Lady Catherine demanded Elizabeth play, as I don’t sing.

It was a fun game and hilarious as the game came with “lyrics” that were just too goofy.

Day 3) Tuesday, January 5th

Tuesday night Jane and I had pizza and watched Strong Woman Bong Soon, a K-Drama I recommend for any Jane Austen fan as it has elements that make me think of Jane Austen’s works.

Sooooo Mrs. Bennet

Jane loved the pizza (she definitely wishes they had that back in Regency England) and I think I swayed her to my line of thinking about the K-Drama…but she might have been humoring me.

Well…

Day 4) Wednesday, January 5th

Flat Jane joined us for our weekly Tea Party/Book Club/Bible Study on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I think she enjoyed it, although it was unlike any bible study she has ever been a part of.

For these chapters we visited the beavers and had: Chami Winter Apple Spice Tea, a loaf of Dutch Crust Bread, trout, chicken (for the non-seafood eaters [me]), boiled potatoes, and marmalade rolls. Of course I had to explain to her the joke about boiled potatoes.

I will be sharing the recipes as soon as I catch up with The Magician’s Nephew posts. 

Day 5) Thursday, January 6th

After the Book Club/Tea Party/Bible Study I thought Jane would be interested in going to a regular bible study. She enjoyed it and marveled at my cat pen, amazed at how it looked and wishing they had such easy things to use when she was writing her novels. I plan to show her an Austen adaption tonight, but am still trying to decide which one…should I show her one I love or one I hate so we can both make fun of it? Decisions, decisions…

Hmmm…

I finally decided to show her one I hate, Austentatious (2015)

This is the worst Jane Austen adaption I have ever seen. We started with the first one and then she caught up to me with the second to last episode. After we watched the whole thing she was very confused about the whole thing and how it even matched up with what she wrote. Same Jane, same. If interested, you can watch it on tubi or you can read my past reviews: We Are Family: Austentatious, Episode 1 (2015), Big Girls Don’t Cry: Austentatious, Episode 2 (2015), I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious, Episode 3 (2015), Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious, Episode 4 (2015), Call Me, Maybe: Austentatious, Episode 5 (2015), Drive Me Crazy: Austentatious, Episode 6 (2015), Make Me a Match: Austentatious, Episode 7 (2015), Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious, Episode 8 (2015), and Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious Episode 9 (2015). 

After we watched the series, we had a cup of tea before bed. I had purchased two Jane Austen inspired teas from NovelTea TinsPride and Peppermint and Sense and Senchability. I had run out of Pride and Peppermint as I had used the last of it in the tea advent calendar swap I made for a friend, so we drank Sense and Senchability. Jane loved it and was amazed at all the different Jane Austen inspired products that we can purchase today.

Day 6) Friday, January 7th

Today was a shopping day as Jane went with me to visit a local Vintage/resale shop as I was on the hunt for a purple teacup for my friend’s birthday this month. I found this adorable claw-footed one under $10.

We then stopped off at the grocery store to pick up a few items and Jane was amazed at all the food for purchase and the prices! Plus we came upon many things she had never heard of before protein powder, lactose free milk, Greek yogurt, every kind of chocolate you could imagine, and more.

Day 7) Saturday, January 8th

Saturday turned out to be a shopping day as well, as my sister needed to visit Jo-Anns and Hobby Lobby in the next city over (we have a small Jo-Anns and we do not have a Hobby Lobby). I agreed as long as we stop at one of my favorite restaurants, the Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe. They have the best foods and teas. Jane loved the HoneyTea Latte I bought for her.

Afterwards we went to Hobby Lobby where we looked for fabric for a book sleeve I’m having made.

I was looking for a dark fabric, but Jane spotted this beautiful china blue vase printed one that I just couldn’t say no to.

We only visited a quarter of the store and Jane was amazed at everything they had there.

Afterwards we went to Jo-Anns and looked around the different fabrics and of course I had to show Jane all the muslin they had.

Mr. Tilney mentions purchasing muslin for 5 shillings a yard in Northanger Abbey and that was a good deal, but Jane was amazed that today she could purchase muslin for half the price he paid (converting how much 1800s shillings would be worth in our money).

Day 8) Sunday, January 9th

It was time to say goodbye to Flat Jane as I had her for the week and she is about to journey on to stay with another friend. I helped her pack up and will drop her off tomorrow for her journey to the East Coast.

As Jane is going to visit another Jane Austen fan I couldn’t resist sending one of my Quill Ink Jane Austen Inspired Magazine Cover Cards. If you are interested in getting some for yourself check out her Etsy shop.

If interested in having Flat Jane visit you then contact JASNA EWANID to signup. I recommend it as it is a lot of fun.

For more Jane Austen, go to Is Emma Jane Austen’s Only Mystery?