You Know You Really Love Tea When…

So some people love tea and others love tea.

I’m in the second category.

1. Yep, you know you love tea when five minutes feels like forever!:

2. When cup sizes never please you:

3. Life just doesn’t feel right if you don’t have a cup in hand:

4. When tea pops up in your everyday conversations:

5. When you use it to calm down:

6. Or from saying things you shouldn’t:

This could get ugly, better stir my tea.

7. You aren’t even British, but because of your love of tea people assume you are:

8. Your idea of “going out drinking” is going to a coffee shop and drinking hot tea:

9. You drink tea no matter the time of day or temperature:

10. When it is your tea time you wait for no one and will not be interrupted:

11. You are always offering people tea to drink:

12. You have a huge collection of tea spoons, tea cups, tea tins, loose leaf tea, bagged tea, etc.

13. When you go out to Coffee shops or Starbucks, you are the only one not drinking coffee.

Yep, the Tea Life is the Life for Me

For more tea posts, go to Perfectea, A Perfect Cup of Tea or Tea for Two

For more C.S. Lewis quotes, go to Book Club Picks: Sandcastle Kings

For more Wilkie Collins quotes, go to I Made My Own Teabags

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Triple Berry Salad

Triple Berry Salad

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So in yesterday’s post, I talked about how I was looking for things to make for my tea party/book club meeting that are Regency-ish but cool for summer.

I was thinking about Emma’s picnic and the strawberries they eat:

I started looking through recipes for a strawberry dish when I remembered a fantastic one that my sister blog Mysterious Eats made.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Ounces of Strawberries
  • 6 Ounces of Blueberries
  • 6 Ounces of Raspberries
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer (there will be small bubbles), and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for 5 mins.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Chill completely in fridge.
  6. Rinse the berries.
  7. Hull the strawberries and slice into 2-3 pieces.
  8. Place all the berries in one bowl.
  9. Just before serving, drizzle the berries with the vanilla sugar syrup.
  10. Toss gently.
  11. Serve

Thoughts After Cooking:

What did I think?

It was just the perfect blend of everything and absolutely delicious.

For more recipes, go to Aunt Neal’s Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Hot Humid Days are Reading Days

Book Club Picks: The Darcy Monologues

So every month  a different member in my book club chooses a book for us to read and discuss the following month; and it has worked out really well.

We only have four members in our club, so we have circled around them all and now it was my turn to pick a book again. I decided on:

The Darcy Monologues by various and edited by Christina Boyd

The Darcy Monologues is a collection of 15 short stories that retell the story of Pride and Prejudice but telling it from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. Half the collection is set in the Regency period: taking place during the novel, tweaking a bit of the novel, or taking place where Jane Austen left off.

Hmm…

The second half of the collection tells the story, but isn’t restricted by having to be in Regency times. One story is set in the Wild West, another during WWII, the 1960s, and of course present times.

Hmm…

So we all know how I feel about Jane Austen:

And we all know that I spend a lot of time reading Jane Austen, watching Jane Austen, and reading and watching variations of Jane Austen. Pretty much my life is:

But the other members are not exactly at the same level as I am. One member, Jessica, has seen the 1940, 1995, and 2005 film versions of Pride & Prejudice and read the actual book, but isn’t a fangirl. She likes Jane Austen, but is not a fangirl.

Don’t know why she isn’t.

Another member, Stella, loves Jane Austen but has never read the books. She only watches the films, and has seen both the 1995 and 2005 versions of Pride and Prejudice.

And our other member, Marissa, she has never read anything or watched anything Jane Austen.

So at first when we agreed to do this book I was excited:

But then I grew worried:

What if they didn’t get it, not being fangirls of the book? What if they didn’t like it? Maybe I should have had us read Pride & Prejudice first?

But I decided that we would just have to wait and see.

Hmmm….

So the day to meet came along and I decided to make the refreshments a regency-ish tea time. (Sadly I forgot to take pictures). I made some iced tea:

I had bough some chicken salad sandwiches and scones (I wanted to bake homemade ones but it has been too hot to turn on an oven) and then I made a berry salad, borriwing the recipe from my sister blog: Mysterious EatsIt is super tasty and perfect for a day of reading books or a tea time treat. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow, but you can also check it out here.

So everyone arrived and right away we had a problem. Stella didn’t get the right book. When she typed in The Darcy Monologues, the site sent her to a different book and she ended up buying The Darcy Connection. 

I’m going to lend my copy to her to read and then I will update this post with what she thought of it.

So first of all I just want to say that I have already posted what thought of the book (which if you want to read go to The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency or The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Erasand I loved it!

So I am just going to focus on what Marissa and Jessica thought of it.

Part I: The Regency

Both ladies were able to follow the stories and the thoughts of the authors, even Marissa who knew very little about what the story was based on. They also liked how it was from Darcy’s point of view and enjoyed the way the authors portrayed him, feeling as if they all captured the character. Jessica thought they did well in what Jane Austen wanted, and Marissa enjoyed being introduced to an introspective look of the character.

What Didn’t They Like?

Both ladies felt they would have enjoyed the book better if there had more variations of the story: such as when Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy where older, stories with their children, or sights into areas not shown by the original novel-such as what Darcy does when he leaves Netherfield before he meets up with Elizabeth in Pemberley-things like that.

hmm…

They both did not care for the story Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams and they also did not like The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford as they thought it was too much Beauty and the Beast.

I KNOW?! How could they not like that one? I guess they just do not undestand how is Austenites find the works so similar. I mean:

To read more, follow this link.

Sorry for the tangent, moving forward.

What Did They Like?

Both loved From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft  as they found her portrayal of Darcy to not only be relatable but hilarious. In this story, Darcy has proposed to Elizabeth and been refused by her. He then goes home to write the letter against her objections to him, releasing his anger and frustrations out, until he has composed the best one to send her. We all thought she captured that the emotions of rejection and heartbreak perfectly.

They also enjoyed Clandestiny by KaraLynne Mackrory, espehially how she describes Darcy’s perfect order and way of life being completly thrown off kilter when Elizabeth enters his life. Both felt Mackrory was able to not only perfectly capture the character but describe what it is like when you aren’t expecting it, but meet the person who ends up changing your life.

In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani, was another favorite of the two. Marissa enjoyed the recap as it gave her a stronger foundation into the story of Pride and Prejudice and what happened in the original novel. Jessica liked how this was something different from the other stories as it was a part that isn’t from Austen’s story, it is a part unseen of Mr. Darcy and shows his growth in character.

The Favorite?

Without Affection by Jan Hahn

Yes out of all the Regency stories, this one was both of the women’s favorite story. This story takes place when Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are much older, with Darcy having a flashback to when Elizabeth gave birth to their first child and almost died in the process. Darcy becomes afraid of losing her and reacts with a rule of no more sex for them, something Elizabeth does not agree with.

Both women liked how it showed Darcy and Elizabeth still in love years later, and just how they have had a great life together. They also loved how it captured the uncertainty of childbirth and Darcy as a father not knowing exactly what to do. One of them found it to be relatable to something they had gone through in their own life with their spouse. And we all agreed it was the perfect end to the first compilation.

Part II: Other Eras

Both women were intrigued with this part as they had never read any modern adaptions of classic literature before, let alone ones that took the material and placed it in other eras.

What Didn’t They Like?

Marissa would have liked more variety in the time periods, she was hoping they wouldn’t be as concentrated on present time.

Both did not care for the story Hot for Teacher by Sara Angelini. This one takes place in present times with Mr. Darcy as a principal, George Wickham as the literature teacher, and Elizabeth as the new art teacher. We all did not like how Angelini made the character of Darcy as he was too mean, temperamental, and dorky/awkward.

The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland was another one they did not like. In this Elizabeth is drunk after a disastrous date, so Darcy goes to give her a ride, the two talking during the drive home. Both ladies did not like how Oakland made Elizabeth drunk and they way she talked to Mr. Darcy. And we all agreed: How was she able to make him breakfast the next day? She should have had a massive hangover.

What Did They Like?

They enjoyed You Don’t Know Me by Beau North, which took place in the 1960s. In this Darcy is sent to Buffalo, New York to take control over the company’s new radio station. He and the top D.J Eliza Bennet clash in the beginning as neither understands the other.

They enjoyed how this story was not only talking about the novel Pride & Prejudice, but actually infused more of a social prejudice introducing a conflict of playing African American music on the radio, life as a Jewish American, and even the trials of having gone through the concentration camps (Eliza’s father). We all enjoyed how North coupled those threads of pride and prejudice with the original types of pride and prejudice in Austen’s work.

They also loved I, Darcy by Karen M. Cox. In this story, Darcy hates that his mother named him “Will” Darcy as everyone mentions Austen’s book. He meets two women who challenges his ideas on the book, surprisingly running into them later when he is starting up his farm to food restaurant.

We all loved how Cox had Elizabeth school him in the literature, causing him to be interested in rereading the book and falling in love with it. We all agreed that incorporating the novel in that way was really cute.

The Favorite?

Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose

From beginning to end this story was just loved. Every part, every character, every single piece of the storytelling was beloved by us. Dandy Darcy? We all wanted him. Turning this into a full novel? We were all down for it. If this was sold separately from the others? All willing to pay.

For all of us Rose really knocked it out of the park!

Couldn’t resist

So what did they think of the whole thing?

They loved it!

Yay!

Yes, they may not have liked every story or every interpretation of Darcy, but that is why they and I loved it. Each author tried to capture the spirit of the character and succeeded in creating their own versions of Darcy that have everything we love about him, yet at the same time not making any exactly the same. By doing this you have many different Darcys to choose from, insuring that you will find the one best suited for you.

We all thought they did a fantastic job in presenting “their” Darcy and highly recommend you read this book.

For more on The Darcy Monologues, go to The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Eras

For more on these authors and Christina Boyd, go to I Have Been Remiss, My Deepest Apologies to The Darcy Monologues

For more on my book club, go to Book Club Picks: The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

For more on The Darcy Monologuesgo to The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Pride and Prejudice Paper Dolls

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to The Austen Series: Reason and Romance

And I just want to thank Christina Boyd for sending us these cute charms, we all loved them. I put mine on my bracelet right away and have been telling people about the book whenever they ask me about the charm.

Aunt Neal’s Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

Thoughts Before Cooking:

This recipe comes from my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. I like to include ay recipes that go well with tea and books.

Even though Christmas is eight months away, I don’t care. I’m making them anyway.

Truth be told I don’t

Background on the Cookie:

“These delicious tea cakes were made by an Aunt Cornelia (“Neal) on special occasions and holidays, using hand-churned butter and eggs she gathered from the hen-house. This southern Georgia version dates back to the turn of the twentieth century. “

**Dough has to be chilled**

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup of Granulated (White) Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • White Sparkling Sugar

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Add one cup of sugar, beating well.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla; beat well.
  4. In a separate bowl: combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture and the milk to butter mixture, alternating between the two. Begin with adding half the flour mixture, then add the milk, and finish with adding the flour mixture.
  6. Mix at a low speed after each addition, until just blended.
  7. Shape dough into two discs.
  8. Wrap the discs in wax paper and chill for at least one hour.
  9. After having chilled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  10. Roll each disc to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface.
  11. Cut with a 3.5 inch round cookie cutter; and place one inch apart on lightly greased baking sheets.
  12. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  13. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  14. Cool for one minute and then remove to wore racks to cool.
  15. Makes about two dozen.

Thoughts After Baking:

When I took it out of the fridge it was super hard and I was unsure if it would come out okay.

Not good

But after being in my hands it quickly became super sticky, so make sure you flour the rolling pin and the cutting board.

But after all that this cookies were super good. Not too sweet and perfect for tea time.

For more recipes, go to Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes

For more on cookies, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

Perfectea, A Perfect Cup of Tea or Tea for Two

So you know how much I love tea:

And then I got into loose leaf tea. That can take a lot of time and work. You heat the water, fill the little infuser, steep-thats the easy part. The hard part is trying to clean your infuser, it takes forever!

So much time

But then I went to Teavana and I saw the coolest thing ever!

An infuser that makes two perfect cups of tea and is so easy to clean-Perfectea.

And it really is perfect! I just love it so much! It is so easy to use, to clean, etc. Just watch it, you will want one too.

It makes two cups of tea- the perfect amount for tea time with a friend:

Or if you are like me- the perfect cup of tea. Yep, I love tea and a lot of it.

All you do is:

  1. Scoop two teaspoons of whatever tea you love and place in the infuser.
  2. Add hot water and steep according to tea instructions.
  3. Place infuser over a mug and push it down, allowing the tea to come out and fill it.
  4. Add sugar, milk, cream, or creamer.

Fantastic! I love it so much I can’t stop using it.

For more tea posts, go to How to Make a London Fog

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen

For more on C.S. Lewis, go to When A Willing Victim Who Had Committed No Treachery Was Killed in A Traitor’s Stead, the Table Would Crack and Death Itself Would Start Working Backwards: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes

So when reading, especially Jane Austen, it is always nice to pair it with something. Of course tea:

But while on a literary adventure, it is always nice to have something to eat to sustain you in your “travels”.

So here is a delicious recipe borrowed from my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Pistachios
  • 1/3 Cup of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2/3 Cup of Powdered Sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 12-24 Medium Cherries with Stems

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Pulse the pistachios, flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor or blender until finely grounded.
  4. Whisk the powdered sugar and eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in the pistachio mixture until just combined.
  5. Stir in the melted butter until just incorporated.
  6. Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup.
  7. Bake until slightly puffed and just beginning to set, about 8 minutes.
  8. Place 1 or 2 cherries in the center of each cake and continue baking until the cakes feel springy and the edges are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan to cool completely.
  10. Dust with powdered sugar.

Thoughts After Baking:

It did not come out well…

Fresh cherries are not in season, so I substituted with frozen.

I should not have done that…they made too much liquid…it just did not work…

I will keep my tea cakes, and as soon as fresh cherries are in season I will remake this and give you an update.

For more recipes, go to How to Make a London Fog

There’s a Cyclone Coming: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Day 23) W is for Weather: Choose a book where the Weather plays a major role

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz #1) by L. Frank Baum

I was first introduced to The Wizard of Oz because of the film. It was one of my mom’s favorites and we would watch it over and over again.

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I first read the book when I was first in my early teens, and was surprised how much of her journeys and the things she had to go through were taken out of the final production.

Say What

I then went on to read the whole entire series, 14 books. Out of all of them, the best of course is the first: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

wizardofoz

I love this book and have read it over and over again.

Overandoverreadabookoscarwilde

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The story of The Wizard of Oz follows the adventure’s of Dorothy Gale as she, and her dog, Toto, are accidentally transported by tornado from her uncle and aunt’s home in Kansas to the magical land of Oz.

When she arrives, it turns out that she has crushed the Wicked Witch of the East with her house. The Munckins and the Good Witch of the North (not Glinda) are so thankful for her help in stopping the evil witches control of their land, they give her a banquet, but all Dorothy wants is to go home.

stayinghome

They tell her to follow the yellow brick road to the Wizard and ask him for help. The Good Witch of the North gives Dorothy a kiss on the forehead to protect her and gives her the silver shoes the Witch of the East was wearing. Yes silver. They changed the color in the film as they wanted them to stand out.

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Dorothy continues her way to the Wizard when she comes across the Scarecrow who has just been made that morning. He comes along with her as he hopes to get a brain.

They later find a woodsman made out of tin, rusted in place. The tin man used to be a real man and feel in love with a munchkin girl. She lived with a witch who cursed his ax, so when he tried to cut down a tree, he cut a limb. He had one made out of tin, and this continued until he was completely made out of tin and no longer wanted to marry the girl as he has no heart. He joins the group in the hopes of getting a heart and they continue on.

They run into a Lion who knocks them all aside and out of the way. He tries to get Toto, and Dorothy comes up and smacks him on the nose. It turns out that the lion is just a coward, trying to be tougher than he is. He comes along with the group to try to get some courage.

They continue on their trip and run into a poppy field. As they journey through it, all but the Tin Man and Scarecrow fall asleep.

WakeUpNoThankYou

They save Dorothy, but can’t carry the Lion out. However, when they reach the other side the Tin Man saves a mouse who turns out to be a Queen. She helps them by getting her mice to carry the remaining group out.

Helping-Handk

They continue to the Wizard, where they are forced to wear green glasses; entering the Emerald city of Oz. They each go see the Wizard, but he appears in different forms: a beautiful woman, fireball, giant head, a horrible beast. He tells them he cannot grant them anything, until they kill the Wicked Witch of the West.

Not good

They head out to get her, although they don’t really want to kill anyone, but here we go. When they leave, the glasses are removed and it turns out that the things they thought they were wearing that were “green” were actually white.

weirdtwilightzone

They head out to find the witch, but she spots them with her telescopic eye. She sends wolves to kill them, but the Tin Man stops them all. She then sends out crows out to kill them, and peck them up; but the scarecrow stops them. Then she tries to send bees, but the Tin Man destroys them. Next are the Winkies, but the Lion’s roar, scares them off. She then uses the golden cap to send for the Winged Monkeys.

The monkeys destroy the scarecrow and the tin man; carrying off the lion, Toto, and Dorothy. Dorothy becomes her slave, and the Lion is put in a cage.

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The Witch wants the shoes, but can’t do anything to Dorothy while she is wearing them. The only time Dorothy takes them off is when she bathes and sleeps, water and the dark being the two things that frighten the Witch the most.

AAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The witch tricks Dorothy out of one of her shoes, and Dorothy, so angry, throws water on her. She melts.

The Winkies are so excited to be free they help repair the scarecrow and the Tin Man. They are extremely good at metalwork and ask the Tin Man to return to rule them.

The group now face the problem that they don’t know how to get back to the Emerald City as they were carried by the monkeys. They call the Queen of the Mice, but she tells them to use the Golden Cap to call the Winged Monkeys.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Dorothy now controls the monkeys, and they take them to the Wizard. The King of the Monkeys reveals they were put under enchantment by the sorceress, Gayelette, when they played a prank on her and her fiancé. Dorothy can use them two more times.

They return to Oz, only to discover that there is no great Wizard.He tells them his story about how he came in a balloon and everyone thought he was a Wizard, and he just continued with it; having no one see him as he didn’t want them to know he was a fraud.

He thinks about how to grant everyone’s request and has them each return the next day to help them. First he makes a brain for the Scarecrow out of bran, oats, etc. He mixes it with water, and using pins puts it in his head.Then he makes a pillow heart, and cuts the tin man placing it in; re-soldering the body. For the Lion he makes a disgusting mixture and has him drink it. All that is left is Dorothy.

suspicious Hmm

The Wizard decides to make a hot air balloon for him and Dorothy, leaving the Scarecrow to rule in his place. They then decide to set out, but Toto chases a cat and Dorothy takes off after him. The balloon goes off as the Wizard can’t go back down, he doesn’t know how to really work the balloon. He flies off….but don’t worry he comes back in book 4, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.

They use the cap to call the Monkeys, but they can’t travel out of Oz. They then are told by one of the Emerald City’s soldiers that the only thing left to do, is see Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. They head out having to pass a forest of fighting trees.

WizardofOzAppleTreesDorothySmacked

They then pass through a china town, that is a town made purely out of China figures. Dorothy tries to take one with her, but she begs to remain in her town where she can stay alive.

Then they pass through a jungle ruled by a horrible spider beast. The Lion destroys him, and they ask him to return and rule them.

Afterwards they see an impossible mountain to cross, and use the last call to the Monkeys to see Glinda. Glinda sees the shoes that Dorothy is wearing and tells them that they can take her anywhere. Glinda asks for the cap and uses her first call to send the Scarecrow back to Oz, the second to send the Tin Man back to the Witches castle in the Winkies’, and the Lion back to the Jungle. She then frees the monkeys.

She tells Dorothy all she needs to do is click her heels three times and she will be home again.

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As she travels, Dorothy loses her shoes. She runs home to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, glad to finally be home.

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Here are a few things I noticed this time that I hadn’t really thought of before.

  • Even though the scarecrow is “brainless” he is the smartest in the bunch always coming up with the ideas of what to do next. Whether getting himself off the pole, outwitting the Kalidahs, crossing a river, etc.
  • Brains are the only things worth having in this world, no matter whether one is a crow or a man.” Pg. 26 How true.
  • The Tin Man says he is “heartless”, but he is careful not to even step on a bug, and cries at the idea of hurting or killing anyone.
  • Dorothy is just a little girl, but is incredibly brave and strong. She faces all kinds of trials to get home, when she sees the Lion attacking her dog, she immediately goes to protect him, etc. That’s a lot for a child to go through and not give up and hardly ever cry. She even defies the Witch by feeding the Lion secretly at night.
  • The Lion is a “coward”, but the first to go and help his friends.
  • Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on the Earth the more experience you are sure to get.” Pg. 123
  • True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid…” Pg. 123

A fantastic book and one that I just love to read many, many times. Don’t try and take it away.
TakeMyBooks

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Earlier this month, we had a tea party and each had to create our own table. The theme was shoes to represent the journey we had been on through the year. My friend and I decided to do The Wizard of Oz.

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This is our table. For cups we did Mason jars in Gingham ribbon as people in the Midwest don’t use glasses, but mason jars. Each person who came got a poppy hair piece and red sparkly heart ornament. I put two black and white straws in each cup, with red shoes made out of Swedish fish. In the center we have a runner that is decorated like the yellow brick road. In the middle I put books for height and color, with the one standing up being none other than my copy of The Wizard of Oz. We had sparkly shoes, but they weren’t ready yet so I substituted my own to place everything on the table.

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My friend then painted a scene of the Emerald city, the glasses we choose being similar to the design of the city in the book illustrations.

And lastly, King Monkey

WizardofOz

I choose to make the monkey out of black and white striped socks as those are what the Wicked Witch of the West wears in the film. I don’t make monkeys really that much as I am rather slow sewer, but if you are interested I learned from this video and she sells Sock Monkeys. She might make you a winged one of your own if you request it.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to It Looks…as Though We are Being Kidnapped: Five Were Missing

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For more on The Wizard of Oz go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year

For more tea parties, go to It’s Always Tea Time

For more on Llyod Alexander, go to She’s Still Preoccupied With 1985

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

For more Oscar Wilde, go to Austenland

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So as Dorothy really wants to go home throughout the book:

“I cannot understand why you would wish to leave this beautiful county and go back to the dry, gray, place you call Kansas.’

‘That is because you have no brains,’ answered the girl. ‘No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.”

Leaving me to choose the song: Home For the Holidays. The music was composed by Robert Allen, while the lyrics were written by Al Stillman.

I choose the version by Karen Carpenter as I think it is one of the best.

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For more Karen Carpenter, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore

For more Christmas Carols, go to People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Harvest Pumpkin Scones

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So this recipe comes from my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. Typically I just reblog her posts onto my site, but I noticed that they don’t look the best and kind of come out weird looking. So instead I decided that I would just copy and paste her post onto my site. Here we go.

Ready for scones & tea.

Ready for scones & tea.

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teaandscone

So we were having a tea at church and I needed a scone to go with our food. I had already decided on a savory (will be posting soon), but needed a sweet scone.

I started scouring the internet when I came upon this recipe on The King Arthur Flour website. Everything I have made from them has been fantastic so I thought I would give it a try.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2-3/4 Cups of King Arthur Unbleached Flour or Regular Flour
  • 1/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 Cup of Cold Butter
  • 1-2 Cups of Chocolate Chips
  • 2/3 Cup of Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • Cinnamon sugar (1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon and 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar), for topping
  • Milk

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl; whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and the spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, & allspice).
  2. Work in the butter until the mix is unevenly crumbly; it’s ok for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
  3. Stir in the Chocolate Chips.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth.
  5. Add the pumpkin/egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holding together.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don’t have any use the sheet without parchment,but don’t grease it. Instead sprinkle a bit of flour on the parchment.
  7. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan and divide it in half.
  8. Round each half into a 6″ circle, about 3/4 an inch thick.
  9. Brush each circle with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  10. Using a knife, cut each circle into size wedges.
  11. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit, about 1/2 inch space between them.
  12. Place the scones in the freezer for 30 degrees uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  13. Back the scones 22-25 mins or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into a center of one comes out clean. The edges should be baked through.
  14. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

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THOUGHTS AFTER BAKING:

I loved them! They were perfect!

I love it

 

They were just so delicious everyone ate them right away and wanted more.

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I cannot recommend more strongly that you should definitely make them.

startrekletsgetstarted

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For more scone recipes, go to Lemon Scones

For more on Peter Pan, go to It’s Always Tea Time  

And for weekly recipe reviews, go to Mysterious Eats

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 I wasn’t really planning on including this in my Christmas countdown, but hey a post is a post so it needs a song to go with it.

So I had never heard this song before until the other when I was driving to work. At first I was like what is this? Who is Dominick the donkey?

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But then as I listened, it quickly grew on me. So much that I actually listened to it later at home and decided to include it in our countdown. After all, donkey’s need love too.

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So this song is called Dominick the Donkey and was written in 1960 by Ray Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Wandra Merrell. It was recorded by Lou Monte and is about a donkey that Santa owns, used to help deliver presents to children in Italy as reindeer cannot climb the mountains.

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To start our 25 Carols of Christmas from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For more Christmas Carols, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

For more Christmas donkeys, go to the 25 Films of Christmas

It’s Always Tea Time

So a while back we had a tea party at our church for an event.

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Different people were given a table, in which we could make our theme whatever we wanted. I was given a table and my theme was books! After all:

blanceTea&Books

Anyways, I just realized I forgot to post the pics from it. So I thought I would now.

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My centerpiece was a collection of nice hardcover classics stacked on top of each other, with a hollowed book on top that a tree branch came out of. Clipped to the tree was tea bags for each person to choose from.

I then chose six of my favorite classic books in which the characters have tea time or talk about tea. With each table setting I tried to embody the book.

mr knightley drinks tea

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Setting 1: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, 1814

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So for the first setting I made sure to pair it with a very simple cup, as Fanny is not only a poorer relation, but she is a girl who likes simple things over the grandiose and showy. I laid out a copy of the book cover in front of the table setting, and then had this quote on the table.

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Then the cutlery:

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I put a white bow because Fanny would be the type to have a simple adornment like that, instead of extensive work on her dress.

I also added the gold cross as that is a huge part of the scheming by Maria Crawford to get Henry and Fanny matched up. When Fanny asks to borrow a chain for the gold cross her brother gave her, Maria sneakily gives her one that Henry gave her; so when Henry sees it he thinks that Fanny has decided to embrace his attentions, (i.e. gave him the green light).

For more on Mansfield Park, go to A World of Teas

For more Jane Austen, go to Free, for Lack of a Better Word, is Good

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Setting 2: Emma by Jane Austen, 1815

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The second setting I choose Emma. For this I had a gold and cream cup and saucer; the fanciest one I could find as Emma was rich and from an old family. She would have the finer things.

I laid out the book cover and this quote from the novel:

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For Emma’s cutlery I wanted something a bit showier and fancier. I made a hair clip out of a red flower and gold fan charm. I thought this would encompass the character of Emma.

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For more on Emma, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be

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Setting 3: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, 1859

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This was the table setting I choose for myself as I figured I would probably be the only one at the tea party who has read this book. And I was right. I don’t know why people don’t read Wilkie Collins anymore. This one of my favorite mysteries, as our main character comes upon a woman in white who holds a warning, leading him down a very twisted path. As the story continues, different characters become the voice of the book, until we reach the conclusion and discover who this woman in white is and what she is trying to stop.

I set up a copy of the book cover, and in front of it had my absolute favorite tea quote:

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Seriously, if you aren’t here I am starting without you.

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Anyways, the silverware:

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This was the first one I put together going with a magnifying glass as this was a mystery, and adding a cameo afterwards. I thought it would be a great symbol of the time, along with the white silhouette of a women being reminiscent of the woman in white.

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Setting 4: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, 1865

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The fourth setting was an Alice in Wonderland theme. The cup I choose for this was one designed to be a rose, while the saucer a leaf. This was to symbolize the Garden that Alice has a not so fun time in.

I set up a copy of the book cover, and in front of it had this quote:

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Then I designed the napkins thusly:

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The watch of course for the White Rabbit who is always running late, and the creamer for the Mad Hatter and March Hare’s obsession with tea and their endless tea party.

For more on Alice in Wonderland, go to Disney Lesson

For more on Lewis Carroll, go to Can’t Go Back 

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Setting 5: Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, 1911

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Second to last we had Peter Pan. The cup I choose for this one had strawberries on it, and I choose it because I thought it was something that Wendy would have liked.

I laid out the book cover and this quote:

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For the setting I went with something a little more basic, a red feather. This feather was supposed to be the feather Peter wears in his hat.

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For more on Peter Pan, go to My Teaddiction (Tea Addiction)

For more on J. M. Barrie, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

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Setting 6: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, 1950

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For the last setting I went a little more modern than the others. This one’s tea cup had a winter scene as the world of Narnia is stuck in a cycle of :

Always winter but never Christmas”

I laid the book cover and this quote:

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This quote is from Mrs. Beaver, but for cutlery design I went with Mr. Tumnus and Lucy’s tea time. I had two tiny tea cups tied to symbolize their tea for two.

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For more on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, go to Simply Fantastic

For more on C. S. Lewis, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt

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drinkteaReadbooks

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For more on my love of tea, go to My Trip to Teavana

For more book-filled posts, go to A Book Only a Reader Could Write

My Trip to Teavana

So I’m sure you are probably thinking this another pun like in my teaddiction.

Couldn't resist

But it is not a pun, but about my actual trip to Teavana.

huh

huh

So a couple weeks back I took my niece and mother to the big mall in the next city. It has a ton of stores, ones we don’t have in my town.

You should have gone shopping.

So something I do every time is consider buying a teddy bear from Build-a-Bear.

Don't be fooled by its cuteness, evil lurks in that heart.

So let me back up a bit. When Build-a-Bear first came out I really, really, really wanted one. But my parents said it was tooo expensive for a stuffed toy so I never got one.

Aw, man.

Aw, man.

So every time I visit a mall that has one I consider buying one, but then I fight with myself after all I really don’t need it.

Tempting but no

Tempting but no

This time we were at the store and they had a great deal on the animals. You saved ten dollars if you bought two. I was really planning on it until I saw the cutest Ewok bear.

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I was totally going to come back for it before I left. After all it was cute, Star Wars, and I had just gotten paid. And it was soooo cute!

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We were going to come back but then my mother maneuvered us toward Teavana. I was happy as you all know how much I love tea.

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Plus free samples!

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The tea was great and my mother wanted to buy some. So she headed in the back while I was looking for a trash can. I then went to the back when the guy was asking me what tea I wanted to buy.

Majorly

Majorly

I was about to tell him it wasn’t for me but my mom, when I looked around and she had disappeared.

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She had tricked me. She took me there, got the salesman all prepped  and now I was going to have to buy the tea.

And of course I had no tin to put it on so I had to buy one of those. Pretty much I ended up dropping a larger wad than I was planning.

Argh!!!

Argh!!!

And I couldn’t buy that adorable Ewok.

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Oh well, at least I know one thing that will make me feel better:

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And watch out for your mothers, they be tricky.

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For more tea stories, go to One Hot Date

For more trips to the mall, go to A Trip to the Mall Turns into the Twilight Zone

For more on teddy bears, go to The Teddy Bear that Would NOT Die!

For more stories from my every day life, go to I Will Not Bend, I Will Not Break