How to Clean Your Tea Infusers

If you are a tea addict, or teaddict, like me, you drink a lot of tea.

And when you drink as much tea as I do, your tea infuser gets all gross and brown and embarrassing for people to see.

But I have found a way to clean them. On the box that my forlife teapot came in said to use baking soda and warm water.

Huh

Not super clear, so I went online and cruised a few pages for a little more info:

  1. Put some baking soda on the areas affected. Then add a little warm water so it is pastelike.
  2. Scrub the areas with the paste, adding more baking soda if needed.

Voila! It looks amazing.

I’ve had this infuser like 4 years now and it looks brand spanking new. Amazing!

This one I’ve had even longer, and it was horribly brown and look at it now!

I just wish I had taken a before picture for you all so you could see it. I’m kicking myself as this is amazing, baking soda is amazing!

Wow!

And it will help all you tea lovers keep their tea things nice and clean.

For more tea posts, go to Cucumber Aioli Canapés

For more tea love, go to Mug o’ Tea Treats Christmas Gift

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Do you like pie? I love pie!

LOL j/k

So when I saw this recipe on Tea Time Magazine‘s instagram I pinned it with plans to make later.

Back in October, @SpilltheTeaWithLucy did a 31 Day Tea Challenge and Day 17/31 of 31 Days of Hallotean was an Autumn Tea Bake. Since I had just baked some sweets prior to this with The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club/Bible Study, I decided to make something savory instead. This is my take on Tea Time Magazine’s Heirloom Tomato Tart (I had to substitute a few ingredients) and since tomatoes are red I decided to pair it with Cederberg Tea Co.‘s Classic Red Tea. I also had to use a pink and red mug to match. This cat mug was a gift from a friend Christmas 2019 and part of a 4 set of cat mugs.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Package of Refrigerated Pie Dough (I used Phyllo dough I had bought to make the Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry as the store was out of puffed pastry, but my sister had bought me some so this was all leftover)
  • 1.5 Cups of Coarsely Grated, Sharp Yellow Cheddar Cheese (I used leftover Fotina Cheese from Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry)
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise (I substituted with Hummus)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon of Green Onion
  • 1/4 Teaespoon of Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
  • Garnish with pepper and additional fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice tomatoes, cutting larger tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and smaller ones into 1/8 inch slices.
  3. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on paper towels, sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 mins.
  4. Unroll pie dough, and press into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, trimming and discarding extra dough.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine cheese, mayonnaise, parsley, green onion, and pepper-stirring to blend.
  6. Spread half the cheese mixture into the bottom of the pan, in a thin even layer.
  7. Blot tomatoes dry with paper towels.
  8. Place a large tomato slice in the center of pan on top of the cheese mixture.
  9. Cut several tomato slices in half and arrange around the center slice. Fill every space.
  10. Spread remaining cheese mixture in an even layer on top of the tomatoes.
  11. Apply thinner tomatoes on top of cheese mixture in a pleasing pattern.
  12. Sprinkle with vinegar and drizzle with olive oil.
  13. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and cheese mixture is hot and beginning to bubble.
  14. Remove from oven and let cool, before removing from pan.
  15. Garnish with pepper and parsley if desired.
  16. Serve at room temp within 3 hours of baking.

 

This was delicious, it was like eating a fancy tea pizza, and you all know how much I love pizza.

It was incredibly delicious and I would most definitely make it again.

For more recipes, go to Lemon Gingerbread Cake

For more Tea Time Magazine recipes, go to Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry

For more pie recipes, go to Mini Apple Pies

For more on pizza, go to My Week With Jane

For more tea posts, go to Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Lemon Gingerbread Cake

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). I also need to catch up on these recipes. Week two was Chami Spice Ginger Plum Tea, Dark Chocolate Ginger Scones, Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches, Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches, Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry, and Lemon Gingerbread Cake.

I couldn’t share the recipes in October as I was in the middle of Horrorfest IX, so I am catching up and of course the last thing we have to review is dessert.

This comes from Tea Time Magazine andI actually screwed this dessert up as I thought it was cookies, but realized after I had already started the batter-it is cakelets. Not only did I read that wrong, but it turns out that I did not read through all the directions and did not have all the right supplies. There wasn’t time to go get other ingredients or do another recipe so instead I converted it into a cake, with some substitutions.

From Clueless

Oh, well!

Ingredients Cake Batter:

  • 2.5 Cups of Flour
  • 1/3 Cup of Granulated (White) Sugar
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Ground Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tbsp of Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 3/4 Cup of Hot Water
  • 1/2 Cup of Molasses (Or Substitute with Honey)
  • 1/2 Cup of Honey
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups of Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • 1/2 Cup of Fresh Lemon Juice

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spay or grease pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour sugar, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  4. Add butter, egg, lemon zest, hot water, molasses or the substitute, honey, and vanilla extract.
  5. Beat mixture at low speed for about 30 seconds.
  6. Increase speed and beat for 3 minutes.
  7. Fill pan.
  8. Bake until for 20-30 minutes, continue baking until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cake cool before pouring lemon glaze.

Directions for Lemon Glaze:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and lemon juice until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour over cake.

 

So because this was cooked in a pan instead of the little molds it took much longer to bake. It also was taking a really long time to bake so I ended up cutting the cake a bit so that it would cook faster and throughout. The frosting covered it, so I didn’t end up having to worry too much about the presentation.

Even though I made a few mistakes and this was not as the recipe intended it to be, it was extremely delicious and we all loved it. I had to send the leftovers with home with my friend as I couldn’t have it with me, I’d eat it all up.

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Fotina Flower Puffed Pastry

For more recipes, go to Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches

For more Tea Time Magazine Recipes, go to Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches

For more Cake recipes, go to Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

For more dessert, go to Mini Apple Pies

For more tea posts, go to Dark Chocolate Ginger Scones

The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club: Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). The first week we had Cederberg Tea Company Rooibos + Ginger Tea, Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream, Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés, Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Fotina & Pork Puffed Pastry, and Mini Apple Pies.

I couldn’t share the recipes in October as I was in the middle of Horrorfst IX, so I will be starting now-and as I started with scones, I’m moving on to sandwiches.

And eat sandwiches!

This recipe comes from Tea Time Magazine Annual British Issue.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Pound of English Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons of English Mustard
  • 8 Slices of Firm Honey Wheat Bread
  • 8 Large Slices of Deli-Style Ham

Directions:

  • Using a cheese slicer, cut very thin slices of cheese horizontally from a cheese block (I picked up cheese from the deli so it was already sliced thin.)
  • In a small bowl combine mustard and mayonnaise, mix well.
  • Spread a layer of mayonnaise mixture onto 8 slices of bread.
  • Arrange 2 ham slices on 4 bread slices.
  • Place cheese slices over the ham and top with remaining bread slices, spread side down, to make 4 sandwiches.
  • Using a serrated bread knife in a gentle sawing motion, trim and discard crusts from each sandwich to create 4.5×2.5-inch rectangles.
  • Cut each sandwich into 3 (2.5×1.5-inch rectangles).
  • Serve immediately, or cover with damp paper towels, place in a covered container, and refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving.

So my sandwiches didn’t come out quite right, I don’t think I cut the bread as thick as it should have been, as they kept toppling over.

I’ve noticed that a lot of these English recipes want you to use mustard and mayonnaise, not my favorite condiments. I usually half the amounts as that is more to my taste.

Otherwise they were pretty good and very easy to make.

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Cucumber-Four Peppercorn Goat Cheese Canapés

For more recipes, go to Cranberry-Spice Scones with Maple Cream

For more sandwiches, go to Cucumber Sandwiches

For more tea posts, go to Mug o’ Tea Treats Christmas Gift

Mug o’ Tea Treats Christmas Gift

Christmas is coming!

And I don’t know about you all, but I’m trying to finish my shopping as early as I can. And I thought I would share this fun little gift with you all. Every year my coworkers and I exchange Christmas gifts and every year I try to do something different. I’ve made cookies, ornaments, did chocolate chip cookie mix in a mason jar, sugar cookie mix in a mason jar paired with cookie cutters, etc. Last year I did the sugar cookie mix in a jar when on pinterest an image popped up this idea for “Mason Jar Tea Time”  from Thirsty for Tea. I really liked the concept of having the teabags, honey, scones, jam, etc. all in a jar with a cute ribbon, and I pinned it to my pinterest board for next year.

“Next year” rolled around and I still liked the idea, but with COVID-19, the homemade scones had to go.

I also found these mugs at the 99¢ store and thought they were so cute, I purchased all they had and decided to use them instead of the mason jars.

That’s Yuletide in the background.

I put in each mug:

  • Honey sticks (16¢ each)
  • 3 Teabags (I purchased Bigelow Assorted Herbal/Tisane Teas for $3 [about 17¢ each] along with some Stash teas at 21¢ each)
  • Lorna Doones (I bought these to replace the homemade scones and they were 50¢ each)

So the total for these little gifts ranged from $2.16-$2.28. You of course can do exactly what I did or add more tea, honey, tea treats, or even an infuser if you want. It’s a very easy and cute gift to give and as everything is individually wrapped or can be washed, it is perfectly safe for COVID-19.

For more tea posts, go to Countdown to Christmas: Tea Advent Calendar Swap 2019

For more Christmas posts, go to Holiday Mix Tape

Countdown to Christmas: Tea Advent Calendar Swap 2019

So last year on Instagram I saw that @TeaisforTravel was starting an Advent Calendar Tea Swap. When I first saw it I was extremely interested and totally wanted to join:

But then I thought about it…a few years ago I did a book swap and sent my books off to the people I was assigned and was supposed to receive some, but I never did. I decided to skip it as I didn’t really want to get involved in something, have my hopes up, and then have nothing arrive.

Not okay.

Then I saw @teaandme blog was going to do it, and it looked like so much fun…plus I had almost 25 teas I just needed a few more…I figured aw, why not?!

So I signed up to do it. But then I was like how do I make an advent calendar? Whenever we did an Advent Calendar/Christmas countdown growing up, we always did paper chains. I never had one that had things in it. Thank goodness for the internet-I googled and searched pinterest to try and find some ideas.

So the concept I really wanted to do, didn’t work with mailing it to my person. I had a few ideas but I needed to finish it up between all the other holiday things I needed to do + get it out in the mail before December 1st, so I ended up doing a very simple envelope style.

I actually had so much fun making my advent calendar I didn’t even care if I ended up not getting one. With mine I chose certain teas for certain days and every pod had a tea and a letter about why I picked it to be a part of the calendar or to be had on a certain day.

I can’t remember what I wrote for everything, just a few-but I do remember the teas I used. They were:

December 1st-Lifestyle Awareness Serene Slumber Soothing Lavender: As Sunday was the first day of Advent I chose a “purple” tea (I did for every Sunday of Advent). Purple is a symbol of Advent as in ancient times purple was extremely expensive and used for royalty. As Advent is awaiting the “coming of the King”, its color became purple as well. The first Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope and the first candle lit is the “prophecy candle” in remembrance of the prophets, such as Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ.  I also wanted to start off with a soothing tea as Christmas can be super stressful for people.

December 2nd-Stash Earl Grey

December 3rd-Tiesta Tea Maui Mango

December 4th- Lipton Black Tea

December 5th- Stash Chai Spice

December 6th- Tiesta Tea Fruity Pebbles

December 7th- Good Earth Sweet & Spicy

December 8th- Stash Wild Raspberry Hibiscus: The second Sunday of Advent is also a purple candle and represents faith. This one is called the Bethlehem candle and is a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

December 9th- Sencha Naturals Organic Matcha: Just in case I included in my letter how to make a matcha latte.

December 10th- Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea

December 11th- Stash Premium Green Tea

December 12th- Oliver Pluff & Company Jasmine Green Tea: I had won this tea in a giveaway from Regency Marketplace

December 13th- Panera Ginger Peach Tea: Our library hosted a parent event every month. Right before I put the advent calendar together, they canceled their meeting but forgot to cancel their order at Panera. So we enjoyed a bunch of breakfast sweets, coffee, and tea.

December 14th- Stash English Breakfast Tea

December 15th- Tiesta Tea Nutty Almond Tea: This sunday of Advent you use the pink candle, so I chose a tea that is pink after it steeps. This candle symbolizes joy and is the Shepherd’s candle-representing the joy they and the world had with the birth of Christ.

December 16th- Twinings Earl Grey: December 16th is Jane Austen’s birthday so I chose a Tea that Jane Austen would have had. In one of her letters she wrote she purchased Twinings tea, because it was unadulterated -unlike other tea that was blended with anything.

December 17th- Tiesta Tea Royal Breakfast

December 18th- Stash Chamomile: Being halfway through the month I thought it was a good time to have some more relaxing tea.

December 19th- Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe Octavia Tea Company Earl GreyI love this place and wish it wasn’t an hour away but in my city.

December 20th- Stash Peppermint

December 21st- Bigelow Pomegranate Pizazz

December 22nd- Tiesta Tea Lavender Chamomile: This is the last Sunday of Advent. This candle represents peace and is called the “Angel’s Candle”. I thought it was perfect for today as this close to Christmas chamomile is perfect to give one peace as they finish any last minute anything they need to do.

December 23rd- Stash Lemon Ginger: December 23rd is my sister’s birthday and she loves Lemon Ginger Tea.

December 24th- Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea: When I was a kid I had such a hard time trying to sleep on the night before Christmas as I would be too wired. My mom used to always have us drink Sleepytime Tea to ehlp us sleep, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t-but I still drink it every December 24th.

December 25th- Tiesta Tea Victorian Earl Grey: When I think of Christmas I of course think of A Christmas Carol and so what would be better than Victorian Earl Grey? 

In fact I had so much fun making this, that I ended up creating and sending one to my niece as part of her Christmas gift.

So it turned out that the person who was making my Advent calender was @TeaisforTravel, the creator of the swap. I tried to use a different cup each day and have the pictures be different or about what I was doing that day. Some days I combined it with my 25 Days of Christmas Movies or with my reading Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane AustenNow I like different types of tea, but I tend to only buy/drink one: Tiesta Tea Victorian Earl Grey.

So it was nice trying out different teas, some of them being ones I had never heard of before. And while I may not have loved all of them, I loved having this experience of trying all these different teas.

So I am sharing the pics I really liked/thought turned out great. If interested in seeing all of them, just head over to my instagram @janeaustenrunsmylife

December 1st- Old Barrel Tea LavenderberryThis was a very delicious tea that made me think of relaxing in a field of flowers.

December 2nd- Tazo Prickly Pear Cactus TeaPraying With Jane. This tea was beyond good. I gave one of the tea bags to my niece who also loved it.

December 3rd- David’s Tea Seaberry SpaThis was a fruity and relaxing tea. I gave this to my niece to try and she LOVED it.

December 4th-Good Earth Rosa de Jamaica: This was my first time having Rosa de Jamaica hot as I had only ever had it as a cold brew and I really enjoyed it.

December 5th- Encore Chocolate & Tea Candy AppleThis tea wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t for me. I gave this to my niece who loved it.

December 6th- Whittard Earl Grey– I loved this tea and drank it while reading my Book Club’s Pick monthly pick, Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale.

December 7th- Trader Joe’s Lemongrass Earl Grey: I’d never had this tea before but I was surprised how much I enjoyed this variation on my favorite type of tea.

December 8th- David’s Tea Nutty & Spice

December 9th- Teatime Scottsdale Royal TeaA very sweet tea that is in no need of sugar.

December 10th- Stash Chai SpiceIs it really winter if you haven’t had a cup of Chai tea? A delicious tea for a cold winter’s day.

December 11th- Teatopia Yellow Mudan Praying with Jane: This was a tea I had never heard of but it was really good.

December 12th- Bigelow Lean and Fit Citrus Oolong Tea: I was so tired I needed to drink a whole pint.

December 13th- Artful Tea Purple Lychee: This was a Friday the 13th so of course I needed to wear my Ghostbusters T-Shirt, use my Ghostbusters mug, eat pizza, and watch horror films. This Purple Lychee was really good as I am not a big fan of lychee but enjoyed this.

December 14- Whittard English Breakfast: I’m really picky about my English Breakfast, but LOVED this tea. I also really love cats and Audrey Hepburn movies (if you couldn’t tell lol).

December 15th- Nobilitea Pina Power: I didn’t think I would like this as I don’t care for pineapple, but I enjoyed it. I also gave this to my niece.

December 16th- Nobilitea Prima Donna: This was a nice tea, but not for me. I also gave this one away to a friend. I paired this with my viewing of Star Wars: A New Hope as part of my 25 Days of Christmas. I know most will say it isn’t a Christmas film, but my family watches it every year at Christmastime.

December 17th- Steepologie Sour Patch TeaThis tea surprised me as it was better than I thought it would be. This day we decorated our family Christmas tree, our family tradition is to have an ornament that represents important events that occurred in the year.

December 18th- Buyulu Bohca Green Tea with Jasmine FlowersI drank this to relax after wrapping gifts.

December 19th- Nobilitea Regal PlumDrank this while wrapping more Christmas gifts.

December 20th- Crafted Leaf Teas Golden Tip Lapsang Souchong: I LOVED this tea so much that I ended up buying my own bag. It is so good and worth every penny of the price.

December 21st- Steep by Bigelow Organic Oolong and Jasmine Green Tea: A delicious tea and perfect for starting off a day in which one has a lot to do.

December 22nd- Nobilitea Cinnamon Blondie Praying with Jane: I really loved this tea as it smelled and tasted like Christmas, just like gingerbread cookies.

December 23rd- David’s Tea Lemon SmashThis tea was perfect for today as it was my sister’s birthday and she loves anything lemon. This tea was delicious and we both had a cup.

December 24th- Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey Holiday Mix TapeI loved this tea and drank it as I edited my review of Holiday Mix Tape, a modern Christmas Persuasion.

December 25th- Nobilitea Banana Pancakes: I wasn’t sure if I would like this as banana flavored things aren’t really my thing, but I really enjoyed it.

This was so much fun, that I was excited to do it again this year. I wasn’t sure if @teaisfortravel was going to do it again (with COVID19), so this year I put together a tea swap with some friends and family members.

If you are interested in doing it, contact her or try to do it with your friends or family. It is a lot of fun and a great way to stop and take some moments to relax during the holiday season.

For more tea posts, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

For more Christmas posts, go to Holiday Mix Tape

Super Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

It is hot.

So of course when the weather gets like this, tea time must adapt. Yes, even though it is incredibly hot out-I still have my tea time.

Or scones!

But when its hot, I want to eat cool food…like deviled eggs. I love deviled eggs, they always make me feel so fancy.

YUM!

I could eat a whole dozen by myself. They are just so good.

This recipe comes from Son Shine Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika

Directions:

  1. Hard boil the eggs.
  2. Peel and slice eggs lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out the yolk.
  4. Crumble yolks in a medium bowl and combine with the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  5. Use a pastry bag to pipe in yolk mixture. If you don’t have one, take a ziplock bag, pour in the mixture, and cut the tip of the bottom-filling each egg half.
  6. Garnish with paprika, if desired.

These were so good, and will be great for tea time (or snack time). Just so you know, this was extremely hard for me not to eat them all myself.

Stay cool out there everybody! Don’t forget to hydrate.

For more recipes, go to Strawberry Lemonade

For more tea time recipes, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Cucumber Sandwiches

So last month my friends and I were supposed to meet up for high tea, as this is something we have been trying to do about every three months to stay connected as it is seems to get harder the older you get.

We had the date and reservations at this amazing historic tea place, but then COVID-19 happened.

So we decided to do our own tea party, a virtual tea party.

We each set up a space with snacks and tea, I drank Earl Grey Tea of course.

I decided to make a new type of Cucumber Sandwiches and Earl Grey Tea Cookies. Both of which were extremely delicious, and I decided to share them with you here, starting with the cucumber sandwiches, which originally come from Spend With Pennies.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
  • 2 Teaspoons of Chopped Fresh Dill
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chopped Fresh Chives
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Long English Cucumber, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Loaf of Bread, Crusts Removed

Directions:

  1. Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise in a small bowl with a hand mixer, until smooth.
  2. Stir in herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cut crusts off bread slices.
  4. Spread bread slices with cream cheese mixture.
  5. Thinly slice cucumbers, layer over half of the bread slices.
  6. Top with additional herbs, if desired.
  7. Top with remaining bread slice and cut each sandwich into three pieces.

These were delicious! I’m glad I was the only one eating them as I wanted to eat them all!

 

For more recipes, go to Lemon Curd

For more tea sandwich recipes, go to Basic Chicken Salad

For more tea party recipes, go to Scottish Oat Scones

NovelTea Tins’ Romance Sampler

So my church is doing a “secret sister”. You get matched up with another woman in the church for three months, praying for them and sending them notes or giving them gifts.

With COVID-19 having us shelter in place and not being able to meet at church, if we want to give our secret sisters gifts we have to come up with different ways. My secret sister ended up mailing me $20 to buy myself something nice for Easter.

Hmm…

What to buy? I knew I wanted to support a small business as they are hurting, and searched through Instagram to see which one.

Hmmm…

So a while back I found this company NovelTea Tins and instantly loved how cute it was. They are book tea tins and each have a punny title off of classic literature. You all know how I love classic literature.

War and Peach (Peach Tea + War and Peace), The Picture of Earl Grey (Earl Grey + The Picture of Earl Grey), Matcha Do About Nothing (Matcha Green Tea + Much Ado About Nothing), Pride & Peppermint (Peppermint Tea + Pride and Prejudice), Anne of Green Gables Tea (Green Raspberry Tea + Anne of Green Gables), Sense and Senchability (Green Sencha Tea + Sense and Sensibility), Don Quixote: Man of La Manchai (Chai Tea + Don Quixote: Man of La Mancha), and more. You know me, I love:

So I was excited to try these out. I agonized over which to buy as there were so many that sounded good…but I finally decided on the Romance Sampler, as it had The Picture of Earl Grey, being my favorite type of tea-Earl Grey.

Along with Pride & Peppermint (Peppermint Tea) and Sense and Senchability (Green Sencha Tea). I also love both of those teas and couldn’t resist them being Jane Austen. You know me…

The sampler cost about $24 with shipping and handling and it came extremely fast. I ordered it afternoon on Sunday and it arrived on Tuesday.

Tea #1: The Picture of Earl Grey

This tea is inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, one of my favorite Gothic novels where a young, gorgeous, rich man gets seduced by the Hedonist lifestyle and wishes that he would never grow old but his beautiful picture would instead. It does, but also with it growing older instead of Dorian-every selfish, cruel, rude, horrible acts he commits-gets transferred onto the painting as well.

It is a great book, and I highly recommend reading it.

The tea actually has the picture of Earl Grey-Charles Grey 2nd Earl Grey, the namesake of the delicious tea, the one that the tea was presented to and comes with a bookmark with his face on it as well.

This tea is made of Jasmine Green Tea, Black Tea, Rose Petals, Natural Flavor; and has moderate caffeine.

So I LOVE Earl Grey, but I did not love this one. It wasn’t bad, but I felt the Jasmine Green Tea in it was too strong. I tasted that over everything else and I prefer my Earl Grey with black tea, lavender, and bergamot oil. 

What I ended up doing was mixing it with my Tiesta Tea and enjoying it. My mom loved it, so please don’t think I’m saying the tea is bad, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

For more on The Picture of Dorian Gray, go to If Only It Was the Picture Who was to Grow Old, and I Remain Young: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Tea #2: Pride and Peppermint

This tea is inspired by Pride and Prejudice and I’m sure most of you know how much I love this book.

Pride and Prejudice is the story of a mother wanting to marry off her daughters, as with their father’s death they will have very little-but the story is MORE than that. It deals with the concepts of pride and prejudice, first impressions, whether you should be overt in how you feel or play it close to the heart, etc. It has amazing wit and characters.

This peppermint tea has Elizabeth Bennet on it and comes with two bookmarks, one with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

Peppermint tea was my first love, when I just started drinking tea. It is made of organic rooibos, organic peppermint, and organic chamomile; it is also caffeine-free.

I thought this tea to smell absolutely divine and it was so delicious. I absolutely loved it, and immediately drank three cups.

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical

Tea #3: Sense and Senchability

This tea is inspired by Sense and Sensibility, and like Pride and Prejudice I love Sense and Sensibility.

Sense and Sensibility follows two sisters, Elinor and Marianne, as their world is drastically changed when their father dies and they older half brother moves them out of the house and basically forgets they even exist. Elinor is the elder sister-logical, sensible, and in command of herself. Marianne is the middle daughter-passionate, outspoken, and emotional. Elinor falls for a man, but finds him promised to another. Marianne meets a man right out of her romantic dreams, but is he all that he seems to be? Each sister goes through a journey and discovers depths to them they never realized.

This tea has both sisters on it and comes with a bookmark that has a Dashwood sister on either side. This has green Sencha tea and “sensible levels of caffeine.” Haha, I love that.

This tea was fantastic. It probably is the best Sencha tea I’ve ever had.

For more Sense and Sensibility, go to Rational Creatures: Elinor & Marianne Dashwood

So these teas were so cute and good, even though the first one was not my cup of tea-but I had  wonderful time drinking them.

For more tea posts, go to I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

 

Lemon Curd

So last month my book club met and discussed the book The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie. Typically we just have light snacks, but as I didn’t have to work due to the quarantine, I decided I would do a little tea party.

In the book our book club had been reading, The Secret Adversary, the two main characters go to tea a few times at Lyons Tea Cafe. I originally wanted to try to make something like the tea shop would have, but then my coworker gave me a whole box of Meyer’s Lemons.

I need to find some recipes.

So instead we had egg salad sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, french fries (pommes pont neuf), Scottish Oat scones, lemon curd, lemon crinkle cookies, and meyer lemon poppyseed cake. Instead of putting all the recipes in one post and making it too long, I decided to break it up and share each recipe separately so that if interested, you can make your own and eat it with a cup of tea and some Jane Austen.

This recipe comes from Epicurious.com and I picked it for my first attempt at lemon curd as it used the whole eggs not just the egg yolks.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Meyer’s Lemon Juice
  • 2 Teaspoons of Finely Grated Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 Stick (6 Tablespoons) of Butter

Directions:

  1. Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2 quart heavy saucepan.
  2. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 mins.
  3. Transfer lemon curd to bowl and cover with plastic.
  4. Chill until cold, about 1 hour.

This came out horribly!

Everything looked fine, but when I took it out of the fridge an hour later-it had separated into two parts. I poured it into a jar and tried to mix it up, but then it came out very liquidy-and when you spooned a bit on the scones it just soaked into them instead of garnishing them.

I will never make this recipe again.

For more lemon recipes, go to Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies

For more recipes, go to Scottish Oat Scones

For more tea parties, go to Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake