As we read Anne of Green Gables for book club, we of course had to have an Anne of Green Gables tea. We drank actual tea but also needed to make raspberry cordial and definitely raspberry cordial not wine.
“But you can ask Diana to come over and spend the afternoon with you and have tea here.” “Oh, Marilla!” Anne clasped her hands. “How perfectly lovely!…Oh, Marilla, can I use the rosebud spray tea set?” “No, indeed! The rosebud tea set!…You’ll put down the old brown tea set. But you can open the little yellow crock of cherry preserves. It’s time it was being used anyhow—I believe it’s beginning to work. And you can cut some fruit cake and have some of the cookies and snaps.”
“I can just imagine myself sitting down at the head of the table and pouring out the tea,” said Anne, shutting her eyes ecstatically. “And asking Diana if she takes sugar! I know she doesn’t but of course I’ll ask her just as if I didn’t know. And then pressing her to take another piece of fruit cake and another helping of preserves. Oh, Marilla, it’s a wonderful sensation just to think of it. Can I take her into the spare room to lay off her hat when she comes? And then into the parlor to sit?”
“No. The sitting room will do for you and your company. But there’s a bottle half full of raspberry cordial that was left over from the church social the other night. It’s on the second shelf of the sitting-room closet and you and Diana can have it if you like, and a cooky to eat with it along in the afternoon…”
My niece and I were watching the Chinese drama Love O2O and the girls in the series would be drinking or talk about how much they love to drink milk tea. After completing the series, I decided to try and make some as I love tea, and it looked delicious.
I looked around on Pinterest and found a tea recipe from Plum Deluxe that seemed easy to follow and similar to the one they had in the series.
Assam and Darjeeling were recommended, but I have also made this tea with Earl Grey.
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Darjeeling tea leaves or 1/2 teaspoon Assam tea leaves or 2 teaspoons black tea of choice
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
Honey or sugar, to taste
Add the tea into a small bowl.
Boil some water and add a small amount to just coat the leaves in the bowl.
In the meantime, heat the milk and water in a small pot.
Just before the milk and water start to boil, add the moistened leaves and turn off the heat. Stir them with a spoon to mix them in.
Cover the pot and let sit for 4 minutes.
Give it another stir and then remove the bags and pour the milk tea into a teapot or mug of choice.
Sweeten with either honey or sugar if you’d like.
I loved it and it was super simple to make, it reminded me of how I make my Matcha Lattes. I do recommend using a throwaway bag to infuse the milk with the tea, as it is much easier to put the bags in the milk than trying to pour the milk through an infuser as sometimes heated milk has trouble trickling through. If all you have is tea bags, you can also substitute two tea bags for the teaspoons of loose leaf.
I also used my milk frother to froth it up, you don’t have to but I thought it added a little special something to it. Plus I love using my milk frother.
I highly recommend this recipe and have made it multiple times since (I don’t blog as fast as I drink tea).
I am sooo, sooo, sooo behind in these. In October 2020 some friends and I started meeting every Wednesday for a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We began with The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, and when we finished moved on to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and also desperately need to catch up on). I’ve been sharing all our tea recipes for you too, to try at home.
For the fifth and final week we did the feast with Aslan:
“Meanwhile, let the feast be prepared. Ladies, take these Daughters of Eve to the pavilion and minister to them.”
Hoy es Dia de Los Muertos y yo honrando Jane Austen. Lo siento mi Espanol es no bueno. Lucho con Gramática del español
Today is Day of the Dead and I am honoring Jane Austen. Being biracial I love blending of cultures, and thought this year I would blend my background with my love of Jane Austen. I wanted to do a larger, and let’s be honest, more impressive altar, but I just moved and haven’t had a chance to unpack my belongings as my new place needed some extra work done.
If you’ve been reading for a while you probably know this, but for all you who have started following me recently, I am biracial, being half Mexican.
As I am of Mexican descent I celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, and thought this year I would honor Jane Austen. For those of you who might not know of the holiday, I am going to go over a brief history, share how to make your own altar, and how to make pan de Muerto (bread of the dead).
Van y Vienen
Y las ves pasar
Bailan por ahí
Platican por allá…
Es su día
Y van a festejar
They’re coming and they’re going
And you see them passing by.
They’re dancing over here,
They’re chatting over there…
It’s their day
And they’re going to have a good time.
Some people hear day of the dead or see the calaveras (skulls) and think it is a scary holiday; but it is a very sweet and pleasant one. It is a time to gather with your family or friends and remember those who have passed on. Typically one would make an ofrenda, or altar, for a deceased family member, but you can make one for anybody you would like to honor that is no longer with us.
Dia de Los Muertos is an ancient tradition that started in Mexico. Dia de Los Muertos begins on November 1st and ends on November 3rd. The first day, November 1st, is Dia de los Angelitos, when one honors and remembers the children that have passed on. The legend is that their spirits are granted 24 hours on which to reunite with their families. Often on these ofrendas one will leave their favorite toys, games, and food.
November 2nd is Día de los Difuntos, honoring the adults that have passed on. People will lay their favorite things on the altar; along with Pan de Muerto, tequila, and atole. People will talk, laugh, and share stories about their loved ones.
November 3rd is Día de los Muertos, the day that the whole community would get involved, have parades, people dress up as Catrina, etc.
There are a few particular symbols associated with Dia de Los Muertos. First is the calaveras, the skills, which will be made out of sugar, foam, paper, or painted on someone’s face. The skulls are always smiling as they laugh at death (they no longer have any fear as they have moved on) and are happy to be with their families again. The skulls are also a memento mori, reminding us that we too will die-but in this case they are a cheerful reminder; letting us know that we will all be together again someday.
Most celebrations will have Flor de Muerto, flowers of the dead, which are bright Orange and red marigolds. Marigolds symbolize beauty, the fragility of life, and are used as a way to make a path to guide the dead.
Another symbol of Dia de Los Muertos is La Catrina. Even though the calacas figures (Day of the Dead skeletons) were a part of Dia de Los Muertos, the Catrina figure used today has only been around for about 100 years. José Guadalupe Posada was a controversial Mexican artist who liked to draw satirical cartoons with people as skeletons. He drew the first Catrina in a negative sketch against Porfirio Diaz, the President of Mexico, who was really bringing the country to ruin. (My great grandfather fought along Pancho Villa to try to roust Diaz out, and later ended up immigrating to America.) This image of Catrina wasn’t turned into a popularized one connected to Dia de Los Muertos until the 1940s when Diego Rivera did a mural about the history of Mexico. Now you see Catrinas every year.
The Ofrenda (The Altar)
There are as many ways to make an ofrenda as there is imagination. You can make it any way you desire, but there are a few key things to include. You need a table or box to be your altar, one that you can have set out for days. You also need to have a picture of the person you would like to celebrate, it’s best to put it in the center of your display where all can see it right away. You should also include objects that symbolize what they liked or did in life. You can also decorate with sugar skulls, papel picado, Pan de Muerto, and hot chocolate.
For my ofrenda I have my Jane Austen Catrina pumpkin as my centerpiece as I couldn’t find my picture. I also haven’t unpacked my Jane Austen items so it only has Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. I also included my faux quill pen and my corona de flores, that I made for dia de Los Muertos. I also have my Jane Austen Catrina mug made by MadsenCreations, MadsenCreations té de Rosa azucar (for dia de Los Muertos), and one of the Pan de Muerto I made a few weeks ago (and froze for the occasion).
Pan de Muertos
This was my first year making Pan de Muertos as I was always scared to try it as it seems difficult. But it is just as easy as making scones. I used the recipe from Mexico in my Kitchen. Although I did do a few substitutions.
4 cups All Purpose flour
2 Tablespoons active-dry yeast
½ cup of Sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Cup of butter at room temperature + 1/4 cup to brush the bread after baking.
1 Cup of unsalted margarineroom temperature plus more for bowl and pans.
4 large eggs room temperature
Orange zest from 2 oranges
1/2 cup warm water
Zest of 1 orange or 1 teaspoon orange blossom water or orange essence
1 large egg lightly beaten to brush the bread
Sugar to decorate the bread at the end.
Place the 4 eggs, margarine, salt and half of the sugar in a large bowl.
Mix the dough, working it for about 2 minutes.
Add the All-purpose flour in small amounts alternating with the water. Add the dry active yeast and mix until well combined.
Continue now by adding one at a time the butter, the orange zest, the rest of the sugar and the orange blossom essence or extra orange zest, mixingwell after each addition until soft dough forms.
Get the dough out of the mixer bowl and place onto work surface; knead until smooth, dusting work surface lightly with flour as needed if the dough begins to stick. Knead for a couple more minutes.
Coat the interior of a large bowl with margarine; transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Transfer the dough from the bowl onto working surface, separate a portion of the dough to form the decorative bones later on. Cut the rest of the dough into two equal pieces. Prepare 2 greased baking sheets, set aside.
Take portions of the dough and place in the palm of your hand, shaping each piece into a tight ball rolling the dough on the surface. This is called “bolear” in Spanish. Place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Press the dough slightly.
Take the remaining dough set aside and roll into small logs putting a little pressure with the fingers to form the bones. You need 2 for each bread.
Place the bones on top of each roll, forming a cross.
And finally, with the leftover dough form small balls and put the ball in the center. Cover baking sheets with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add a pinch of salt to our mix of egg and water and brush the buns before placing in the oven. Transfer buns to oven and bake until golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Once your Pan de Muerto bread has a completely cooled brush with the remaining butter and then dust with sugar.
I struggled with shaping them, but this video helped a lot.
I had Flat Jane when I made them and then I froze them so they would be ready for today.
So last October, every Wednesday, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We started on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, and when we finished moved on to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on).
The second week we were inspired by the time Edmund spends with the White Witch.
“Perhaps something hot to drink?” said the Queen. “Should you like that?”
Yes please, your Majesty,” said Edmund, whose teeth were chattering.
The Queen took from somewhere among her wrappings a very small bottle which looked as if it were made of copper. Then, holding out her arm, she let one drop fall from it on to the snow beside the sledge. Edmund saw the drop for a second in mid-air, shining like a diamond. But the moment it touched the snow there was a hissing sound and there stood a jewelled cup full of something that steamed. The Dwarf immediately took this and handed it to Edmund with a bow and a smile; not a very nice smile. Edmund felt much better as he began to sip the hot drink. It was something he had never tasted before, very sweet and foamy and creamy, and it warmed him right down to his toes.
‘It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating,” said the Queen presently. “What would you like best to eat?”
‘Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty,” said Edmund.
The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious. He was quite warm now, and very comfortable.
One thing I will be doing differently here than in my earlier posts, is that I will be sharing discussion questions that your group can discuss as you read and eat. I didn’t post discussion questions in the previous posts on The Magician’s Nephew, as I wasn’t in charge of that book. For discussion questions, click on this link.The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Discussion Questions Chapter 4-6.pdfDownload
Line pans with greased wax or parchment paper. (The final candy will be sticky, and that will help with the unmolding process.)
Begin by mixing together the first 3 ingredients (sugar, 3/4 c. water, and citric acid) in a heavy bottom pan, and bring to a slight boil before lowering the heat.
Heat, without needing to stir, over low to medium heat until you reach 260ºF. You can occasionally use a spatula to wipe down any sugar crystals from the side of the pan throughout this process.
Meanwhile, mix together the solution of cornstarch and water.
When the sugar syrup has reached the right temperature, temporarily take it off the heat source and ladle in a bit of the sugar syrup into the cornstarch mixture to warm it.
Slowly drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the sugar syrup while continuously stirring them together.Once all of the cornstarch solution has been completely incorporated, begin to stir the mixture over low heat.
You will notice that the mixture should get quite thick almost immediately.
Despite the fact that the mixture is quite thick, you will want to reduce and thicken it even more before adding in your flavorings. Keep the mixture over a low heat so that the sugar won’t caramelize on the bottom, affecting the flavor of the final product.
As you heat and stir, you should notice that the gel becomes quite transparent. It will also reduce slightly in volume.To determine the point when you should add your flavoring, test the consistency of your candy by dipping a spoon into the gel, and then dipping the gel covered spoon into a glass of ice water.
As the candy cools, you can judge the consistency and stop when you are happy with it. The longer you cook the candy at this stage, the chewier it will become and the more it will hold its shape at room temperature.
Add in your flavorings and colorings. Use a combination of 2 Tbsp. rose water, and 2 Tbsp. rose syrup.
Once you’ve incorporated all of your flavorings, check the texture once more to make sure that the addition of any new liquids hasn’t affected the consistency of your candy too much.
If necessary, slightly mix and warm your mixture a little longer at very low heat to help evaporate a little water, but be careful and take into account that doing this for too long can alter and diminish the flavorings you have added.
When you are happy with your result, pour the mixture into your prepared molds and spread it out as best you can with a spatula. It should be very thick and sticky.
Let cool for several hours. Cut into small squares, using cornstarch to keep the candies from sticking to one another.
If you do choose to use powdered sugar for dusting, keep in mind that the candy may sweat and the sugar coating may end up “melting” off of the candy so you may have to add in more cornstarch or reapply the coating before serving your candy.
So to be honest with you guys, I don’t get what Edmund was going on about. I mean I know they are magical/enchanted but Turkish Delight is not worth betraying your whole family for. I found it to be too sweet and not something I could ever find myself wanting. The rest of the group loved it, but I just was not a fan.
I guess I’m just not angry and envious enough? Maybe I’m too much like Lucy? All I know is Turkish Delight was not the thing for me.
For more from our The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe teas, go to Zuppa Toscana