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Cooking For Fun's
Tea Party


Do you like tea parties?
We do! Brew a cup of your favorite tea and join us as we journey back in time and learn all about tea and tea parties.

Reference Materials


 

Tea Lore - Legends about the Origin of Tea

Whether or not you believe tea leaves can forecast the future, they do have a fable to tell about the story of how tea came into being. One of the most popular versions is about the Chinese Emporor Shen Nung. One version has him as the founder of tea, the other version is his servant was cleansing the water for consumption when leaves from a nearby camellia sinensis bush blew into the bubbling liquid. The leaves made the water taste and smell so much better that the Emperor decided to always have his drinking water served that way.

India and other tea growing countries have their own version of tea's beginnings. However, the Chinese story is the one most quoted as tea consumption spread very quickly from China to Japan and England. Eventually, tea became associated with taking time out to relax. 

Today, most of the tea leaves in the world come from this evergreen shrub found in the mild climates throughout Asia. It develops slightly different tastes depending upon the soil, climate, and elevation. When harvested, dried and processed, these leaves become what is collectively known as black tea. The plant's leaves may be harvested once a week before they're blended and processed into many types and varieties of teas.Tea names often indicate geographic origins: Assam is a provence in northern Indian, Ceylon tea comes from Sri Lanka, and Darjeeling is a district in the foothills of the Himalyayas.

Afternoon tea as we know it today was introduced around 1840 by Anna, 7th Dutchess of Beford (1783-1857). In those days in England, lunch was served early, and dinner was served around 8 or 9 pm. The Dutchess decided it was too long a time to go between meals, so she conceived the idea of serving sandwiches, tea and small cakes in the middle of the afternoon. The idea quickly became popular with the prominent social classes. Unlike High Tea which was the meal the British working class had after a long day at the factory, Afternoon Tea was a formal, aristoctratic affectation that evolved as a genteel ritual. 

Tea Selecting

Teas fall into 3 basic classifications:

Black Tea: This tea goes through a special processing treament (oxidation) that turns the leaves black and produces a brew with a rich hearty flavor.

Oolong Tea: Semi-oxidixed tea whose leaves are partly green and partly brown.

Green Tea: Not oxidized so the leaves stay light in color when brewed.

Within these classifications there are thousands of varieties of teas which come principally from Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Kenya and other East African countries. The tea we buy is a blend of some 20 to 30 varieties carefully selected by expert tea tasters to maintain the high quality and flavor. By the way, Orange Pekoe is not a variety or a blend of tea, but a term that designates the size of the tea leaf.

Types and Blends of Popular Teas

Assam - India - tea that produces a reddish brew with a brisk, strong, bright, hearty malty flavor that is great to wake up with in the morning.

Ceylon - considered one of the world's best. light, mellow, pungent with a golden hue. Full taste is suitable for drinking any time of the day with milk or lemon.

Darjeeling - the champagne of teas - India - a wonderful large leafed tea with a 
rich flavor, light, delicate, flowery, full-bodied with an amber hue. Good any time 
of day or night. 

Keemun - the burgundy of teas - China - sweet, flowery, full bodied, with a deep 
amber hue.

Lapsang Souchong -Lapsang Souchon - from the Fukian province of China with a distinctive smoky flavor that is best without milk. It is a great tea for blending.

Formosa/Oolong - Taiwan - one of the best and most expensive teas in the world. It produces a pale yellow liquid with a light peach flavor. It is best served without milk in the afternoon and evening.

The above are varietal teas, meaning they are not blended with other teas. Formosa Oolong is an Oolong type.

The teas below are blended teas. Several types of leaves are mixed together to achieve their distinctive flavor. Orange Pekoe is named for a grade of tea, not for a varietal. 

English Breakfast - Ceylon/India - rich, brisk, medium-bodied. Great for as it named, breakfast. Good with either milk or lemon.

Irish Breakfast - Ceylon/India - stronger than English breakfast, pungent, full 
bodied.

Earl Grey - a blend of Darjeeling and China teas flavored with oil of bergamot. This is a wonderful afternoon tea that should be served without milk or lemon, as it has such delicate flavor. Earl Grey is my personal favorite. I think because of the oil of bergamot, the tea can change flavors. I smell the tea before I buy it, and if it smells strong and "gunpowdery, I don't purchase it, but if it has a sweet smell, it's the way I like it.

Russian Caravan - robust, smoky.

Jasmine - scented, fragant, mild, delicate.

Gunpowder - Taiwan/China - Green - penetrating, often slightly bitter, mildly 
astrigent, yellow-green in hue.

Chamomile - Herbal - flowery, soothing.

Rose Hips - Herbal - tart, fruity, astringent.

Tea should be stored properly in an opaque container such as an airtight tin or tea caddy.  If stored properly it will keep for months. Tea fades when exposed to light, so don't store it in a glass container. Keep it inside a cupboard if possible. Tea leaves are also affected by moisture so don't store it in a refrigerator or freezer. Tea bags should also be kept free from moisture and away from light.

Herb Teas and Spiced Teas
from "Country Tea Parties" by Maggie Stuckey

Herb teas are made by steeping the leaves, stems, flowers or roots of that large group of flavorful plants known as herbs. Some of these plants have documented medicinal purposes and have had long traditions as healing drinks. They also contain no caffeine. Herb teas afford a lot of tasteful pleasure as well as medicinal benefits. They give us a full rainbow of flavors.

Commercial manufacturers have developed many delicious and unusual named concoctions, some wholly herbal, others mixed with black teas.  If the package says caffeine-free, it is an all herbal blend. Herb teas are lighter in color than brewed black tea, so judge readiness by the fragrance and taste, not the color.

When making spiced teas, don't use the powdered spices, use the whole spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Instead, put a small amount of whatever spice(s) you want to use in the teakettle. By the time the water boils, some of their flavor is extracted. If you want to add a ginger flavor, get some fresh ginger, slice it crosswise into pieces about 1/4 inch thick (you don't have to peel it) and whack them with the flat side of your knife to release the flavor. Simmer a few slices in the tea water. Strain off the spices, mix and serve with whatever tea you choose. Experiment and have fun with it.

If you grow herbs in your garden, you can enjoy making up your own blends. But even if you don't, you can still experiment by adding commercial herb products such as anise to regular tea. 

Iced Tea

In 1904, the World's Fair was held in St. Louis. To promote tea drinking among Americans, a conglomerate of British tea merchants sponsored a booth offering free samples. But it was hot in St. Louis during the summer, and the fair visitors weren't interested. Finally the exhibition director, an Englishman named Blechynden, himself sweltering in the heat, poured the hot tea into glasses filled with ice - and invented a new drink....so the story goes.

To make ice for the tea, do something a little different. Fill ice trays with tea, apple juice, berry juice, lemonade, mint water, or ginger or spice water and freeze. This will give your iced tea a special flavor. Commercial fruit flavors and spiced teas also make delicious iced tea. 

Here's something for a late afternoon tea party: mix 1 jigger of brandy with 2 cups of tea. Freeze in ice cube trays. Definitely not for the kiddies :-) Another hint, put ice tea glasses in the freezer an hour before the party.

Ice Tea Syrup
10 tea bags
3 cups sugar
3 cups water

Boil all ingredients for 10 minutes. This is a concentrate. Keep refrigerated. Mix in water five parts to one part tea syrup or to your own taste.

CFF Shared by Bob

Tea Bag Teas {Don't sneer yet :-)}

Teabags were accidently invented in 1904 by William Sullivan, a New York tea merchant. He hit upon the idea of sending samples to customers in hand sewn silk bags rather than the more common tea tins. He was soon flooded with orders - for tea in the convenient little bags.

Many tea aficionados both British and American, disdain teabags as inferior at best and sacrilgeious at worst..which reminds me of a funny story of my first trip to England. The hotel I stayed in would leave a pot of water, tea, cup and saucer by your bed every night. I was looking forward to my first cup of "real" tea, when much to my horror and disappointment, I saw they USED TEA BAGS! LOL

The tea particles in bags are smaller and brew more quickly. If you leave a tea bag to brew as long as you would the loose tea, you would get a cup that tastes like battery acid. Used properly, teabags make an acceptable cup of tea, especially when you feel lazy or are in a hurry. Teabags are a common sense convenience, however how the taste compares to loose tea is a question you must decide for yourself. 

Now, on to learning how to make a perfect pot of tea. And yes, we will eventually get to the recipes...I promise :-) I hope Helen approves a Yank telling people how to make tea....but then again, we Yanks are kinda pushy and know it alls anyway....LOL. By the way didya know that in ancient times tea leaves compressed into embossed bricks were used for money?

The Perfect Pot of Tea

Always start with fresh cold water, and bring it to a boil. While the water is boiling, prewarm your teapot by filling it with hot water from the tap. As soon as the water boils in the kettle, empty the tapwater from the teapot, and measure in your tea: approximately 1 teaspoon for each cup of tea (that's why it's called a teaspoon). Tradition demands you bring the teapot to the kettle and pour in the boiling water. Let steep for 3 to 5 minutes depending how strong you like your tea, and the tea you are using. Large leaves take a longer time. After the tea is brewed for the proper amount of time, use a small tea strainer over each cup as you pour the tea. There are tea balls, and perferated tea spoons that can be used to contain the tea. These can be used also, if you want to make an individual cup of tea and not a whole pot. When using a screw together tea ball, fill it only halfway because loose tea expands severalfold when it steeps.

How to Brew a Cup of Green Tea

1. Bring warm water just barely to the boiling point; the water should be piping hot, but not actually boiling. Green tea leaves are very delicate and the action of the bursting bubbles of a rolling boil is too violent for them.

2. Place a teaspoon or two of the leaves in a pot. Pour hot water over leaves, and let steep for just a minute or less. Pour into a cup.

By the way, always use fresh cold water, because if you use left-over boiled water, and reboil it, the oxygen is removed, and will not make a proper pot of tea...at least according to a British actor :-) There is also some controversy about using tea balls to contain the tea. Some people feel it doesnt allow the tea leaves to expand in order to brew with full flavor. 

Tea Classics 

The British, who invented the late afternoon tea, are also responsible for some classic tea time treats. 

Crumpets: Griddle cakes that develop surface holes as they cook; the better to catch melting butter. An acceptable substitute if you don't wish to make your own are English muffins you can buy in supermarkets and grocery stores. 

James Beard: "A cold day, a brisk fire in the grate, crumpets to toast and smother with butter and eat dripping with preserves between sips of hot, steaming tea, this is one of the great gastronomical treats." 

To make these, you will need crumpet rings, metal hoops that are placed in the middle of the griddle to contain the batter. A small opened at both ends can of cat food (emptied of course...LOL) will suffice. 

Crumpets 
1 1/2 tsp yeast 
2 cups warm milk 
4 cups all purpose flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
butter 

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm milk. Sift the flour and salt into a warmed bowl and let it stand in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes. Make a well in the center of the flour. Combine the yeast and the milk with 1 1/2 cups warm milk and pour this into the well. Stir it into the flour mixing thoroughly. The batter should be thin. If the flour absorbs the milk too much, add more warm milk. Cover with a clean towel, and stand in a warm place to rise for about 45 to 60 minutes. 

Grease a griddle and the crumpet rings. Place the crumpet ring on the griddle and heat well. Fill each ring with batter to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Cook until the crumpets are nicely browned on the bottom.  Then turn them over, remove the ring and finish cooking on the other side. The second side will be porous and not as brown. To eat, toast the crumpets, and butter lavishly on the porous side. Makes about 4 dozen. 

Scones: light, tender biscuits, served hot with jam and butter or clotted cream. Variations are unlimited. There are even some nice commercial mixes available. Just don't tell anyone :-) 

Basic Scones
1 1/2 cups self rising flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp butter or shortening
2/3 cup milk (sour milk or buttermilk can be substituted)

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly butter a baking sheet. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a bowl together. Rub or cut in the butter with your fingers into large flakey crumbs. Stir to a soft dough by mixing in the milk with a knife. Roll out to a thickness of around 1/2 inch, and cut into rounds with a pastry cutter about 2 or 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Arrange them on the baking sheet fairly close together. Powder their faces with flour. Bake 12-15 minutes. They will rise and turn golden. They can be served cold, but are excellent while still hot. Makes about 12.

From: The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea by Helen Simpson 1986

Scottish Scones 
2 cups flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp baking soda 
1/4 tsp salt 
2 tbsp sugar 
1 cup currants 
1/8 cup cold unsalted or lightly salted butter 
1 egg 
1/6 cup buttermilk or whipping cream 
1 egg white 
Strawberry preserves and whipping cream for garnish 

Put dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter and mix with fingers until mixture has the texture of coarse crumbs. Beat egg slightly, add buttermilk or cream, pour over flour mixture, and blend with a fork until soft dough forms. Turn dough on a lightly floured surface and knead 8 to 12 times. Pat into a circle and cut out 12 rounds, or cut into wedges. Brush tips of each scone with egg white. Bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tops are lightly brown. Serve warm with strawberry preserves and whipped cream. 

Source: Brink Bed & Breakfast, Calgary, Alberta, Canada 

Simon's Scones 
3 cups flour (unbleached white or whole-wheat pastry) 
1/8 cup sugar 
1/4 tsp baking soda 
2/4 tsp baking powder 
1/6 cup cold butter 
1 cup buttermilk 
Cinnamon sugar (see note) 

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and cut in with two forks or with fingers until the mixture is about the texture of coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the buttermilk. Stir with a fork until the mixture leaves the sides of the bowl. Add more buttermilk (about 1 tbsp) if necessary to bind the mixture. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Shape each into a 1/6-inch-high round on a greased cookie sheet. The two rounds will fit on one sheet. Score each round into 6 or 8 wedges with a knife, cutting 
almost to the bottom of the dough. Brush the tops of the dough with a little milk or cream, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar until lightly covered. Bake the rounds in the oven at 375 F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter, jam, or lemon curd. 

Note: To make cinnamon sugar, mix about 4 tbsp of cinnamon into each cup of sugar. Keep this mixture in a shaker that has fine holes so that you can shake it onto the bread quickly and easily.

Source: Old Thyme Inn, Half Moon Bay, California 

Double Chocolate Scones
Contributed by Laura 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
2 tsp baking powder 
3/4 tsp baking soda 
1/8 tsp salt 
1/2 cup butter or margarine 
1 beaten egg yolk 
8 oz plain yogurt 
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces 

Preheat oven to 375 F. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter or margarine with a pastry blender till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. 

Combine egg yolk and yogurt; add to dry ingredients. Add chocolate pieces. Stir mixture till moistened. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough 10 to 12 strokes or till dough is nearly smooth. Roll or pat dough into an 8 1/2-inch circle; cut in 10 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake for about 18 minutes or till bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Makes 10. 

Powdered Sugar Glaze: Stir together 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 
tbsp melted butter or margarine, 1 tsp milk, and 1 tsp vanilla in a small mixing bowl. Add more milk, 1/4 tsp at a time, till glaze is of drizzling consistency. 

Recipe By: Simply Perfect Chocolate, BH&G Pub, 1998 

This is an old English recipe that has been updated for modern cooks. Banbury cake is like a small fruit cake; it ages well if you store it in an airtight container. To make the cake extra special, you can soak it with brandy, rum, or cognac. Serves 8 to 12.

Banbury Cake
Contributed by Anne
4 lbs currants
3/4 cup cream, at room temperature
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature.
1 cup sugar
3 well-beaten eggs, at room temperature
2-1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt 

Preheat oven to 275 F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Place currants in a bowl; add cream and spices. Stir and set aside. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Sift together flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture, stirring well. Fold in currants and spiced cream. Bake in prepared pan two to three hours.

Lemon Curd: A thick sauce, about the consistency of pudding, that is spread on crumpets and muffins like jam. Also used for a filling for tarts. It can be purchased in gourmet food shops and many supermarkets in the jelly section. 

Lemon Curd
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp butter
1 lemon

Grate rind from lemon, squeeze out juice. Put the butter, sugar, rind and juice into a saucepan and melt the butter slowly. Add the egg well beaten, and stir until mixture thickens. Pour into a sterlized jar and cover. 

Another method is: Beat the rind, juice and egg together in a heat proof bowl. Cream the butter and sugar, and stir in the lemon mixture. Stand the basin over a pan of hot water and stir and beat occasionally until it thickens to bulky creaminess. Pour into a sterilized jar and cover.

Clotted Cream: It's believed that it was the Phoenicians in search of tin, who first brought clotted cream to Cornwall, and from Cornwall to Devon. The clotted cream from Cornwall differs from the rich yellow cream of Devon, in that it has a delicious buttery yellow crust on top, and it's consistency is thicker. It is usally made with whole cream (the Devonshire variety is made with creamy milk). A bowl of settled cream is put into a pan of hot water before being scalded. The pan is then removed from the heat and let stand for at least 24 hours in a cool place. The crusty cream will have settled on the top of the pan,  and can easily be removed with a slotted spoon. The skimmed or buttermilk left below the cream is put to good use in soups or sauce.  Devon/Clotted cream is available in limited areas here in the U.S. in some gourmet shops. If you live in or near New York City, it's available at the Garden of Eden, and also Macy's Cellar might still carry it as well. An acceptable substitute is unsweetened whipped cream. 

Tea Sandwiches

Of course tea sandwiches and dainty pastries are an important part of afternoon tea as well.

The list for fillings of tea sandwiches is long and very varied. But there is one rule that holds for all of them: the crusts of the breads must be cut off, and the sandwiches should be small and thin. No deli-sized sandwiches here, not even for the men's savoury tea :-) The good thing about having finger sandwiches for a tea is they can be prepared in advance and refrigerated, using the following method: before refrigeration, cover the sandwiches first with clear plastic wrap, and then a moist (not wet) tea towel. This will keep the sandwiches fresh as if you just made them a few moments ago.  To serve 8 guests, make about 4 dozen sandwiches, more if there aren't many other items on the menu. And now onto the sandwich ideas. 

I'm sure you will be able to come up with many  other ideas on your own. Remember, to keep the sandwiches thin, use thin sliced bread if you can find it. Use a nice firm bread. The bread should be a day old. Also, assemble and refrigerate the sandwiches before you cut them. It's easier to cut when the bread is cold. 

You can also cut them into interesting shapes if you have different kinds of cookie cutters. If not, cut the sandwiches in half, then in half again, or in 4 different pieces the vertical way. You can also cut them into triangles as well. Use your prettiest plates to pile the sandwiches on, and remember they don't have to match. Here are some nice ideas for starters, and do come back to our Tea Shoppe from time to time for a visit, since I'll be adding more to the menu :-)

Bev 

Salad of minced shrimp, mayonnaise (homemade is great) finely diced celery, and a pinch of cayenne pepper to put a bit of a kick in it. 

Canned devilled ham on thin brown bread with butter, or dijon mustard. 

Very thin slices of cucumber or tomato slices on thin brown bread spread with butter. 

Skinless, boneless sardines on brown bread with very thin slices of cucumber on brown bread spread with butter. 

Sprigs of watercress on buttered white bread, chilled and rolled to form a cylinder. 

A spear of canned or fresh cooked asparagus on white buttered bread, rolled into a cylinder. You can also wrap a piece of ham around the asparagus. 

Thin slices of brie chees with very thin ripe tomato slices on lightly buttered white bread.

Chop 4 hard cooked eggs, mix with 1/4 cup mayonnaise (or half mayo and 1/2 plain yogurt) and curry powder to taste. Spread on bread. Cut into fingers and garnish bread with round slices of black or green olives. 

Roquefort & Pear Brioche Slices 
4 slices brioche or other firm bread 
1/2 cup cottage cheese 
4 oz roquefort, sliced (or subsitute Brie for a milder flavor) 
Few slices of your favorite lettuce 
1 ripe pear, quarterd, cored and sliced thin 
Juice of 1/2 lemon 
Chopped nutes to garnish 

1. Toast bread slices under the broiler, and spread them with the cottage cheese. Place the sliced roquefort on top. Arrange a small piece of either arugual or lettuce on top of the cheese. 

2. Brush the pear slices with lemon juice to prevent them from discoloring; then arrange them on top of the cheese overlapping in a fan shape. 

3. Garnish the top with chopped nuts. 

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels 
1 small unsliced loaf of brown bread 
1 small lemon 
6 Tbs softenend butter 
1 Tbs chopped fresh dill 
8 oz smoked salmon slices 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 sprig fresh dill to garnish 

Slice the loaf of bread carefully along it's length to form 8 thin long slices. Cut off the crusts. Use a grater to grate the lemon rind finely, and beat rind into the butter with the dill. 

Spread each slice of bread with the lemon flavored butter and arrange smoked salmon slices over the bread, leaving a strip of buttered bread at one short end. Grind some pepper over the top. With the salmon covered short end toward you, roll up the bread carefully and tightly like a jelly roll. The buttered end will ensure that the bread sticks together. 

Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. This will help the filling and bread to set in the rolled position, so that it does not unwind when sliced. 

Using a sharp serated bread knife, carefully cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the slices attractively on a plate and garnish with a sprig of dill. Makes 56 pinwheels. 

Potted Meat Sandwiches 
Left over roast beef or ham 
Softened butter 
Pinch of curry powder (optional) 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
Thinly sliced white or brown bread 

Finely mince the meat in a food processor and add enough softened butter to bind together. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of curry powder. Lightly butter the bread and spread with the potted meat in an even, reasonably generous layer. Top with the second slice of bread. Press lightly together; trim off the crusts, and cut into neat fingers. 

This next cucumber sandwich is from our Lauri's friend, Lucie.  It's Lauri's favorite sandwich. 

Lucie's Cucumber Sandwiches 
4 small cucumbers (Kirby pickling cucumbers if you can find them) 
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/2 cup cream cheese 
16 slices of bread (I usually use white) 
4 scallions, finely chopped 
1/4 cup parsley, chopped 

Earlier in the day, if possible, prepare the cucumbers by peeling and thinly slicing them, salting them lightly and leaving them to drain in a colander for an hour or so. It's better if the cucumbers are dried out a bit. Then mix the mayo and cream cheese together with a fork and add the scallions. 

Slice off the crusts of the bread and roll the slices a bit with a rolling pin. Spread one slice of the bread with the mayo/cream cheese mixture. Cover lightly with chopped parsley and cover with another slice of bread and press down on it a bit. This recipe makes 32 little triangles of sandwiches.

Orange Tea Cakes
4 oz butter
4 oz sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Topping:
2 oz softened butter
2 oz icing sugar (confectioners')
2 tsp orange juice

Makes around 12. Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 12 to 16 small bun tin. Beat the
butter with the sugar to a light pale cream. Beat in the eggs well. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add the orange and zest and fold together. Put 1 tablespoon into each tin and bake for around 15 minutes until well risen and brown. Cool on a rack. For the topping, beat the butter, sugar and orange juice to a cream and spread on top.

English Scones
8 oz plain flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
2 oz butter
1 pz caster sugar
1 pinch salt
5 fluid oz milk
1 egg, beaten, to glaze

Preheat oven to gas mark 7, 425 F (220C). Flour a large baking sheet. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Rub butter into flour, using fingertips. Stir in sugar, then take a knife and use it to mix in milk, little by little. Using floured hands, knead to a soft dough, adding more milk if neccessary.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to a thickness of not less than 3/4". Cut into pieces, or use a fluted pastry cutter. Place scones on baking sheet, brush with egg and bake near top of oven for 7-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and eat slightly warm. 

Serving Ideas: Serve with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Serves 4.

Notes: Always eat scones as fresh as possible as they go stale quickly. They freeze well, but eat within a month of freezing.

CFF Shared by Helen

Yorkshire Fat Rascals
1 lb plain flour
8 oz butter
4 oz currants
2 oz brown sugar
1 pinch  salt
Milk, to bind
Icing sugar, to dust

Rub the butter into the flour, add the currants, sugar and salt and mix to a slack dough with the milk. Roll out to 1/2" thick, cut into rounds and dust with icing sugar.

Put on a greased baking sheet and bake in a moderately hot oven until lightly browned.

Note: Traditionally served at 'high tea'.

CFF Shared by Helen

Nepali Spiced Tea Recipe
1 pkg spiced tea pouch
4 cups boiling water
1 to 2 cups warm milk 
Sweetener to taste

Steep the tea in water for 3-5 minutes. Add 1-2 cups warm milk. Add
sweetener to taste.

CFF Shared by Bob

Caribbean Tea Splash
4 cups water
4 Lipton cup size tea bags
1 cup chilled pineapple juice
1 cup cream of coconut
1 cup ice cubes

In medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags; cover and brew 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and chill. In blender, in two batches, process chilled tea, pineapple juice, cream of coconut and ice cubes until smooth. Serve immediately.

CFF Shared by Bob

Reference Materials for this site are:

I have used the following books for my research into tea history and tea lore, as well as recipes. 

Tea-Time at the Inn: A Country Inn Cookbook by Gail Greco ($24.95
ISBN 1-55853-120-3)

The New York Book of Tea: Where to Take Tea Buy Tea & Teaware by Bo Niles & Veronica McNiff ($16.00 ISBN 1-885492-37-5)

Country Tea Parties by Maggie Stuckey ($14.95 ISBN 0-88266-935-4)

The Teatime Cookbook by Steffi Berne ($25.00 ISBN 0-679-42144-0)

The above books may be ordered from David: Books369@aol.com at 60% off retail if still available.

Bev 

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