Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Constant Comment

Hi everyone!  You've probably been wondering where I have been.  I'm going to be taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks--I should be back by the middle of May.  But first, I wanted to share the new constant comment box of teas I bought for work.

This box celebrates the 70th anniversary of Bigelow--and Constant Comment!  The box included an assortment of different pictures on the teabags to commemorate the growth of the company:

I really enjoyed the surprise and going through the different pictures.  Of course, what was inside was good too!

(yes, I still have my shamrock plant's doing so well in my window, I've just let it be for now.  Maybe I'll try and put it in a pot for summer!)
Instead of blogging last weekend, I started on my gardening for the summer. 
Unfortunately, I lost some pots last year, including some of my teacup pots.  Of course, I couldn't find new ones to replace them, so I had to make do with regular pots.  I'm trying a couple of different plants this year:
sweet basil,

and lemon balm!  Supposedly, it is good with tea :).
Here is one of my two remaining teacup pots--this one with the lavender I'm trying yet again.  I haven't had much luck in the past--maybe 3rd time's the charm?  

I was sad that I was too busy at work to visit the cherry blossoms during my lunch hour (see here for previous D.C. Cherry blossoms), so I'll just have to enjoy the one in my backyard that is finally getting a bit bigger :)  If you look closely, you can see my daffodils in the woods out back.

Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back in just a few weeks!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Orange blossom scones

Finally I'm posting the recipe for the scones from last week.  Sorry it took me so long!  These turned out really good, and worked with the flower cutter I used. 

Orange Blossom Scones
2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cardamom
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup currants
(I also threw a handful of some extra dried blueberries I had in--delicious!)
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup heavy cream
1.  Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom.  Whisk them to mix. 
2.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender. 
3.  Toss in currants to coat. 
4.  Mix cream and extracts and add to flour mixture until just mixed. 
5.  On a floured surface, pat out scones until about 1/2 inch and cut out with a cutter.  
6.  Place on baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sprinkle on decorative sugar if desired.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until lightly brown. 
The nice thing about this recipe is that the scones still taste good the next day!   I think almost as good as fresh.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Daisies and an Old Mill

My planned tea party for this week was to do a flower of the month tea party for this year's series on Teatime Journeys (click on the flower of the month label for previous month's posts).  April's flower is either a daisy or a sweet pea--unfortunately neither show up in my china collection.   Or, at least, none showed up until I remembered that my new Easter teapot has a bunny in a field of daisies!

Yesterday was gorgeous outside, so I set a little tea out on my deck, with a vase full of daisies of course.  I wasn't quite ready to give up on my Easter decorations, so I placed two Easter eggs in the vase as well. 
Since I did share this teapot just last week (along with the creamer, but I couldn't resist--the bunny is just too cute!), I brought out another one of my landscape/cottage-like sets to share, this one Royal Albert's The Old Mill.

Here from the brow of the hill I look,
Through a lattice of boughs and leaves,
On the old gray mill with its gambrel roof,
And the moss on its rotting eaves.
I hear the clatter that jars its walls,
And the rushing water’s sound,
And I see the black floats rise and fall
As the wheel goes slowly round.

Excerpt from The Old Mill by Thomas Dunn English

Royal Albert produced The Old Mill in the 1950s.  This pattern reminds me of Chapman Mill, located just in the next town over, which was originally built in 1742.  It was used as a mill off an on through 1951, with even the Civil War being fought around it (the battle of Thoroughfare Gap). 
Beverley Mill
(picture from the Chapman mill site)
Unfortunately the mill, which had been restored after the Civil War, burned in 1998 after an arsonist set fire to it, so all that is left now are ruins. 
mill and store
(picture from the Chapman mill site.)
 The mill is located right next to the Bull Run Mountain park, which has trails that take you by the mill and make for a beautiful walk.  I'll leave you with a bit of my woods (with daffodils!) and one last picture of my tea before I say good night.
 Thanks for joining me!  I'm joining these tea parties:
Bernideen's Friends Sharing Tea 
Rose Chintz Cottage's Tea Time Tuesday

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to you!
I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  I visited my parents' house to join them for church and a wonderful ham dinner...and my Easter basket :)
My dad decorates two dogwoods in his front yard with plastic eggs--they are always so beautiful.  Unfortunately this Easter they aren't blooming, but they are still pretty and colorful with all the different eggs!
I know I owe you all a scone recipe, I'll post it on Tuesday after tomorrow's tea party...sorry, this week just got away from me!