Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Teasday!

A field of tea in Sri Lanka
~Tea leaves and bud~
Here we are again on teasday and we have a winner! Congratulations Pat! You won this week's give-away by random number (not picked by myself). I was so impressed that everyone knew the answer! It was, of course, the bergamot oil (an oil from the rind of the fruit of Citrus Bergamia.) Thank you for playing! Pat, send me your address and I'll send out your sample tea to you. You are getting French Creme Brulee!

Here is next week's trivia question:

What is the name of the ruler that is attributed to the discovery of tea around 2737 B.C?

I just love learning about tea. The story of how it began is very interesting. I just wonder if it really happened that way. We will never know. Supposedly, ________ was walking in his garden sipping hot, boiled water when a leaf from a nearby tea bush fell in his cup. He tasted and smelled the infusion and decided it was a great improvement over plain hot water. Thus, tea drinking began. Until the end of the sixth century, tea continued to be drunk primarily as a remedy for illnesses.

Did you know that herbal teas are not teas at all but combinations of herbs, roots, and/or bark that is infused in hot water in a manner similar to that of tea? Interesting!

Put on the tea kettle, find your favorite book or magazine and take 15 minutes for yourself today. Your soul will be recharged and better able to tackle whatever task you have at hand.

Until next time.....

Friday, June 20, 2008

100 years of tea bags

100 years of tea bags



Elaine let me know that it is the 100 year anniversary of the tea bag! It happened quite by accident that they even came to be. Thomas Sullivan invented the tea bags by trying to cut costs and provide sample teas to his clients. He used silk sachets. His customers missunderstood and didn't realize they were meant to cut the bags open. They put the whole sachet in the pot and it became an instant success. Not everyone was happy about this new way of brewing tea. Many English were used to brewing tea leaves the old fashioned way and weren't about to change. Many credit the tea bag with saving the industry though. They feel that in today's busy pace, brewing tea the old fashioned way just wasn't possible. My opinion is that I love the ritual of brewing tea the old way. I guess I agree with some of the die hard English that it takes away from the tea itself to prepare it incorrectly. I'm just glad that some traditions do not die and are handed down to each generation. It's nice though that you can brew your tea in either method you prefer thanks to Mr.Sullivan.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Teas-day again!

The tea wall. I love trying new flavors.
One of the best selling books at the Ivy Leaf and now available in our etsy shop.

Where did the week go? It feels like just yesterday we were having teas-day. We do have a winner! It is Jillian A. You got it right! White tea is actually 5 times higher in antioxidants than green. Black teas are the lowest, but they are still higher than coffee. The white tea takes just seconds to brew and has little to no flavor. Thanks for playing! You are getting a sample of French Creme Brulee-enjoy!

A couple of new things to tell you about at the Ivy Leaf. The first is that we are adding six new flavors of loose teas to the etsy store. They are not new at the Ivy Leaf. These are the top sellers in the tea room. We will be adding more each week. Try some, I know you'll be so glad you did.

Secondly, we also are adding in some great tea themed books in the etsy shop. These are among some of our very favorites. If you are looking for the right gift to give someone special, consider one of these. A tin of tea and a lovely book would make a beautiful and much appreciated gift.

And now, here's next week's trivia question:

Earl Grey is a favorite tea for many including the Queen. A special oil makes it's unique flavor. What is it?

Wishing you joy,


p.s. I gave you a blueberry scone recipe last post. Why not try the blueberry delight tea? It's one of my personal favorites. Add a little cream and sugar-delicious!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Blueberry Heaven

Don't you just love a plump, ripe, sweet blueberry? We sure do! We went berry picking on Thursday and got 2 buckets full. The weather was perfect because it was cloudy and overcast. If you live in the area (Fl. panhandle) go to Baker and turn at Acres of Strawberries. Go down a couple of miles til you see Copper Creek Farms. The berries are just getting ripe. In a week or two, it will be loaded down.

Here's a fantastic blueberry scone recipe.

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup light cream

1 egg yolk

1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 425. Combine flours, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Beat cream and egg yolk together and add dry ingredients. Stir with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber scraper. Turn out on a floured surface and knead gently about 6 times to form a ball. Pat dough into a circle about 3/4" thick. Carefully place on greased baking sheet. Mark off eight wedges with a sharp knife. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Sprinke with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned. Break into wedges an serve with hot butter.

I hope you all have a Happy Father's Day!

If you have your Father with you, don't forget to tell him what he means to you.

p.s. new trivia question in the previous post for Teas-day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yeah! It's give-away Teas-day!

Happy Teas-day! We have a winner! Lynne, you won! The correct answer was: Watch the hostess and do as she does. Now I have to tell you, if I were at a really good friend's house, I would just tell her. But, we were talking about proper etiquette in a formal setting. Thanks for playing everyone! Lynne, send me your address and I will send your tea right out to you. You are getting my favorite, French Creme Brulee!

Here's next weeks trivia question:

Which loose tea has the most antioxidants?




No googling! Just guess for fun!

Now, here's that vanilla scone recipe I promised last post. It is delicious and even my boys enjoyed helping make these. O.k, we didn't get them perfect looking-but they were good!

Vanilla scones-makes 12 scones

2 cups self-rising flour

1/3 cup sugar

6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/3 cup buttermilk*

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 large egg

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 egg white, lightly beaten

2 tbsp. vanilla flavored sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, cream, egg, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds. Add to flour mixture, and stir until dough is just combined; dough will be sticky.

4. Divide dough into two balls. On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough into a 6 x 1/2 inch circle; cut into 6 wedges. Repeat process for remaining dough.

5. Brush scones with egg white and sprinkle with vanilla-flavored sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets; bake 9-11 minutes, or until lightly browned. yumm!

*we substituted sour cream.
Have a blessed day!
111 John 2

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tea Jewelry & Mock Clotted Cream

I know we're all busy, but a hope of mine is that you can come visit us here, have a cup of tea and enjoy a few moments just for you. I crave a little "down time" and get excited like it's Christmas when I get a new magazine or book in the mail. I think about it until I have the chance to really sit down and enjoy it. I will strive to make this such a place that you will look forward to visiting.
Something new at the Ivy Leaf is my handcrafted jewelry. I am just getting my tea themed jewelry ready for the shop, so I thought I'd show you a sneak peek here. If you like it and you do not live near the Ivy Leaf, it will also be available in the etsy shop. Click on the link there for more information. They are made from non-toxic, lead-free silver and are double encased in glass. On the reverse, the paper used is from a 1904 poetry book. The charm is crystal and pearl. I will be adding several style in the next few weeks.

Here's a wonderful recipe for Mock Clotted Cream:
It makes 1 & 1/2 cups

1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioner' sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat until smooth. Add cream and vanilla extract; beat until light and fluffy.
I love clotted cream on my scones and have a wonderful vanilla scone recipe I will share with you next time.

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.~Henry James

Wishing you many quiet moments,


p.s. Don't forget to answer the trivia question below to be entered in our weekly drawing!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's Give-away "Teas"day!!

Happy Birthday!!

And the winner is........Sherry/Cherie!! The correct answer was Twinings Earl Grey!
Thanks for playing! Please send me the address you would like your tea sent to. You have won a free sample of Morning Sunshine! Read the previous posts to see the description. I think you'll love it!!
O.k. ~ next on the agenda is to tell you the next trivia question for next weeks give-away. Tuesday I will announce the next winner. All you need to do to enter is comment on this blog-any post you choose. If you like, you can just answer the trivia question each week. That will also enter your name. If nobody gets the correct answer or if more than one get it right, we will choose by random number.
Here it is:

You've been invited to tea and you have no idea about proper tea etiquette. What do you do?
a. tell the hostess upfront when you arrive.
b. watch the hostess and do as she does.
c. ask the person beside you what you're supposed to do.

Today at the Ivy Leaf Tea Parlor we had a wonderful time laughing, talking, dressing up and in general just enjoying time together. We also had a birthday girl who was enjoying her birthday with friends. Having tea together is all about making memories and taking the time to enjoy.
On the next post, I will share a delicious summertime tea recipe and tea tip of the week. Don't forget to visit our etsy store for our new additions to the shop. Click on the link on the left.

Wishing you everyday beauty~