Tea time. For many years, it was a special occasion when I traveled to England and had tea at Harrods or for a bridal shower. But when my children were about four or five and we were beginning to homeschool, I started serving tea in the afternoon with a little snack. Sometimes, I used store-bought cookies or made pretzels or little sandwiches. It was an opportune time to reinforce manners (still is!). I shared poems and art books with my children, and often we listened to classical music. They loved it. Seriously, even my son loved it. What boy doesn’t like food? Now, that they’re older, we don’t have time for tea every day, but we try to have it at least once a week. It’s a great way for us to come together and share about our day, to talk about books we’re reading, to discuss what activities are coming up on our schedule. Time together is precious, and tea-time is a delicious time for us to share, not only good food but our hearts. Here are three of my favorite recipes:
Scones! There is nothing better on a cold afternoon than hot tea (Earl Grey or Yorkshire) and scones. My hint: add a little extra heavy cream…or maybe a little more. It keeps the scones nice and moist. On the side, serve butter at room temperature, mixed with a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar. This is a great way to great your kids after school. It’s fun to sit around and chat about our day.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes! Let me just say one word: YUM! Child-tested, these cupcakes were a huge hit! You can serve these with hot tea or iced tea, depending on the weather.
I was late writing a blog today, and for good reason–though I didn’t know it at the time! There’s been so much sadness and controversy in the news lately that it was a delight to hear that Prince William and Duchess Kate have a baby boy, a prince, a future King of England. It has made me a bit nostalgic, remembering back to a royal wedding to beat all royal weddings–Diana and Charles–and the joy at the birth of William. Yet that castle of cards came tumbling down. It’s sad that Diana isn’t here to experience this joy in her family. But it’s always a joy to welcome a baby!
I do love England, and I’ve so enjoyed visiting across the pond a few times. One of our favorite things to do here and while in England is to have tea. So in celebration of the royal birth, we’re having a tea party! Please pull up a chair and join us!
Of course, you need tea. Earl Grey is a lovely choice, but I also like the Royal Blend, which we found at Fortnum and Mason I prefer to use raw sugar and a little milk in my tea. How about you?
If you don’t have time or the ingredients to make scones or cupcakes (and really you should run out to the store immediately to rectify that situation!), but you still want to enjoy some tea, then make some delicious strawberry butter and glob it onto some toast. You will not be sorry.
And it will be just like you are in merry ol’ England celebrating with the other royal subjects! Cheers, to all our British friends and congrats to the royal family!