FAITH-FILLED LIVING | SWEET TREASURES | SIMPLE PLEASURES

Aug 23, 2008

Random Madness

At 50 years old I've reverted back to my adolescence! I'm writing on walls, SuperPoking people, describing menial tasks, designing Pieces of Flair, and asking people to be my friends. Oh, and I'm using my best bargaining powers saying, "If you'll be my friend I'll let you play with my Barbie," or "You can ride my tricycle 2 times around the block." I've haven't been rejected yet, but I'm prepared to play hopscotch alone.

"How did this happen?" you ask. Well, my Pastor's wife invited me to join Facebook. Even my Pastor has been writing random things on my Facebook wall. Everyday, more of our church members are emerging from their refinement, leaping like little lambs in an unfenced pasture. And you know what? It's kind of fun...

Do YOU want to be my Facebook friend? I'll let you have my all-day sucker. (I've only licked it 3 times.) I'm listed under Karen June Miller.

NOTE: Miss Shabby alerted me to a Tea Personality Quiz. The link and the results of my quiz can be found on the bottom right sidebar...almost at the end.

Aug 22, 2008

Teahouse of the August Spoon - 12

TURKEY-ORANGE SANDWICHES
Fifty Favorite Tea Sandwiches - Anne Ennie

Thinly sliced roasted turkey breast
Orange marmalade
Small can mandarin orange slices
Rye bread, buttered

Place turkey on both slices of buttered bread. Spread marmalade lightly on turkey of one, top with the other. Trim crusts and cut into tea sandwiches. Spear orange slice to top of each sandwich.

TEA PARTY TIP FROM ANNE ENNIS:
Remember to butter the bread before putting the filling in your tea sandwiches. This helps "seal" the bread so it won't get limp or soggy. Margarine can be used in place of butter. It's not really necessary to butter the bread if you're applying a cream cheese based filling directly on the bread; however, I always do.

Be sure to comment on your favorite teatime treats in the previous post.

Aug 21, 2008

Teahouse of the August Spoon - 11

WHAT MAKES YOUR KETTLE SING?

I would love to know what your favorite teatime (or coffee break) yummies are. You may share recipes and/or thoughts in the comments of this post. Now mind you, I'm not looking for buttered toast or Pop Tarts here... I'm interested in the little luxuries that make our beverage breaks an indulgence. It can be anything from finger sandwiches to pot pie to delectable desserts. I will highlight your recipes and comments in an upcoming post! So, do tell...

Aug 20, 2008

Teahouse of the August Spoon - 10

On the wings of yesterday's post, let's take a moment to discuss the new image of teabags. First, allow me to say that while growing up, the staple tea in my home was Orange Pekoe, packaged in teabags. Until recently, I thought the name Orange Pekoe indicated the flavor of the tea. Not so. Actually, it refers to the grade of the tea. Sean Paajanen at About.com shares, "It's a good grade, but not a great grade. The grade is based on leaf size, but even Orange Pekoe tea is an inferior tea to a true whole leaf tea."

The newest trend in tea bags is the innovation of placing premium loose tea in elegant silken sachets. It's akin to using tea balls or mesh infusers, but with the convenience of discarding the entire sachet. It permits the tea to expand properly, enabling it to release all of the essential notes of flavor. It is important to know that even when using steeping tools like tea balls, you should always allow for expansion.

Check out
Harney & Sons, Master Tea Blenders for superb tea choices in silk sachets.

Aug 19, 2008

Teahouse of the August Spoon - 9

Early on, my tea experiences were solely with teabags, and I usually took tea with my sugar. On rainy days or trips to Chinese food restaurants, I drank multiple cups of tea, definitely favoring the sweetness. I treated iced tea much the same. Later, I learned to like tea without the sugar. I became more sensitive to the complexities of tea and eventually exchanged teabags for loose tea.

In my opinion, loose tea is to the teabag what French Press is to brewed coffee. There is a marked difference in flavor, aroma, and nuance.

Sean Paajanen at About.com makes this comparison:
The main difference between loose teas and bagged teas is the size of the leaves. That's what effects the resulting cup of tea. Tea leaves contain chemicals and essential oils, which are the basis for the delightful flavour of tea. When the tea leaves are broken up, those oils can evaporate, leaving a dull and tasteless tea. Typical tea bags are filled with the tiniest pieces of broken leaves, called fannings. Loose teas are typically whole leaves or at least large pieces of leaves.

On top of the leaf size, there is also the space factor. Tea leaves need space to swell, expand and unfurl. Good water circulation around the leaves is important, which doesn't typically happen in a cramped little tea bag.

Tomorrow, we'll discuss how tea bags have received a new reputation...

NOTE:
There's a $25 Whole Foods Gift Card Giveaway at dkMommy Spot. Diane's motto is, "Chemical Free Living for You and Your Little Sprouts." You have until midnight EST on Friday, August 22, 2008, to enter.