Friday, June 10, 2011
Tea with Karleen
Yesterday I went to visit Lucy and Chalupa. . .and my friend, Karleen. I was eager to hear about Karleen's holiday in England and to learn about the places she visited with her family. We usually have a cup or two of tea when we are together, so this time I said I'd bring scones. Karleen said she'd think of something to make as well, and by the time we got together, a full-blown, impromptu tea party had developed.
Our menu consisted of a variety of tea sandwiches, raw veggies, a leafy green salad, chips, rosemary crackers with fontina cheese, scones with strawberry jam, s'mores brownie bars, and chocolate and lemon tarts with fruit compote.
Karleen moved a drop-leafed table into her living room and set it right in front of the picture window. The view of the river and all its activity created an ambiance as fine as the best restaurant in town.
Our tea of the day was Ti Kuan Yin, a gift from my friend, Marilyn, who just returned from visiting Taiwan and the tea plantation where it was grown. The tea was delicious, rich, and soothing. I especially enjoyed the appearance of the individually rolled leaves and how they unfurled as they steeped.
We decorated with miniature roses. Completely unplanned, Karleen picked some of hers and I picked some of mine. When we got together we discovered that we had each picked the exact same color combination: yellow, peach, and white. How cool is that?
Karleen's tiered tray was beautiful and I wondered where she got it. At the end of our luncheon she asked me if I recognized what she had done. She had made the tiered tray from two glass plates, two crystal candlesticks, and adhesive. She said the instructions on the blog she'd read that gave directions spray painted theirs in a bright color, but she decided to leave hers as clear glass. I thought it was beautiful that way and went well with the glass water pitcher and goblets.
While we were eating, several barges and tugboats motored on by. It's always interesting to observe them as they head upriver to Idaho to load up with wheat to transport to the closest sea port.
Our scones were special on this occasion, as I used Eve Hill's Kensington Palace Scone recipe. I must say that they were the best scones I have ever eaten, and I give all the credit to her fabulous recipe! Eve is an online "tea friend" and she received this recipe from Ernest Titmuss, a shop owner who sells teapots and other fine things on Kensington Church Street in London. He once sold a Royal Doulton tea set to Princess Diana. Her butler, Mr. Brown, picked it up from the shop and sometime during the exchange shared the recipe for scones that he frequently made for the princess and her family. Later Mr. Titmuss shared the recipe with Eve. Isn't it interesting how something as simple as a recipe can be exchanged, laden with meaning and memories?
The afternoon flew by! Time goes quickly when shared with a lovely friend. In my next post I will share pictures and descriptions of the beautiful gifts Karleen brought to me from London. So, come back, y'all!