Thursday, December 13, 2007

Teatime circa 1959

Retro books can be fun to look at, and I especially enjoy reading the sections about the coffee and tea services of the past. I have several vintage cookbooks that have sections on teatime, and one of the most fun is this Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Cook Book from 1959. It is truly a blast from the past! Just looking at the cover makes me want to go put on some Dean Martin Christmas music.

The caption on this photo notes that "Tutti-frutti Tea Ring is hub of basket."

And the section on "Teas and tea luncheons" is quite quaint, although the tea-making advice back in the day would no doubt strike most of us as WRONG: "Black tea, green tea, oolong, and exotic perfumed teas differ only in processing. They may come from the same tea plant and are brewed in the same way." And yes, they mean just that! It goes on to say you should steep ALL teas in boiling water for 5 minutes. Imagine!

More helpful is the chart at the back of the book which shows the suggested set-up for a party tea tray and for a more formal tea. And there are also step-by-step photos for creating their "dainty" checkerboard or diamond-shaped tea sandwiches. If you see this book on eBay or at an antique shop one day, it would be a fun addition to your tea library.

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