Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Barack Obama & Green Tea

So there I was, innocently watching the Today Show this morning with Meredith Vieira interviewing Barack Obama out on the Memorial Day campaign trail. (I should note that Obama could not have had a better time than I had at the Senoia Memorial Day parade and festivities yesterday. What a great job they did of honoring fallen soldiers and saluting those on hand to help celebrate.) Anyway ... Meredith asked Barack if there was anything he HAD to have with him on the campaign trail, and he said, "I like a certain brand of green tea." So there you go! Our first candidate who has declared his loyalty to tea, and healthy, hip green tea at that. I'm impressed! Now, to find out where the other candidates stand on this important issue ...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tea & Roses

Love roses? Me, too! I have various linens, tea towels, tea sets (of course), Christmas ornaments, journals, jewelry and lots of fabric (thank you, Heritage Quilts!) with beautiful designs of roses on them, and I can never seem to get enough of this lovely flower.

And while my favorite color is pink, this spring I've had the pleasure of discovering I actually like all the brightly colored roses planted by previous owners of my home. Because DH and I bought our house after the prime blooming season last year, I never knew what color these blossoms would be until they started blooming this spring. Deep reds, yellows, coral and a very pretty, ruffledy hot pink ... all just beautiful. (The vintage pitcher was a b'day gift from my friend Holly, and the perfect container!)

I even like the flavor of roses. If any of you are bargain shoppers like me and come across some Elizabethan Rose Petal and Quince Jelly, grab it and enjoy it! I love the stuff on scones, but I don't see it in stores anymore, and I'm too cheap to spend $10 online for shipping for a $6-7 jar of jelly. I do, however, still have some Rose Congou (china black) tea, a perfect blend to sip while enjoying roses.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

White Tea to Go - In Style!

I was very happy with Lipton's Tea to Go mixes when they first came out, and I'd often travel to neighboring counties' grocery stores in pursuit of the hard-to-find Mandarin and Mango flavor, which was addictive. Now I've got a new favorite: the White Tea to Go in Apple Cranberry. It is great! I carry these little packets in my purse or tote bag to work, and then just fill up a water bottle, shake, and voila, sugar-free, delicious, cool tea.

And if you want to drink your tea in style, here's a "tea craft" I was inspired to make after reading Somerset Life, a great new crafts magazine. Basically, you take a 16- or 20-ounce water bottle and use glue (Elmer's) to embellish the bottle with fabric and jewelry findings and pretty trims. My friend Deberah has pointed out that if you stitched up this fabric piece with Velcro fasteners instead of gluing it, you could whip it off and run the water bottle through the dishwasher.

The slightly over-the-top bottle with the tassels is the one I have for myself at the office; the other two were gifts for friends.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cold-brewed tea

A summer or two ago, I discovered the delights of cold-brewed tea. When the weather heats up, who, really, wants to slave over a hot stove? I was surprised to learn that you can place teabags, or even loose tea leaves, in a pitcher of water in the fridge overnight, and in the morning voila, you have nice, flavorful tea! I've tried this with fruity teabags (mango is particularly nice) and, more recently, with a half tin of looseleaf English Breakfast Tea that was getting a little age on it. Cold-brewed, it is just yummy, and perfect for enjoying in a nice, tall glass filled with ice and a little sweetener. If you've never made cold-brewed tea, you really might give it a try. (This one is Angel Falls Mist, a strawberry and lemon herbal blend, good if you're looking for a nice caffeine-free tea.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tea Time editor is new Victoria editor

I know I'm not the only woman in Newnan who was sorry to see Victoria Magazine close its doors in 2003. Actually, to many of us, the magazine "as we knew it" ended several years earlier, when Victoria's heart and soul, founding editor Nancy Lindemeyer, departed. The folks at Hearst, in an astonishing lack of understanding of its readership, decided we no longer wanted a pretty, feminine, thoughtful magazine, but instead gave us something that looked like House Beautiful hybridized with Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living. As Queen Victoria said, "We were not amused." By the time the magazine folded, many of us were so upset at its change in direction that its departure was perhaps easier on the spirit than the ongoing slaughter of our beloved magazine. So I kept my 177 issues and have happily, if wistfully, re-read them each month.

Then, in late April, came word that Hoffman Media in Birmingham, Ala. has partnered with Hearst to revive Victoria! I belong to an Internet chat group of Victoria lovers who have been all abuzz with news of the magazine's return. We are cautiously optimistic and eager to have "our" magazine back. Victoria was largely responsible for creating my fondness for tea, teatime rituals and teawares. Since Hoffman's other magazines (Southern Lady, Tea Time) do feature tea, I felt quite satisfied that the new Victoria will be bringing us more tea news as well. Yesterday, I learned that the new editor of Victoria will be Barbara Cockerham, editor of Tea Time. Good news for tea lovers and for Victoria lovers, I suspect ...

Cutty Sark fire

Tea lovers around the world must be saddened, as I was, to hear about the devastating fire aboard the Cutty Sark yesterday. The world-famous tea clipper, built in 1869, was one of those ships which famously raced to China in pursuit of the season's first tea. I visited Cutty Sark a few years ago and marveled at the beautiful woodwork on deck, and then at the wonderful collection of ship figureheads below. I certainly wish the old ship well in the ongoing restoration efforts, which are no doubt greatly hindered by this tragic fire.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Birthday Tea Goodies

My birthday was earlier this month, and among the unique goodies I received from friends were some tea soaps, something I've never seen before! Green Tea, Earl Grey, Darjeeling ... they're from Scotland, and in a box so pretty I still haven't removed the packaging yet, but I'm just so very intrigued that the love of tea has now extended to the world of beautiful soaps. Wonderful!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Queen's Hats

I have long said that if I could have my "fantasy tea party" one day, the Queen would definitely be included. Haven't you loved the hats she's been wearing all week?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tea & The Queen

This morning on the Today Show they interviewed the chef at the Kentucky Derby who will be preparing tea for Queen Elizabeth on Saturday. He said he'd learned more about tea than he'd ever known before, to which I say, "Thank goodness." My colleague Nichole pointed me to an Internet article about how when Prince Charles was visiting with Ronald Reagan, the staff didn't remove the tea bag from his cup, and he declined to drink the (what passed for) tea. Reagan was horrified, and rightly so!