The Charms of Tea
By Victoria Magazine
Years ago, a girlfriend and I took a brief road trip to Warm Springs, Ga., home of FDR's Little White House and the marvelous shopping village there. We had browsed in many of the stores already, but I opened the door of one particular shop and instantly knew I was at home. Soft, lilting music was playing. The air was perfumed with potpourri, soaps and scented candles. The shop was well-stocked with laces and linens, angel figurines, and so many beautiful things with roses on them that I thought I was in retail heaven! The store has long since closed, but I've never forgotten one of the happy treasures picked up there that day, one of my very first tea books: The Charms of Tea: Reminiscences and Recipes from Victoria magazine.
Victoria has since published several other tea books, but I have to say this early one is the volume I treasure most. It features all those beautiful images from Victoria, and it's also filled with quotes and literary excerpts that make for quite enjoyable teatime reading. The "reminiscences" are just delightful, but the "recipes" are quite tempting as well. I hadn't looked at this book in a while, and suddenly the Currant Scones with Smoked Turkey (and apple jelly glaze) struck me as incredibly yummy sounding. Some of the other tempting recipes are for teas (Lemon-Mint, Orange-Spice, Ginger Pear Delight), savories (Herbed Cream Cheese Sandwiches, Salmon Mousse, Spinach Cheese Tartlets), breads (Sage, Pumpkin Nut, Milk and Honey), and there are also recipes for spreads, cakes and cookies.
I like the quote from the book's introduction which describes tea as "a comforting ritual, simultaneously soothing and stimulating, in which to withdraw momentarily from the busyness of our lives and pay gentle homage to the passage of time." This "gentle" book will help you do just that!