Friday, January 18, 2013

"Tea Time Entertaining" by Dolores Snyder

It seems my tea book Wish List grows longer, not shorter, each year. I've told myself that when the day comes that I read a tea book and don't learn something new, I'll stop searching them out and reading them—and of course that day never comes! My latest read is a book I've had on the list for a while, a 2004 release called "Tea Time Entertaining" by Dolores Snyder. Now I like most tea books, but I must tell you that I absolutely love this one. Part of the enjoyment is, I just like *her*. Dolores not only loves tea, but she also has been trained at some of the world's best cooking schools and gotten to know some real food luminaries, in addition to becoming a cooking school teacher (and popular speaker) herself. This Texan is a founding member of the James Beard Foundation and even hosted a tea-cooking seminar as a fundraiser for the organization. For all that, she comes across as "just another tea lover" who happens to have done some pretty amazing things, and I absolutely love that about her.

The book includes a section on tea history, where I learned that "Queen Victoria enthusiastically endorsed this new ritual of afternoon tea with a passion and often baked the sweets herself for her Prince Consort." Don't think I've ever heard that before! There were some fun accounts of memorable teas Dolores herself has enjoyed (with Greer Garson, for heaven's sake!), and she also gives a brief listing of some teatime customs around the world—including a list of places very helpful for adding to one's teatime Bucket List.

She does a nice, thorough job of covering all the teatime basics, which makes this a terrific book for a tea newbie, though there's also plenty to entertain those of us who've been to this rodeo before. The 120+ recipes in the book are divided by theme, such as Garden Party, Queen Victoria's Birthday, Corporate Tea, Picnic in the Vineyard, Valentine Tea for Lovers and, appropriately enough for a Texan, a Queen's Tea Southwest Style (Smoked Texas Turkey Triangles, Cinnamon Basil Scones). Among the recipes I'd most like to try are the Queen Mother's Favourite Tea Cake, Dilled Scones with Smoked Salmon and the Queen of Sheba Chocolate Cake. This book was great fun to read, and because of the quality of the information and recipes I know I'll be turning to it again and again!


  1. I have this book [this inside cover is dated March 2005]. It seems like I ordered it directly from Dolores Snyder. It is a lovely book, indeed. Your review of it today prompted me to pull it from my bookshelf and go through it again. Have a wonderful weekend! ~ Phyllis

  2. Hello Angela
    This book sounds like another good one to add to my collection. As you know, most of my books are ones recommended by you so thanks for the reviews you do.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful book, I will add it to my reading list, too!

  4. This is a classic book - and really she is as knowledgeable as anyone! I have sold this one for years and always recommend it as it covers so much about the history of tea as well as so many recipes!

  5. Oh find the best books! This looks like another keeper! That's going on my list too...

  6. I always learn from you and enjoy your blog and appreciate you.

  7. I'm with you, my reading list gets longer and longer. This sounds like another good book to add.

  8. This book sounds so good: if you really like it, I'm sure I would too! I am putting this on my wish list, thank you for the review.


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