This week's featured state, Arkansas, is one that's very dear to me. Back during my single years, I had a girlfriend who was from Arkansas, and she and I made many road trips to Arkansas from Georgia to visit her family. There are such lovely people there, and I have great memories of Arkansas to this day!
• Do you remember the first tea room you ever visited? I wasn't keeping records (or blogging) back then, but I believe the Crumpet Tea Room in Rogers, Arkansas, was the first tea room I ever visited! My friend's mother introduced me to it, and I absolutely fell in love with the ladylike atmosphere, the mismatched china, the floral linens, and of course the delicious food. One of the foods they were known for was their Open Face Crab Sandwich on a crumpet (above), which I made and blogged about here using the recipe in their Crumpet Tea Room cookbook, a prized possession. The Crumpet, as locals called it, was also known for its legendary Orange Rolls, and that recipe is here. The Crumpet Tea Room continues today in two locations, so if you ever go to Arkansas and are in the area, be sure to look them up!
• If you've been to Arkansas, you've probably visited or at least heard about Eureka Springs. It's a beautiful tourist town in the Ozark Mountains, and I loved seeing all the wonderful Victorian cottages and homes there. Arkansas has clearly been blessed with tea rooms over the years, and when I devoted my Saturdays to exploring tea room cookbooks in 2013, I made quite a few dishes that originated in Arkansas tea rooms. Shown here are, clockwise from left, the Carrot Soup from the Victorian Sampler Tea Room in Eureka Springs (recipe here), Lemon Squares from the Yellow Daisy in Little Rock (recipe here), and the ridiculously easy and delicious Surprise Pie from Katy's Korner, the precursor of the Victorian Sampler (recipe here). So even if you've never been to Arkansas, you can dine as if you have!
• Arkansas is also the home of a "new" brand of tea I'd not heard of before, Betsy Ross Tea, which was once packed by Plunkett-Jarrell Grocer Co. in Little Rock, Arkansas. The side of the Betsy Ross tea tins reads, "Betsy Ross Brand Tea is a blend of Fine Teas, selected especially for this brand from the early pickings of young and tender leaves, skillfully blended, which will produce a delicious beverage, rich in strength and flavor that will satisfy the most critical consumer." I haven't been able to date this brand just yet, but based on the 10-cent price, I'm not looking for this one on my next visit to the grocery store!