As I explore the history of tea in America this year, I'm well aware that some states may be a little more difficult to research than others. California was not one of them. I could easily write several blog posts about all the fun tea-related news out of California, but I've limited myself to one!
• Who can think of California without thinking of Hollywood? I sure can’t. I’ve seen lots of great photos of movie stars with teacups over the years, but this publicity still from MGM’s “Mogambo” in 1953 is one of the best yet. From left are Donald Sinden, Grace Kelly, Clark Gable, Denis O'Dea, Ava Gardner and Eric Pohlmann. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) Click here for another photo of Grace Kelly and Clark Gable taking what is described as “a coffee/tea break” on the set of this film.
• Finally, when I wrote my book about department store tea rooms, "Dainty Dining," back in 2011, I learned about the old Bullock's Wilshire Department Store in Los Angeles where Mae West once shopped and Angela Lansbury once worked. (Who doesn't love Angela Lansbury? "Murder She Wrote" remains one of my favorite TV shows to this day.) The beautiful menu cover above is something from the Bullock's Tea Room I collected for my book, and after it was published, I found yet another vintage postcard of the tea room from yesteryear. I included a famous oriental chicken salad recipe from the tea room in the book, but I have since learned of something called Heavenly Pie (or Heavenly Lemon Pie) that was associated with Bullock's as well. Here's the recipe if you're as curious as I am!