Idaho. Potato country. Is there anything related to tea in Idaho? Why, of course there is!
• I have a hobby of researching old department store tearooms, and in the course of my cybersurfing about Idaho this week, I learned about The Mode, a department store of yesteryear once advertised as “Idaho’s Largest Department Store.” An ad in the December 2, 1919 Evening Capital News of Boise notes, “The Tea Room has become the meeting place for the patrons of The Mode and many special luncheons and afternoon tea parties are successfully given in this atmosphere of quiet refinement. A visit to Boise is not complete without a pleasant hour in The Mode’s Tea Room.” I also found a recipe for The Mode’s Cinnamon Rolls passed on by someone whose mother used to work in the tearoom. Fun finds!
• You can't mention Idaho without mentioning Idaho potatoes. Why are they so special? The Idaho Potato Commission says, "So why are Idaho potatoes so much better than the rest? Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, combined with plenty of mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, produce the unique texture, taste, and dependable performance that keep customers asking for more." So there you go. And in looking back through my blog over the years, I see I've included two teatime recipes that include Idaho potatoes, the Old-Fashioned Potato Chowder at left, and the Japanese Potato Salad Sandwiches (yes, with Idaho potatoes!) at right.
• You know how it's claimed that tea is growing all across the US these days? I found a recent article in the Spokane, Washington Spokesman-Review about a woman from Australia who moved to Texas but is now growing tea in north Idaho. Click here to read about Josephie Dean Jackson's tea-growing efforts for yourself!