Yes, I know it's not quite September yet, but my September tea column in The Coweta Shopper actually comes out today, August 31. In case you have any computer issues reading this version, here's a link to The Coweta Shopper itself, and I'm on page 8. (Look for the plus and minus bar at lower left if you'd like to increase the display size — something I find myself dealing with more and more with each passing year!)
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
I may tire of them one day, but the weekly Dollar Tree visits have definitely become a tradition in my family. My aunt and I went to one on Saturday, and this time my sister was with us (and serving as driver!). As we stood at the register with our hands full, my sister said, "I wasn't actually planning on buying anything in here …" and she ended up finding even more goodies than I did. My purchases, as so often happens, had a theme.
First, I found the notepads Susan K. had told me about recently. (Thanks, Susan!) I bought all they had, which was only three, and I'm thinking some tea-loving friends will be getting the extras as stocking stuffers this Christmas.
And this paper may be a little flimsy, but considering the price, I was delighted to find this calendar with vintage handwriting on it, especially the page for January 2017. I can see some crafts in this calendar's future!
(I did, by the way, look for more of those teatime coloring books since so many of you have been unable to find them, but alas, there were none left in that particular store. I haven't given up yet, though!)
Monday, August 29, 2016
Some of you may recall that a couple of weeks ago, I blogged about my new friends at Plumyumi Day Spa in Peachtree City beginning to offer loose leaf teas. I got the nicest email from the owner, and since he's making a great offer to those of you who live nearby, I couldn't wait to share it here!
I cannot express enough how much I appreciate your comments and reviews regarding our introduction of loose leaf tea here at Plumyumi Day Spa. The response from our clients has been extremely positive. This would not have been possible without your advice and encouragement as we started this endeavor.
As a show of appreciation, I would like to extend an invitation to your readers to visit Plumyumi to sample our teas along with a complimentary cup of his or her choice. In fact, if they decide to purchase one of the large (2.5 to 3 oz) tins of tea, they will receive a small (1 to 1.5 oz) tin free with the mention of your blog. Thank you again Angela.
Plumyumi Day Spa
Peachtree City, GA
I'm still enjoying the Sour Apple Martini tea I purchased at Plumyumi, and you can bet I'll be running back by there soon to take advantage of this generous offer myself. (Christmas is coming, and I need a tea gift for someone right now as well!) I did contact Eddy to ask him how long this offer will be available, and he said he'll be happy to honor it through the end of September. Happy sipping, y'all!
Saturday, August 27, 2016
• Do you see a tea kettle here? As in, Tea Kettle Butte in Pyramid Park, North Dakota? This image from the Library of Congress website was said to have been taken sometime between 1909 and 1932 by photographer F. Jay Haynes. According to Webster's, a butte, pronounced “byüt," is "an isolated hill or mountain with steep or precipitous sides usu. having a smaller summit area than a mesa." I've seen the same image on a vintage postcard, and it was described as "a picturesque scene in the Bad Lands" of western North Dakota. No word on who decided this looked like a tea kettle. Or what they were sipping at the time …
• One category of tea photo I’ve discovered this year might be titled “Politicians’ Wives Taking Tea.” (Of course today that would be “Political Spouses Taking Tea,” but it was “wife” back in the day.) When I visited the photo archives of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, it led me here, to a photo titled “Legislative wives’ tea at Governor’s Mansion, Bismarck, N.D.” This was taken in 1963, and it’s fun to note the Queen Elizabeth—style pocketbook, the hat, and the vintage eyeglasses. The women are identified as "Mrs. Ole Breum, Mrs. Esther Wenstrom, Mrs. Walter Christenson, Mrs. Otto Hauf.” (Why is Esther the only one who’s not referred to by her husband’s name?) I just wish the photo were in color so I could tell what kind of teacups and treats those were!
Friday, August 26, 2016
So I've found another interesting old menu on the New York Public Library's digital collections site. This one is a 1941 tea menu from the New Haven Rail Road. Look inside!
Have you ever seen a tea menu that asked you to "please order by number"? That's a first for me. I'll have the #6, thank you very much, and no fries with that. I believe that the "Bar-le-duc" in #5 refers to a type of currant jelly from France.
It's always fun to look at these old menus, and it's especially fun to see a Tea Menu for Dining Car Service!
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Some months ago, I mentioned finding my current favorite chintz teacup, this $3.33 find from one of the area Goodwill stores. It was stained in the bottom (and now it is again), but I bleached it out and it cleaned right up. But then …
Some days later, I prepared a cup of tea and saw these mysterious black spots begin to appear …
And these! So now I'm rather spooked and don't use the teacup anymore. I've Googled and learned I shouldn't have used bleach, but the reasoning was only that bleach can damage the teacup, not that it could cause a stain. Now since chemistry was never my best subject in school, I'm wondering if any of you smart people might have an explanation for the black spots on my teacup. Anyone?
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
I will read almost any book with a teapot on the cover, and as I suspected, Wendy Sand Eckel's newest cozy mystery had plenty of tea-ish moments to keep us tea lovers happy! And although this was the second book in a series, I had no difficulty at all jumping right in with the storyline and understanding what was going on.
The recently divorced Rosalie Hart of Cardigan, Maryland, has just realized her dream of opening her own café when, shortly after the grand opening, her friend and fellow merchant Doris comes asking a favor: Doris's sister has been accused of killing her husband, and Doris wants Rosalie to help prove that the sister is innocent.
This book has a rich and diverse ensemble cast I greatly enjoyed meeting, including Glenn, Rosalie's 72-year-old best friend and right-hand man; her other wait staff member, Crystal, the young "hippie" who makes teas and tinctures; frequent customer Janice, whose hot flashes inject a bit of humor that middle-aged readers will no doubt appreciate; hunky Tyler, who runs Rosalie's farm; Annie, Rosalie's college-age daughter; and Kevin and Jake, a gay couple who find the town surprisingly welcoming— with one notable exception.
Doris's deceased brother-in-law is suspected of having stolen some money from the construction site where he'd worked, and it turns out that plenty of people had a reason for wanting him dead. Eckel keeps us guessing the killer's identity right up till the satisfying end, but best of all, she layers this cozy with some complex, messy, and thoroughly realistic lives that make this mystery a pleasure to read.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Okay, I liked the alliteration of being able to say that Karyl Conover is the winner of the coloring books! And Karyl, if you'll send me your snail mail address via the email button at right, I'll have these headed your way shortly. Congrats! (And I will certainly be on the lookout for more of these to give away since some of you have been unable to find them.)
Saturday, August 20, 2016
North Carolina is a state I have grown to love for a number of reasons. My tea friend Ginger lives there, my favorite statewide magazine is based there (Our State North Carolina), and not insignificantly, the awesome publishing company I edit for, Red Adept, is based there. And happily, I know that some pretty unique tea news comes out of North Carolina!
• This vintage postcard depicts a teapot that marks the site of the famous Edenton Tea Party in Edenton, N.C. Some courageous women led by a Penelope Barker vowed they would no longer “conform to ye pernicious Custom of Drinking Tea.” Some 51 women met on October 25, 1774 to protest the Tea Act passed by the British Parliament in 1773. They signed a petition vowing that they would give up their tea and boycott other British products "until such time that all acts which tend to enslave our Native country shall be repealed."
• Camellia Forest Nursery in Chapel Hill, N.C. is a well-known nursery that grows and sells tea plants. A friend and former blogger in North Carolina actually gave me my own thriving camellia sinensis plant, and if I ever need another, one of the first places I will turn will be Camellia Forest Nursery. You can go here to learn more about the varieties of tea plant they sell.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Thursday, August 18, 2016
One of the tea-themed images I recently found on the New York Public Library website was this 1908 postcard titled "A Chinese Tea and cake Party." Do you find it interesting that the tea party attendees are all men? I do. It's not surprising that Chinese men are drinking tea, but it is surprising that this is called a "tea and cake party" and it's attended by men. I think it's highly possible the men wouldn't have labeled their gathering in this way!
I always like to find that one person in a photo who looks like he wishes the photographer would go away, and that's pretty clearly the gentleman at far right.
If you ever have a hankering to look for old tea images like this, by the way, the website is here, and it's well worth browsing!
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
When I was at Plumyumi Day Spa last week, I was intrigued by the name of one tea in particular, the Sour Apple Martini blend. It's rather ironic since I'm a teetotaler (or tea-totaler, as I like to say), but I have always love-love-loved sour apple anything! When I commented that I was interested in this tea, the owner of the spa offered to brew me a cup on the spot, and I took him up on it. It was a wise move on his part, because after just one cup, I bought the largest tin they had before I left!
Are you a fan of sour apple flavor? I remember fondly the sour apple Jolly Ranchers of my youth, and I also recall a sour apple chewing gum that I don't see around anymore. A good grown-up replacement is this Sour Apple Martini green tea, which contains green tea, apple and lemon pieces, safflower and sunflower petals, and natural flavors. Somehow, they managed to subtly capture that "sour" taste in the tea, and I just love it!
I steeped the tea in a filter basket in my teacup, and I enjoyed seeing the bits of fruit and the tea leaves spring to life. While this tea is one of those I'm now fortunate to be able to purchase locally, if you don't live nearby, you can visit the For Tea's Sake website and check it out for yourself!
Monday, August 15, 2016
click here for the website), stop by for a cup of tea and tell them Angela sent you!
Saturday, August 13, 2016
I was not at all surprised to find lots of information about tea in New York, and I especially had fun discovering a few of the more obscure things about the Empire State!
• Tea Island on Lake George, New York, is a historic resort area that once had a tea house on it. According to the 1868 book "Lake George" by B. F. DeCosta, "Two miles down the lake, on the west side, close to the shore, is the first island which we pass. It is called Tea Island, and is a perfect gem. In 1828 a 'Tea-house' was kept there to accommodate visitors, which fact accounts for its present name." And you can still visit Tea Island today! Click here if you'd like to see its modern incarnation.
• Some "society women" of a hundred years ago poured tea in New York City for the "motor men of Street Railway." This is one of those wonderful old Library of Congress images that raises more questions than it answers. Its title is simply what the photo reads up top, "Society women pouring tea for motormen of Street Railway." The photo, which is from around 1908, is part of the George Grantham Bain Collection. Who was Bain? He was a New York City photographer known as "the father of foreign photographic news." I can't help wondering whether Bain took this photo himself (those two men at right and that "society woman" closest to them look a bit, um, unimpressed, shall we say). "Motor man" appears to be a term for those who conducted trains and trolleys. So that's helpful, I guess, but why were the "society women" pouring tea for them? Motormen Appreciation Week, maybe? And did you notice the little candlestick lamps/lights on the table? Interesting. And isn't it funny that a century may pass, but we still need the basics of white tablecloths and stacks of plates and cups and a nice, big tea urn!
• New York City is home of the Russian Tea Room, which is perhaps one of the most legendary tea rooms in the country.
Go here if you'd like to see more photos and their Afternoon Tea offerings.)