" Come sit by my side and over a cup of tea, speak to me of the goodness of life."
Lady Evelyn Fitzgerald Dodson

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ausperitea Ceylon

On Saturday morning, we went to a local Farmer's Market, which is populated largely by non-food vendors (I know, go figure, right? It's more a destination market, with a homemade soap vendor, a lotion vendor, and other non-comestibles for sale. How I miss the roadside vegetable stands of my old home!).

Ausperitea, a local tea vendor, was the first booth we came upon. We've sampled their tea in local restaurants, and decided to find a black tea to bring home for afternoon tea on the patio. The gentleman manning the booth began to explain that they focus on black teas in the winter and green teas and herbals in the summer. But when I selected a ceylon tea, he said that ceylon was so bland, he couldn't come up with a description for it. Although somewhat taken aback that he would try to discourage a purchase, I pointed out that ceylon teas were supposed to be mild and smooth as they are an afternoon tea, not a brisk morning tea. T selected a black nepal tea, which I hope she will share with me, and which was the tea he was pushing. None of the black teas are listed on their webpage, so I can't verify the name of the tea T tried.

Ausperitea's ceylon is very mild, much more mild than other ceylons I've tried and enjoyed, but it's perfectly acceptable. Sunday morning we paired it with a mushroom and green onion omelet, turkey bacon, and whole wheat toast with strawberry-rhubarb jam (also locally made by Apple Annie's Orchard). A lovely way to start a Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tea Stuff

We don't usually impulse shop in the Parlor, but who could resist a cute little Mary Engelbreit tea-themed notebook for $1? And our favorite color, blue, too.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tea Quote Thursday

In honor of St. Patrick's Day and the rollicking sense of humor the Irish have, some funny tea quotes from a classic-era film screened in the parlor last night:

Mr. Ross:  "I never touch it (tea)--my doctor tells me it's poison."  "I knew a chap once who drank tea until he burst out in a rash." "It was tea. It was green tea. Same constituency, you know, as leather."

Character of Mr. Ross in the 1931 movie Smart Woman starring Mary Astor. Mr. Ross was played by the consummate character actor Edward Everett Horton. Afternoon tea is the focus of a dramatic yet comedic scene between the wife, her husband, his girlfriend, and her brother- and sister-in law. Mr. Ross is the brother-in-law, and therefore allowed by the writers of the screenplay to be outrageous--bumbling, on the prowl, insulted, naive, concerned, and caring, all at the same time. Much more fun to play than the staid hero or heroine, I would imagine.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tea Quote Wednesday

I just finished reading the first in an old girls series, Patty Fairfield by Carolyn Wells, and tea figured in quite a few scenes. Several comments made us smile in the Parlor, including a scene involving a tea party without the tea, just pretend "real Russian tea" that everyone sipped daintily from their real, but empty, cups.

""Ho, ho," laughed her brother, "a tea! Why they're the most stupid things in the world. Nobody wants to come to a tea."

"Teas are ever so much stylisher than evening entertainments, aren't they, mamma?"

[Quotes from Patty Fairfield, by Carolyn Wells, 1901; Kindle edition, locations 261 and 263.]

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Engagement Calendar

For the past two years, we in the Parlor have used a Linda Nelson Stocks engagement calendar to keep track of our engagements (which frankly revolve around visits to various vets). After years of Audubon Society calendars, we decided the Parlor could use a little folkiness in 2010. We enjoyed that calendar so much we decided to revisit an idealized Americana again this year. Well, this week's print of a house and its surrounds includes a wee little table around which are seated three people, and atop of which is a tiny tea set. Too tiny to even attempt to reproduce just this little corner (so as not to break any copyright laws) to share. But it reminds us the joy of tea pops up in unexpected places and is sometimes best enjoyed outside.

We celebrated Fat Tuesday with Numi Chinese Breakfast and a slice of cinnamon pecan coffee cake.