Friday, February 24, 2017

Afternoon Tea in Northville, MI

Last Saturday [2/18] I drove to Northville, MI to attend a Clara Ford [wife of automobile magnate Henry Ford] tea at Mill Race Historical Village.  It was a beautiful day for a tea party.

The tea was held inside the village's historic Cady Inn at 1:00 p.m.

It was a sell-out tea, and once everyone arrived both rooms of the inn were filled with ladies and one brave gentleman.

My place setting is pictured below.  Every lady received a long stemmed rose, in honor of Clara Ford's love of roses, and the beautiful rose garden she developed at Fair Lane - the estate where she and Henry lived until their deaths.

The gift box was from a blog follower and friend, Laura, who works with the caterer who provided the meal.  I'll show you what's inside the box in my next post. 

~ My ticket ~

Vicky O'Neil, the caterer, going over the menu items with the guests.

The desserts and scones were placed on the three tiered server, waiting for the sandwiches.

And here they are!

This was the beautiful teacup with violets that I used for the tea.  It was filled with a delicious Cady House black tea, blended exclusively for Northville Historical Society.

Mike and Sue sat directly across from me and allowed me to take their picture.  They drove all the way from Kalamazoo [western side of the state] to attend the tea.  If there would have been a prize for the best dressed, it would have gone to them.

My sandwiches [clockwise]:  Chicken Salad with Cherries on Cinnamon Raisin Bread; Roast Beef with Horseradish on Light Rye; Cheddar Mango Chutney on Italian in the shape of a teacup; and Ham Salad on Wheat garnished with Gerkins.

~ Pineapple Pecan Scone with Lemon Curd ~

As hard as it was, I saved all three of my desserts to bring home to my hubby.  Banana Mini Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Rose Petal Shortbread Cookie, and Chocolate Tart.

Following Afternoon Tea, we walked a short distance to the church for the program presented by Ruth Gatza from the Henry Ford Heritage Association.

[Power Point picture of young Clara Ford]

I forgot to turn off my cell phone [a terrible thing for someone who does public speaking to forget!], and Mrs. Gatza's presentation had barely begun when my cell phone rang. I hurriedly got up [very embarrassed I might add] and took the call outside.  I didn't have the nerve to go back in after disturbing her presentation once, so I missed the remainder of the presentation.

I wandered over to J.M. Mead's General Store [which they always open for events], and made a wonderful purchase... next post.  Aside from my horrible cell phone experience, it was a very lovely afternoon, and I was glad I had the opportunity to attend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Meet-up With Another Dear Friend

A week ago today [2/15] I met a dear friend for lunch at P.F. Chang's at Somerset Mall.  It had been awhile since we last saw each other, so we had a lot of catching up to do. Before we parted, Ruth gave me a gift bag.  She's from England and her mother and sister still live there, so she asked her sister to gather some tea things that she thought I would like.

Jayne visited Highgrove - the family home of the Prince of Wales [Prince Charles] and the Duchess of Cornwall [Camilla] - so that's where most of my lovely, unexpected gifts came from. Highgrove is in the Cotswolds - south west of Tetbury, in Gloucestershire, England. 

The gift bag reminded me of Fortnum & Mason's signature Eau De Nil color with the addition of purple and the Royal Emblem.

Now I know you're anxious to see what was inside the bag, so I won't keep you in suspense... a shell tea scoop.

Perfect for scooping out the loose-leaf tea in the two tins of tea she gave me.  On the left is Organic Prince of Wales tea blend - Assam and Ceylon black tea combined.  On the right is Royal Flush O.P.1 by East India Company of London. It is a Ceylon [Sri Lanka] black tea. The picture on the side of the tin is of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on their first "World Tour" after her 1953 Coronation.

~ The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea ~

And a lovely teacup from Ruth's mum - made in England by Rosina China for Rington's Ltd.[tea purveyors]. The pattern is Virginia Strawberry.  Thank you SO MUCH, Ruth, Jayne, and Elizabeth! 

After I left P.F. Chang's I visited the Detroit Shoppe at Somerset.  I didn't make any purchases, but it's always a fun shoppe to browse.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monthly Assisted Living Tea

Sunday was the monthly tea at Shore Pointe Assisted Living.  My theme was "The Father of Our Country and His Sweetheart" - appropriate since we just celebrated Valentine's Day, and President's Day was yesterday, and George Washington's birthday is tomorrow.

Twelve ladies and one gentleman attended.  Below are pictures of some of the ladies that attended.

I always take them something to coordinate with the theme, so this month it was Dove chocolate hearts, and chocolate covered cherries in keeping with the story [which is actually a myth created by Parson Weems] that George Washington cut down his father's cherry tree with his hatchet, but was honest and admitted it when confronted by his father.  You remember the famous line, "I cannot tell a lie..."

I told them that even though it was fashionable to wear a powdered wig in the late 1700's, our first president refused to wear one and powdered his real hair to make it white instead, as seen in his photo on our one dollar bill. 

As always, I learned a lot during my preparations that I didn't know before [or forgot], such as, he was widely criticized in the press during his presidency.  Really?  Some things never change!  ;-)

And it's always fun to share at a tea party the fact that George and Martha were tea lovers.

I shared a couple of his quotes that I thought were really good:

"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."

Since I was speaking to a group of mostly all ladies, I knew they'd enjoy hearing about Martha Washington.  I really enjoyed researching her life.  She endured much tragedy in her lifetime - she outlived two husbands [her first husband died after only seven years of marriage leaving her a widow at age 26].  All four of her children died young - two of them under the age of five, one at age 17, and the other just weeks before his 27th birthday.  She and George Washington were never able to have children of their own.  He was one of the sickest presidents in U.S. history, and it is thought an infection stemming from tuberculosis made him infertile.

She was a doting grandmother to her four grandchildren, and when her widowed daughter-in-law remarried she gave Martha and the President her two youngest children [a boy and a girl] to raise as their own. They were living with them at the time of Washington's presidency.

I closed the program with two excellent quotes of Martha's:

"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself.  For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance, but by our disposition.  We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go."

"I am only fond of what comes from the heart."

~ A tea toast to George and Martha Washington ~

Monday, February 20, 2017

Life Goes On While Counting Teapots

Life's activities continued while I was posting my teapot series, but I opted to continue the series and blog about the other activities afterwards.

I didn't see any of my grandchildren on Valentine's Day but they all received cards and treats.  The youngest three got gift cards to 7-11 for Slurpees [a favorite of theirs].  

[Internet Photo]

Jeremy sent a picture of Ellie after the mailman delivered her Valentine card [the other two grands were in school].

On Valentine's Day I spent most of the day at a friend's house learning a more healthy way to cook. Linda had to change her eating and cooking habits when her husband became seriously ill and was taken off beef, pork, dairy, refined sugar and processed foods. Only recently has the Dr. allowed some poultry [without hormones] and fish [caught in the wild, not farm raised] back into his diet again, but basically they eat veggies, fruit, nuts, and non-GMO [genetically modified] foods. They both feel better and have more energy on their new diet, and as a bonus they've lost weight and look great!

Linda had several books and recipes on her kitchen table when I arrived, all ready to begin teaching me a new way of eating and preparing foods.  After the books, we had a "hands-on" cooking session where I prepared an entire meal to bring home.  It was an educational and fun day, with many cups of tea too.  Thanks, Linda!  Below is just one of the books she showed me, and I brought three others home to read.

Below is a sampling of what we made - turkey meat balls with chopped artichoke hearts and fresh basil instead of bread crumbs. When I got home I made a meatless marinara sauce and 100% whole wheat spaghetti to go with them.  Fresh green beans with garlic, and two kinds of "cauliflower rice" -  plain and with sauteed, chopped baby portobello mushrooms and onions.  I like almost all vegetables and fruits, so this diet is doable.  Now to get my Ninja food processor ordered.

My "Valentine" gave me a dozen red roses and a beautiful silver "Tree of Life" [Biblical] necklace that he brought back from Israel last December. 

We enjoyed an "extended" Valentine's Day by going out to dinner on Thursday evening instead of Valentine's Day. My meal probably wasn't completely compliant with what I learned on Tuesday, but it wasn't too far off, and I declined dessert.

Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing, Chicken Piccata with Artichoke Hearts and a Baked Potato.  Yum!

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

*  *  *

P.S.  It's hard to believe, but today marks 1,300 blog posts.  Who would've thought!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Teapots V

I want to conclude the teapot series today, so there will be more teapots in this post than the previous ones.   There was a chapter in the Teapots book devoted exclusively to silver, pewter and other metal teapots, so that is where I will begin this post.

Before my mother passed away she gave me her silver plate tea service that she and my dad received for their 25th Wedding Anniversary [top photo]. Because I've done several teas for my church I also bought a silver plate tea service of my own [bottom photo]. Missing from the photo is the tipping hot water pot and waste bowl.   

I have two tipping teapots - one brass and the other silver plate.  The silver plate tipping teapot is special because it was a gift from my children.  The bottom photo is a silver plate teapot that is back stamped City Hotel - although it doesn't say what city.  It's for an individual serving of tea.

Many years ago when I was aspiring to open a tearoom, a dear friend gave me the silver plate teapot on the left.  She said she wanted to give me my tearoom's first teapot. A tearoom never happened, but I think of her every time I see the teapot.  I'm very fond of the wooden-handled teapot on the right, because it's back stamped J.L. Hudson's Department Store, Detroit, MI.  I bought it from an E-bay seller in Texas, and brought it back home to Michigan!

I love my Samovar even though I've never used it.  It needs to be converted to AC.

I used to have a large copper collection, but sold it to make room for all my teawares.  I kept the copper teapot, teakettle, and tea caddy though.

~  Japanese Cast Iron Hobnail Tetsubin ~  

The Teapots book also has a chapter on tiny/small teapots and I have a few of those.  The teapot below looks like a full-size teapot, but it's actually a two-cup by Old Amsterdam.

The Chinese tea set on the left is miniature, but the one on the right is full-size.  The backstamp is in Chinese.

Sandy Clough child's tea set.

~ The last teapot category is Holidays/Seasonal.  St. Patrick's Day leads the way. ~
Teapot on left is from Carrigaline Pottery, Ireland.  On right is the Shannon pattern by I. Godinger & Company.

The Leprechaun teapot came from Jo-Ann Fabrics several years ago.  It has no markings.

Easter chick below is backstamped Mesa International, Warner, New Hampshire. The pottery tea set in the middle is packed away so I don't know its manufacturer.  The teapot on the right is Grace's Teaware.

Fall teapots: top left purchased at Home Goods, pattern Harvest Festival by 222 Fifth; top right backstamped made in Mexico;  lower left, Teavana's Porcelain Country Ruby Filigree and lower right, Chatsford teapot with infuser basket.

Top: Columbus Day teapot - Figures from History by Fitz & Floyd
Bottom:  Thanksgiving teapot by Myott Factory in Romania

Halloween - the black teapot has no markings and the orange teapot is a Waechterback from Germany. 

Fitz & Floyd Nutcracker teapot [L] and the teapot on the right came from the Teapot Shoppe [online].

~ Sandy Clough tea sets ~

A Cup of Christmas Tea [L] and Noel by Sango [R].  I was happy to add two more teacups to my A Cup of Christmas Tea set this year, making a total of four teacups.  Noel by Sango is my Christmas China.

Holiday Tartan by Lenox [L] and Winterbury by Pfaltzgraff [R]


Whew!  This concludes the teapot series.  It was a bigger project than I anticipated, but I'm glad I did it.  The final teapot count is 138.  I may have missed a few, but it's pretty close. I should resolve to never buy another teapot since I have more than enough for one person, but realistically there'll probably be more teapots that will take up residency at my house.  ;-)

I hope you enjoyed this series.  My hubby asked when I was going to begin cataloging my teacups with photos and I said, "Not for awhile!"  ;-)