Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Columbus Day!

Columbus Day - To commemorate the landing of Christopher Columbus, the Italian-born explorer, in the New World on Oct. 12, 1492.
I recently read a quote that made me smile and reaffirmed tea's relevancy:  "America would not have been discovered by Christopher Columbus if tea did not exist."
We've all read the historic accounts of how Columbus, on behalf of Spain's Monarchs [King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella], sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in hopes of establishing  a trade route to the East Indies for spices, tea, and other commodities.  He sailed westward and discovered the Americas instead.  There's a lot more to the story than that, but  historians can fill in the details with accuracy.

Some time ago at an estate sale, I purchased a Christopher Columbus teapot.  It's a Fitz and Floyd collector's series Figures from History made in 1992.  [#4117 of 7500] Today is definitely the  day for the teapot to take center stage!

I went to my tea cabinet to see what tea would be fitting to drink on this holiday, and decided Pumpkin Cream black tea would work since pumpkins were one of the foods Columbus discovered in the New World.  It's perfect for fall too!

What meal should be prepared to honor the explorer/navigator?   In the late 1990's I initiated a ministry for the young moms at my church called, "Holiday Celebration Dinners."  The dinners were held once a month, with  attendees receiving a handout listing all the holidays that occurred within that month, along with coordinating recipes that I thought would be fun and tasty.   Some of the recipes  were served at the monthly dinner so the ladies could actually see and taste them, so they'd be inspired to make them at home.  The boat shaped  fruit salad [pictured below] was  served at an October dinner.    Is it the Santa Maria, the Nina or the Pinta?  You can name it!  ;-)

As a side note ... the ministry began with 31 young moms and during a four year time span grew to over 200.   Ladies of all ages were eventually included.  
Corn chowder is a good fall soup, and corn was one of the foods Columbus discovered in the New World.  This chowder is garnished with grated cheddar cheese and bacon bits.
And for the sweet tooth, chocolate chip pumpkin bread.  Chocolate [cacao] was one of the New World food discoveries too.
Pumpkin Bread
2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 can [15 oz.] pumpkin puree [not pie filling]
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup chopped nuts [walnuts or pecans]
1 large package chocolate chips [I use miniature chips]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease three loaf pans.  In large bowl cream shortening and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, pumpkin and water.  Blend in dry ingredients [flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves].  Stir in chopped nuts and chocolate chips.  Pour into pans and bake for about 1 hour or until cake tester stick comes out clean.
*  *  *
Lifting my teacup in honor of Christopher Columbus.  Thanks to him we know the world can't come to an end because it's round! [That's one of my mother's humorous sayings.  ;-)]  Now I'm off to a Columbus Day Sale!


  1. What a fun post! I love the teapot...thought at first it was Leonardo's, as they made one similar. Your food is so imaginative too! Love the cantaloupe sailing ship! Happy Columbus Day to you too!

  2. What an absolutely perfect post for today! I love that teapot, and the fruit "boat" is such a great idea!

  3. The teapot is wonderful! I love it! And the sailboat fruit salad --- adorable! I think it is the Santa Maria --- just for fun.

    Happy Columbia Day to you, Phyllis. I like the connection to "tea" that you pointed out.

  4. What an interesting teapot! So perfect for celebrating Columbus Day! I enjoyed learning more about Columbus and love the melon boat! I will be making these for my grandkids! Your pumpkin bread looks so good, think I'll make some tomorrow!


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