Friday, January 31, 2014

A Second Foley Trio and Fenton Epergne

Since I shared my Foley Glengarry Thistle ensemble yesterday, I decided to share my other Foley trio today.  This delicate pink, floral, "harlequin" set doesn't have a pattern name, but a pattern number, 3125.  Harlequin means the pattern sets were available in different colors.

I love the flowers on the inside of the teacup.

The backstamp on the teacup is a bit different from the backstamp on the dessert plate.  The set was made sometime between 1948-1963.

Next to the trio is my 4-pc. Fenton epergne.  I love to use it with my pink Depression Glass.

My epergne is an ornamental table centerpiece with a bowl that supports decorative horns for flowers.  Some epergnes hold food [fruit, candy or nuts], or candles.  Epergnes were traditionally made of silver until the beginning of the 20th century when glass began to be used.  There are images of beautiful, ornate epergnes on Pinterest, much larger than mine.

Below, the epergne bowl is upside down.  Even though I have used it many times, I haven't removed the Fenton sticker, which says it's authentic Fenton Art Glass, and is handmade.

In the next photo it's right-side-up with one of the "horns" inserted in its hole.  The pattern is "Diamond Lace," and it is an opalescent pink.  The round fitted base [or bowl] has pie crust crimped edges, and the three horns match.  Fenton made these between 1970-1980.   

The centerpiece with flowers is shown below.  Fenton Art Glass Company was founded in 1905 by two brothers, Frank L. and John W. Fenton in Williamstown, West Virginia. Unfortunately, the company ceased its traditional glass making in 2011, making Fenton glass very collectible. There are three national Fenton collector's organizations, as well as Depression glass societies, Questers, and other groups that treasure it.  The company formed a new division that makes handcrafted glass jewelry, and a line of sterling silver jewelry that was introduced in 2013.

When my hubby and I went to England in May 2001, he bought me a silverplated epergne at at the Past Times gift shop at Heathrow Airport.  It makes a lovely centerpiece too.  Since mine isn't easily accessible right now, I found a photo identical to my epergne on E-bay.  The horns are shaped like individual tussie-mussie holders.

 Do you collect Fenton Art Glass, or have an epergne?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Foley Bone China

Blogging friend, Ruth, at Antiques and Teacups recently shared her Shelley teacup and saucer in the Thistle pattern, in honor of Scotland's most famous poet and author, Robert Burns, born January 25, 1759.

Her post prompted me to share my Foley, light blue, footed teacup with scalloped edges in the Glengarry Thistle pattern. The Thistle is the National flower/emblem of Scotland.

I have a cup and saucer and two plates.  One plate is 6 1/4 inches wide [a bread and butter], and the other is 7 inches wide [a salad/dessert plate].  The difference in sizes can be seen in the photo below.  It's not a difficult pattern to find, and is currently available at Ruby Lane, E-bay, and Etsy with varying prices.

The china's backstamp is pictured below.  The mark was used from 1948-1963.  The date 1850 refers to when the factory, "Foley China Works," was first operated by Robinson & Son.   E. Brain and Co. Ltd. were manufacturers of porcelain at the Foley Works in Fenton, England from 1903-1963.

[Internet Photo]

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cookbooks and Frigid Temperatures...

Hello!  My name is Phyllis, and I'm a cookbook addict!  ;-)

I love to cook, so it's natural that I'd love cookbooks.  When I oversaw monthly women's ministry dinners at my church [1997-2002], my cookbook collection grew significantly. The dinners [called "Holiday Celebration Dinners"] focused on holidays that occurred each month, so most of the cookbooks I acquired provided holiday recipes, and inspirational ideas for family celebrations. Leisure Arts, Taste of Home, Southern Living, Gooseberry Patch, and fabulous tried and true cookbooks compiled by churches and other organizations make up the majority of my collection.  

My hubby's hobby is wood working.  Realizing the need for a place to keep all my cookbooks, he built the three sectioned, floor-to-ceiling bookcase pictured below.  Originally it was in our family room, but was later moved to a spare bedroom.

For Christmas I received four Barnes & Noble gift cards, totaling $175.  I purchased a few Downton Abbey books [which will be an upcoming post], and I used the last gift card on Monday with the intent of hunkering down with my books until these frigid temperatures are over.

Yesterday I barely left my office reading cookbooks, watching the Food Network Channel and drinking hot tea. [Grateful to my hubby for my own TV that I don't have to share.  ;-)]

The Barnes & Noble book I got on Monday is by Food Network's Ree Drummond.  I love her show, The Pioneer Woman.  Even though I no longer coordinate Holiday Celebration Dinners at church, I can't pass up a book dedicated to holidays.  The book is $29.99 and worth every penny!  The chapter on Mother's Day has recipes for Perfect Cream Scones, Lemon-Rosemary Scones, and Maple-Bacon Scones.  Father's Day has a recipe for Arnold Palmers [lemonade and tea]. That's just a small sampling of the recipes the book contains.

I've stopped buying cookbooks at the pace I once did.  My bookshelves are full, and recipes are readily available on the Internet, but there are some I still can't resist. Remember my recent post about the Miss America tea luncheon?  Three of the delicious recipes served at the luncheon were in one cookbook, and since it was inexpensive [$7.99], I ordered a copy from Amazon.  It arrived last week.  It's a great addition to my holiday cookbooks.

The book is chock full of fabulous recipes, and I'm happy to have recipes for dishes I've tasted firsthand - Orange Glazed Carrots, Braised Red Cabbage, and Potatoes Dauphinoise.

Keep warm everyone.  Only 50 more days til spring!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete's Coffee and Tea

Recently my granddaughter, Brianna, and I went to the Shelby Township location of Pete's Coffee and Tea.  

While they do have a tea retail section, and tea selections are on their menu, it is first and foremost a coffee shop.  The aroma of coffee is very distinct, and it has a coffee shop atmosphere.

My sweet granddaughter, Brianna.

Even though there was snow on the ground and the temperatures were in the single digits, Bri ordered a jasmine iced tea.  Some jasmine teas are subtle, but Pete's is very floral. She likened it to drinking a bouquet of flowers, ;-) and I concurred with just one sip.

I ordered a Masala Chai Latte.   I enjoyed my time with Brianna, and the fact that tea was included made it even better!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Plymouth Historical Society

The charming city of Plymouth, MI is located 36 miles west of where I live.  My second post when I first started blogging in Jan. 2012 was about having Afternoon Tea at Sweet Afton Tea Room located in Plymouth.  The city is also home to TranquiliTea - a shop that sells tea and tea equipage [which I've also blogged about], as well as the Plymouth Ice Festival.

I was recently contacted by Elizabeth Kerstens, Executive Director of the Plymouth Historical Museum to be a guest speaker at their upcoming March 16th, Historical Society Tea, on the subject of J.L. Hudson's Department Store.

[Internet Photo]

If you've read my blog for any length of time you know I have a deep interest and fondness [along with countless other metro and urban Detroiters] for J.L. Hudson's, the beloved flagship store that once occupied a city block of Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit. It permanently closed its doors in January 1983, and was imploded in October 1998, but it still remains alive in our hearts and memories.  Several of my blog posts have been dedicated to Hudson's.

I have a strong interest in Hudson's eateries, particularly the Mezzanine Tea Room, and have collected several items of memorabilia pertaining to it.

Below is my Hudson's display case at the Longacre House tea in Farmington Hills, MI last June.

I don't always get every Hudson's tea-related item that I want... I lost out on the Hudson's tea tin pictured below that was auctioned on e-bay, but it's fun collecting and getting as much as I can! ;-)

Ms. Kerstens said she'd be grateful for any publicity I could give to the event, so this post is primarily for readers who live in the Metro/Detroit area.  Below is a copy of what the museum has posted on their website.  It contains all the information necessary to attend. Hope to see you there! If you read my blog, please come up and introduce yourself.  I'd love to meet you!

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Mad Hatter Tea: "Dining at J.L. Hudson's" with Phyllis Barkey

Sunday, March 16, 2014, 2-4 p.m.
Where: 155 S. Main Street
Plymouth, MI 48170


Dining at J.L. Hudson's

with Phyllis Barkey

Phyllis's presentation is divided into three parts: Joseph Lowthian Hudson and his magnificent store; dining at Hudson's; shopping at the Grand Dame of Woodward Avenue. The presentation will follow a Victorian-style tea with a twist. We will be serving several items formerly served at Hudson's, including Maurice Salad and Cheese Bread, along with the Plymouth Historical Museum's signature tea, "Mary's Blend," a combination of almond and cherry flavors in honor of Mary Lincoln. Guests are encouraged to wear their craziest hat as there will be a door prize awarded.

Phyllis Barkey's interest and appreciation for Hudson's was rekindled in 2011 when she wrote an article for a magazine publication about Hudson's Mezzanine Tea Room. She's currently working on a Hudson's cookbook.

Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non-members, if purchased by March 7; after that date, add $5 to the price. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum during open hours or below using Paypal. Ticket holders that come early can view the Museum's current special exhibit, "Vintage Project Runway."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Reflection...

What if Bibles were given
the priority of cell phones?

What if they were...

...checked often for messages?
 ...used for directions? 
... a possession no one could live without?   
...kept handy at all times?
...a part of every day living?

"Your Word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path."  Psalm 119:105

May God bless your week!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Breakfast Perfection!

Recently, I was catching up on reading posts at Lines from Linderhof - a very lovely blog. The January 8th post gave a recipe for Baked Apple Pie Oatmeal.  Since I've been eating oatmeal for breakfast for several years, my attention was piqued.  It's healthy, and has reduced my cholesterol count, so I'm always interested in new ways to prepare it.

I decided to give the recipe a try.  When making a recipe for the first time I always follow directions exactly, and after that I tweak it to make it my own.  

The first day I didn't put aluminum foil underneath the ramekin, and the oatmeal bubbled over in my oven making a mess to clean up.  Grrrr!  ;-)   The recipe called for 1/2 cup of milk to 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats  [not quick or instant, which I never use].  That was too dry for my taste, and since it only required 18-22 minutes of baking time, the apples were still crunchy.

The next day I increased the milk to 1 cup [which is the ratio used on the Quaker container]. To prevent any more oven spillovers, I placed the ramekin in a square baking pan and poured a little water in the pan so clean up would be easy.  To my amazement, it didn't bubble over, and the water prevented a crusty top. Definite progress! ;-) I increased the baking time to 40 minutes, and the apples were soft.  The recipe doesn't call for any sugar allowing the apple to sweeten it naturally. A plus since I'm trying to lose weight.

On day three I substituted almond flavoring for vanilla, and topped it with 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts when it came out of the oven.  It was better, but still wasn't quite there yet. I concluded it needed a little additional sweetening. The calorie count for 1 tablespoon of brown sugar is 45 calories, so yesterday I added  that to the recipe.  I'm done tweaking! Like Goldilocks when she ate baby bear's porridge, my taste buds declared, it was j-u-s-t right!

The 40 minute baking time makes it ideal for my schedule.  After awaking, I go into the kitchen and put the ingredients together.  While it's baking I have my devotions [giving "First Fruits" to God - if you read my post last Sunday you'll know what that means]. When my devotions are done, the baked oatmeal is done.  I almost always eat breakfast by myself while sitting at my computer leisurely reading the blogs I follow.  [I love retirement! ;-)]

Lately my morning and afternoon tea has been Harney & Sons "Holiday Tea," a black tea blend with fruit and spices.  It goes perfect with the baked oatmeal. 

Baked Apple Pie Oatmeal
[Serves 1]

1 cup milk [skim, 2% or whole - I use 2%]
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon almond extract [or vanilla if you prefer]
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
scant 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 small apple, chopped [or half of a large one]
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degree oven.  Grease  a single serving ramekin with butter or Pam. Mix together all ingredients and pour into ramekin.  Place in a shallow baking pan and fill with  a quarter inch of water. Bake in oven for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts or almonds.  Add an additional splash of milk if desired.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal, cinnamon, and walnuts all lower cholesterol.  Everything I read says breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this healthy, hearty "stick to your ribs" breakfast contains 533 calories. It's so worth the time and effort. I might drizzle a tablespoon of maple syrup over the top tomorrow, and tack on 52 more calories! ;-)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Shopping at KrisTea's

KrisTea's is a cute tea and gift shoppe down the street from O'Mara's Restaurant in Berkley, MI. Afternoon Tea attendees are given a 25% discount coupon for KrisTea's, so many times when we leave O'Mara's we head straight to KrisTea's.  I seldom leave empty-handed.

I made two purchases on Tuesday.  The first thing that caught my attention was a teapot rhinestone brooch.  It came in three different styles, and the saleslady said they've been big sellers.  The price tag was $21.50 but with 25% off it was $16.13 plus tax.

Just before we were leaving the store I spotted a unique tea tin, and since I have a collection of them I decided to get it.  The saleslady said she found it in northern Michigan.   Have you ever seen a tin with a clasp like this?

Most have pull-off lids like this one in my collection.

There were lots of things I saw and liked, but only the brooch and tea tin came home with me.   Who knows what February's visit will produce.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Afternoon Tea of 2014

Yesterday, three tea-lovin' girlfriends and I returned to O'Mara's for our first afternoon tea of the new year in their Avalon Tea Room.  It was great!

The theme was "Crystal Gardens."  The tables were decorated in silver and white, with "icy" embellishments which is perfect for Michigan's January.

[L-R:  Cindy, Lori, Sandy and Me]

The tea selections were Darjeeling, White Chocolate & Mint, and Vanilla & Chamomile White. I chose the Darjeeling which was very good.  

The soup course offerings were Irish Potato, and White Bean Chicken Chili.  I chose the Chicken Chili.  It was so good on a wintry day when the temperature never got above 12 degrees F.  

The savories were:  Smoked Whitefish Pate on Toast Points;  Cucumber Cups with Sour Cream; and Chicken Roll-ups.

Chef Anita demonstrated how to make Brie with White Grapes and Almond Slices baked in Filo Dough.

It was served with slices of Fresh Fruit [Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Pineapple] and Crackers.

The entrée was White Lasagna - A meatless dish with Alfredo Sauce and Artichokes.  Yum!

The dessert course was Coconut Scones, Divinity, and White Chocolate Panna Cotta.

February's theme is "For the Love of Chocolate,"  and we're making plans to attend!  After the tea we went to KrisTea's - a tea themed gift shop.   Come back tomorrow and I'll show you what I purchased.

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Today I'm joining Bernideen's Tea Time blog for "Friends Sharing Tea"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles Tea Set

A couple of prominent bloggers are partial to transferware, and after visiting their blogs and seeing their beautiful tablescapes featuring it, I became interested in red/pink transferware for myself. It started out just a piece here and there - an Alfred Meakin teapot was the first piece I purchased, and over time my collection has grown.  I have written six different posts about my transferware from November 2012 to December 2013.  If you haven't read the posts and would like to, simply type 'red transferware' in the search box in the upper left corner of my blog and it will bring up the posts.

Recently I saw a 13-piece Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles tea set up for bid on E-bay. I was the first bidder then another person jumped in, and the price began to climb.  My initial reaction was to drop out, until I priced the pieces individually and found they would total about $200.  I won the auction for $88 plus shipping, and the tea set arrived in last Friday's mail.  It was still in it's original box.

I plan to incorporate red toile fabric in the tablescape somewhere - maybe napkins?

I am now the happy owner of service for six in this pattern.  I wish you could join me for tea!

I know there's brown, green, purple, and blue transferware, but my favorite is the red/pink. Do you have a transferware collection?

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Today I'm linking to Artful Affirmations for "Teacup Tuesday"
Antiques and Teacups for "Tuesday Cuppa Tea"
Rose Chintz Cottage for "Tea Time Tuesday"