Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

How quickly 2015 has passed.  Journey back with me to review the most popular posts of the year.

~ January 2015 ~
A Downton Abbey Tea at Farmington Hills Library 

~ February 2015 ~
Tea Themed Collections - Linens and Things 

~ March 2015 ~
A New Easter Tea Set

~ April 2015 ~
Back from Washington D.C. [Cherry Blossom Festival]

~ May 2015 ~
First Day in London, England - Tea at Selfridges

~ June 2015 ~
Sixth Day in London - Afternoon Tea at Byfleet Manor
Home of Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, Downton Abbey

~ July 2015 ~
Blue and White China

~ August 2015 ~
Tiffany and John's Wedding

~ September 2015 ~
A Tea Luncheon for Friends

~ October 2015 ~
A Fall Tablescape

~ November 2015 ~
1,000th Blog Post

~ December 2015 ~
Advent Tea at Manresa

When I wrote my first post on January 24, 2012, I had no idea three years later I'd complete 1,042 posts.  To all my readers and followers, thank you for your support!  

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Cozy Post-Christmas Supper

Today was a laid-back, stay-at-home day, perfect for trying out my new cast iron Dutch oven with left-over Christmas Eve ham in a pot of split pea soup.  An ideal supper for a day when temps weren't predicted to rise above 34 degrees. 

While the soup was simmering, I sipped a cup of Chinese high grade black tea, Zhen Qu Golden Buds from The Rendezvous With Tea.  Yum!

Soup's On!

For dessert, a couple of remaining pieces of Christmas Eve birthday cake for Jesus - coconut, lemon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Gifts to Me from Me!

While shopping for others at Christmas, I bought a few treasures for myself! ;-)  Life has been so busy I haven't had a chance to look at them yet.  I love Hoffman Media books and magazines, so I know I'll enjoy these over a cup of tea.

Every recipe in the book below has an accompanying color photograph.  It came from Barnes and Noble.

I'm getting anxious for Season VI, episode 1 of Downton Abbey on January 3rd.  Hubby and I made a trip to World Market today [in Ann Arbor] where I purchased the items below. Their Downton Abbey shelves were practically bare.  I was unable to obtain Mrs. Patmore's Blueberry Scone tea, Black Currant jam, Christmas Preserves, and Orange Marmalade, but I was able to order online Downton Abbey Legacy Tea and The Butler Blend.

With the exception of Mrs. Patmore's Blueberry Scone tea, I think I have all the other Downton Abbey teas blended by Republic of Tea.  

A blog photo [below] was sponsored by World Market.  You can access the blog here. Doesn't it look like a fun tea party?

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Today I'm joining  Antiques and Teacups for Tuesday Cuppa Tea
and Bernideen's Tea Time Blog for Bernideen's Cottage and Garden Blog Party

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monthly Tea at Shore Pointe Assisted Living

Yesterday was the monthly tea at Shore Pointe Assisted Living. My theme was "The Nutcracker and Other Christmas Classics."

The building was beautifully decorated for the residents to enjoy.

Since I had just seen the Nutcracker Ballet, the story was fresh in my mind.  I love that in the Land of Sweets there is a Chinese Dance dedicated to tea.  Even though tea isn't a 'sweet' it was a rare delicacy at one time in its history, and considered special enough to have a dance dedicated to it. There is also a dance for chocolate from Spain, coffee from Arabia, and candy canes from Russia.  I gave each resident a candy cane as a favor, while I shared history and legends surrounding them.

I took several 'props' to make the presentation more interesting.  My recently acquired nutcracker came along, and I retrieved a ballerina doll from basement storage that I received for Christmas in the 1950's. Somewhere in the passage of time she lost her ballerina slippers, so I need to get her a new pair, but otherwise she's still in very good condition wearing her original tutu.  Anyone else in blogland remember having one of these dolls?

We talked about the history of nutcrackers and Christmas trees and their ties to Germany. I love researching information for the residents.  I took a set of wooden Christmas trees Jerry made for me many years ago.

We talked about Santa Claus and how he's traced back to St. Nicholas.  When I was a teenager my mother bought a mechanical Santa to place under the Christmas tree.  When I got married and had children she passed the Santa on to me, and I've  placed it under our Christmas tree almost every year for my children, and now grandchildren to enjoy.  He's a bit bedraggled from handling all these years, but he still rings his bell when wound up.

And lastly, since Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer celebrated his 76th birthday this year, I had to tell the residents the story of how he came to be.  I found the original poem [online] written by Robert May, that was published in a booklet for Montgomery Ward Santas to distribute to children in 1939.  The song [sung by Gene Autry] didn't come along until ten years later.  I read the poem to close the program.  My wooden Rudolph that Jerry made the same year he made the Christmas trees made an appearance too. Can you tell I'm a saver? You just never know when things are going to come in handy!  ;-)

Now to decide what the program for January 2016 will be???