Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Won't you come over for tea?

When I was a little girl. and if I had been very good, my mom would let me unpack my older sister's China tea party set. I think the little tea pot held all of 8 or 10 ounces, and the little cups held probably 3 or 4 tablespoons. Mom would make a "pot" of tea and we would put milk in the little creamer and sugar in the little sugar pot and Nance & I would have a tea party. I'm not sure what happened to that little set and to tell you the truth, I remember that it was very sweet, but I don't remember a whole lot about how it was decorated, but I do know that it made me feel very grown up to get to use it. I hope that one of my older sisters have it tucked away safe someplace.

The other "tea parties" that I remember were the ones my mom used to have with a neighbor lady and two other friends -they may not have always agreed on religion or politics, but they were farm wives and that tied them together. They would alternate whose house they would visit (I'll never forget that when ever she went over to our neighbor Dorothy's home, mom would take a gallon of water to make tea - they got their water from an alkalai spring - it made great coffee, but wretched tea)

I think of those tea parties now as I sit down to the computer to "visit" my blogger friends - the ones I have listed in my side bar like Kathy, Michelle or Leigh. Kathy & Michelle are both shepherds and spinner/knitter types - we talk about our sheep and they encourage me with my fledgling spinning attempts, and Leigh - such a very talented lady, who also shares my love of cats. I forget sometimes when I'm reading her blogs about Rascal or his sister Little CatZee that she is the "voice" behind the kitty - their stories are so much fun.

But those are just a few of the friends who I visit on a regular basis - I love to visit Maggie in Victoria, B.C. to see what is happening in her garden and around the city. She is a very accomplished photographer and I have learned a lot by seeing how she frames her pictures and the different things that she takes pictures of to show texture or lines. Sharon in Nevada is also very talented "fiber person" and she has a little farm where the darndest things happen. In all I probably have about 20 blogs that I visit on a regular basis - one of these days I'll update my link list - (and of course there are all the cat blogs I visit - what a bunch of characters.) In the evening, I'll make a cup of tea or cocoa - or a tall glass of ice tea on a hot afternoon - and have a "chat" just like my mom used to do with her friends.

Well, it's late (tomorrow already, actually). The holiday has me all off schedule, so I'll have to think of my Three Beautiful Things for Tuesday during the day and post them tomorrow night - but you know what? Before I go, I'm going to give you my recipe for "Star Wars Cookies" (made with Dark Chocolate M&M's - ie. Come over to the DARK side, Luke)

Makes 4-6 dozen (depending upon what size cookie scoop you use)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream in a large bowl:
1 cup room temperature butter (yes, real butter - what can I say)
1 cup brown sugar (you can use Dark brown sugar for a more rich taste)
1 cup granulated (white) sugar

Add and beat 1 minute:
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Add and beat one more minute:
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Mix in with a wooden spoon OR I use the dough hooks on my hand mixer - dough will be very stiff:
1 12 oz bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large bag (12 oz?) bag of dark chocolate M&M's
1 cup dried tart cherries (chop these up (a little flour will keep them from sticking to your knife) if they are really big ones)
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
I don't use nuts because The Shepherd doesn't like them in his cookies - but a cup of toasted chopped almonds or chopped walnuts could also be added at this time

I use stoneware baking sheets - I haven't burned a batch of cookies since I started using them. (they might get a little crunchy, but they don't burn on the bottom - quite amazing really)

If you are using a regular cookie sheet you might want to use a SilPat sheet or a teflon cookie sheet so you don't have to grease the pan. Drop by spoonfuls or use a medium cookie scoop. That way all your cookies are the same size and bake uniformly. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes or until golden brown (I find my oven takes 15 or 16 minutes on the first few sheets) Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack. Enjoy with a cup of tea and a visit with a good friend.


Anonymous said...

Hey, L'l sis: Rest assured that tea set is tucked away in a safe place. Next time you get this way, we'll get it out and pretend we're five years old and having another tea party with mom. Maybe PT and his mommy would come? I'm sure it's okey for little boys to have tea with their mommies once in a while...no more cookie recipes however; we're on diets at this house. How bout something made with veggies? Lovya, Big Sis

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Thanks for describing so well what we "do" on the computer. It really is like sitting down for a chat with friends, but seems harder to justify sometimes. I enjoy my time with you, too!

shepherdchik said...

Oh I love to have tea from a teaset! It is way more fun that just a plain old mug. Glad to hear your childhood teaset it safe..what a great memory.

Leigh said...

I'm on my way! Those cookies look super yummy. But now I feel badly for not posting on my kitty blogs recently. Maybe I'd better go take some pictures.

Kathy L. said...

It will be so nice when we really CAN sit together and chat! ;)

Quail Hill Knits said...

Thise cookies look absolutely yummy. Your post reminded me of the tea parties I used to shae with my sisters. What fun to remeber a simpler time.

Tina T-P said...

Oh, I'm so glad you could all stop by for tea - I think you've all met each other by now. I hope you like Earl Grey - we have some herbal teas too, I think. I've had to put the cookies in the freezer though because I'm enjoying them far too much. (yes, they are yummy...)

Yes, those lovely little tea parties are memories of a simpler time - there's still nothing better than a tea party with my sisters -

Becca - I was glad to hear that the teaset was safe too :-)
Leigh, I'll be looking for some new R & CZ stories soon.
Soon, Kathy, Soon - find us a house/sheep sitter, would you?

Well, I'd better get back to work! T.