"If you are
cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you.
If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm
you." William Gladstone
Porcelain or silver
Porcelain Teacups and saucers
Linen and matching napkins
Serving spoons, Knives, Teaspoons
Tea Strainer (or mesh or teaball)
Scones and/or crumpets
Strawberry jam and/or lemon curd
Devonshire Clotted Cream
Sugar, Milk, Lemon slices
Assam and/or Earl Grey Tea
Music (Chopin or Liszt would be nice)
Roaring fire in Winter, if possible
Brew the tea by
bringing fresh water to a rolling boil in a kettle. Bring a teapot, warmed
by rinsing with hot water, to the kettle. Immediately take the kettle off
the heat as soon as water boils and pour the hot water into the pot. Into
the pot, place 1 tsp of leaves for each cup (6 oz) plus one "for the pot."
Alternatively, put leaves into a mesh basket or teaball and infuse this way
(there must be room enough inside the mesh or teaball for the tea leaves
to double in size). Steep a black tea for 5 or so minutes. The person who
"is mother" (the one who is to pour the tea) should pour into cups through
a strainer if mesh or a teaball isn't used. Serve with milk (never cream),
sugar cubes, and lemon slices. (Note: 4:00 is the standard time for a cream
For a Cream
1/3 c. + 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 large egg + 2 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 TBSP cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Whisk together everything but the butter in top of double boiler til light
and fluffly. Then cook over simmering water, stirring frequently, for 12-15
minutes or til it thickens to pudding consistency and coats a spoon. Strain,
if desired. Now gradually stir in butter til it's melted and mixture is smooth.
It should have the consistency of a heavy pudding or sour cream and be
spreadable, not soupy.
Mock Devonshire Clotted Cream
...if you can't get the real thing...
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 TBSP powdered sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
In chilled bowl, beat cream til medium-stiff peaks form, adding sugar during
last few minutes of beating. Fold in sour cream. (you can add a little vanilla,
if you want). Serve on scones and toasted crumpets with jam (eat quickly;
it doesn't keep).
Shaped Sugar "Cubes"
3 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
Put everything in a jar with a tight lid and shake til water is evenly
distributed. Put in bowl for easy access. Pack firmly into candy molds of
various shapes, some in "1-lump" size, and some in "2-lump" size. Turn out
immediately onto wax-paper lined cookie sheets. Put in a 300 degree oven
with the door open for about an hour (or leave overnight to dry). If you
want, just for looks, decorate a few using pastry bags of colored icings
you would use for cake decorations.
Scones (makes 10)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled, unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (may use Half-and-Half or milk instead)
1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet with butter and sprinkle with
flour (or line with parchment). Mix flour, sugar, powder and salt. Cut in
butter to form fine crumbs. Mix cream, egg, and vanilla, then add to crumb
mixture (don't overmix! Use a light hand). Press into a 7" circle (about
1 1/2" thick) and cut into triangles (or cut into circles with floured round
cookie cutters). Brush with the egg wash. Bake around 15 min. until golden
brown. They will be split horizontally and topped first with a very
thick layer of Devonshire Clotted Cream with a dollop of strawberry jam (or
lemon curd) on the very top. (Note on pronunciation of "scone": the proper
way is to rhyme the word with "John," but pronouncing it with a long "O,"
as in rhymes with "Joan," is gaining in popularity.)
Crumpets (makes 24)
2 pkgs (1/2 oz) dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2 c. warm water
2 TBSP baking powder
4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Dissolve yeast and sugar in the water. Add everything else and whisk til
frothy. Heat griddle to 450 degrees. Grease the insides of crumpet rings
(if you don't have any, you can use an empty tuna can that has been opened
on both sides) and place on griddle. Pour 3/4 c. batter in each ring. and
cook til bubbles form (like pancakes). Remove ring and turn over to cook
other side. Toast and serve with butter, and jam or lemon curd.
For an Afternoon
Makes 32 pieces, equivalent to 8 regular-sized sandwiches
1 peeled, seedless cucumber
4 1/2 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. orange zest
16 slices of firm, thin-sliced white bread, crusts removed
Garnish: fresh mint leaves and thin orange slices
Cut cucumber in in half lengthways, then slice crossways as thinly as possible.
In a small bowl, mix the butter and orange zest and stir until creamy. Spread
each slice of white bread with about 1½ teaspoons of the butter mixture.
Arrange several slices of cucumber on half of the bread, then top with the
remaining slices. Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles. To serve, arrange the
sandwiches on a platter, alternating white and brown sides of the sandwiches
and garnish with mint sprigs and orange slices.