Tea Time Collectibles

Tea Time Collectibles
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A number of Country Kitchen readers have written to inform me they enjoyed reading my columns about teacups and tea parties. Over the years, information about tea and related topics has been popular.
Tea fanciers often like to collect data about tea, the history of this beverage, and implements for making and serving it. My daughter has accumulated a number of teapots, which she displayed around a kitchen where she once lived.

She also looks for books about tea and tea parties to add to my collection. Two I particularly enjoy are “Time for Tea With Mary Englebreit” and “Afternoon Tea” by Helen Simpson.

Tea Balls & Strainers

My grandson was fascinated recently when he discovered a tea ball among my belongings. I hadnÂ’t used it for awhile so he wondered how it worked. We filled the ball with loose Earl Gray tea, and screwed on the top. Then I looped the chain over the teacup and poured in boiling water. I explained to him we could use it in a teapot, too.

I also have one with a handle attached. The halves of the ball open. Once it is filled, I immerse it into the teacup. Tea strainers are interesting to collect as well.

Teapot Variations

While visiting friends in Utah, I saw an interesting teapot. It was clear with a cone shaped insert in the center. They filled the center with loose tea, and then added boiling water to the pot.

Among my tea collectibles are Christmas tree decorations. They consist of a miniature teapot and teacup with saucer. They arenÂ’t to be used, not even for a dollÂ’s tea party. Each had gold string loops for hanging on the tree.

Tea Decorating

Recently, for a ladies luncheon, I was asked to decorate one of the tables with a centerpiece having a tea party theme. I searched among my belongings and combined a lace doily, mauve ribbons, the tiny tea set, decorative candles, and flowers in a small vase.

Others used regular size teapots, teacups, tea bags, and other tea memorabilia for their centerpieces. This was a very interesting way to adorn the round banquet tables seating ten.

Finding Tea Memorabilia

As spring approaches with the influx of yard and estate sales, you may find opportunities to add to your tea memorabilia collecting. My daughter and IÂ’ve found teacups and teapots at yard sales. If youÂ’re diligent, you may come across tea balls, tea strainers, special teaspoons, sugar bowls and creamers.

Tea canisters and tea tins, with manufacturerÂ’s names and labels printed on the outside also might be an addition to your collection.

Recipes for Tea Time

SOUR CREAM TEA RING: Mix together 1 package yellow cake mix, ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 package instant vanilla pudding, ½ pint sour cream and 3 eggs. Beat well. Then pour half the batter into a large greased and floured tube pan.

Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Top with chocolate or butterscotch bits and chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds. Pour remaining batter over this.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for one hour, until cake tests done.

(A variation is to use a lemon cake mix and lemon instant pudding. After baked and cooled, drizzle with a lemon/confectionersÂ’ sugar icing.)

(c)2005 Mary Emma Allen


About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes

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