Monday, December 05, 2016

Tea in the Library


The title of this post "Tea in the Library", sounds like a hint from the game of "Clue" doesn't it?

Last week, I went to my local libray... 


and I had the most delightful time,
learning about tea & taste testing several different types.

We were asked to bring our own special teacup from which to sip & sample the tea.

I brought my pretty teacup with matching infuser & lid from TEAVANA
It was one of my birthday gifts a few years ago.

teacup 008

I just LOVE how it makes having a single cup of tea such a special experience.

It says the Ume blossom on the cup is the beloved symbol of hope in Asian art.


There was a beautiful array of GORGEOUS Hall teapots, (highly collectable)

each with its own special clear glass warmer stand with a little candle inside.

The individual teabags had been filled by hand with various flavors of widely different teas.

There were also bowls of spices, like star anise to examine, smell & savor.
We learned how Jasmine tea made by allowing the tea leaves to lay in racks with another rack of jasmine flowers in between each layer.  There is a fan moving the air about in the room until the tea master decides that the tea leaves have gotten enough aroma infused into them.  Amazing!


This event was put on by Angela Strach-Gotthardt, creator & owner of *The Secret Tea Society*.

She is extremely knowledgable & was a delightful hostess, sharing tips on herbal & botantical teas as well as secrets to making a really good cup of tea.

She frequently holds a tea tasting "Salon" in her own lovely historic home in Hudson, OH, which once hid runaway slaves beneath its floor boards!

A description of a salon from her website:

"A Secret Tea Society salon is a special gathering for tea and conversation. We seek out and create sometimes minimal and sometimes highly embellished venues for the gathering of interesting and interested individuals to share tea and conversation about virtually any given topic. A historic home, a public venue, a private room, any beautiful space can serve as the backdrop for a morning, an afternoon or an evening of curated teas, delectable treats, and conversations that foster learning and understanding of the world and of each other. Those conversations may leave one with, perhaps, more questions than answers–and that is a wondrous thing."


I was totally in love with her wonderful collection of teapots!

I collected them myself for many years, until I ran out of room, but none of mine are as special as the ones she shared!


She & her assistants passed around little bowls, filled with loose tea, for us to smell & observe.


Some were delightful...others, not so much. ;-p  Many smelled like perfume!  Not what I thought I would care to drink.


There were glass pedistals filled with nuts & unusual teas...I wish I could remember the name of this one with the little white tips....perhaps it might have been "white tea"!
I wish I had thought to take notes.



These are just some of the DARLING teapots Angela brought to share.
I was PEA-GREEN with envy over her collection.


I was also tickled PINK to receive a little brown envelope, tied with a PINK ribbon, 
filled with one of her special blends...Citrus Almond Herbal...DELISH!


The library had put out a cart with a selection of books on the topic of tea.  

I wanted to check out each one!


Angela also talked about chilled tea, often infused with fruits & how refreshing it could be during the warmer months. 



Angela is holding what she calls a "pop-up" store within the historic Brewster Mansion right on the square in Hudson, OH both this weekend & next.

Secret Tea Society Holiday Pop-Up

Friday, December 2nd - Thursday, December 22nd
10am-5pm Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays | 10am-8pm Thursdays
Brewster Mansion — 9 Aurora Street, Hudson, OH 44236
Our Secret Tea Society Holiday Pop-Up

 Shop is the place to shop your tea, tea

 equipage, candles and correspondence

 paper for holiday gift giving. 

Tea tastings are gratis all day, everyday.

 Enjoy relaxing on the leopard settee or on

 the porch overlooking Hudson's town

 green to sip, chat, taste, relax and shop.



Don't you just ADORE the little wooden teapots she uses to denote her location?  

All the more noticable with their trailing ribbons blowing in the wind.  So creative!


She suggested we put a slice of orange rind (without any of the white pith) into the cup, to make your tea even more special.

My sewing/smocking/quilting friend, Nicole visited shortly after the event & we tried it & it tastes divine!  I'm going to save the peel from all my oranges & freeze the bits of rind for future use.

I wish each of you could stop by to share a cup of tea during this holiday season!


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Time Spent by the Water


I've neglected my blog drastically... mostly because I haven't had a great deal of things to share. 

These photos were taken this past summer, at a sewing friend's cottage on Lake Erie...seems so very long ago! 


As a child, my family used to spend a day on the shores of Lake Erie at least once a summer.

I have fond memories of walking along the water's edge, hunting for pretty seashells.


This relaxing day was a wonderful trip down memory lane for me.

 I am SEW very grateful that I was included.

  My sore hip (bursitis) prevented me from some of the activity in the water but it was still a very fun day.
I sat in the shade on the deck & worked on some hand stitching.


Those warm summer days seem so far away now.

This morning, I awoke to SNOW on the pumpkins....


as well as my geraniums!

 It was 73º just a day ago!


I'm going to spend my Sunday afternoon, stitching some binding & catching up on the "Poldark" series on PBS.

Talk about being at the water's edge....this takes place in Wales, from whence my father's ancestors hail.
 I love the scenes of them walking & riding along these rocky cliffs, with the water crashing below.

Cromwell Coast

If you're not watching this series, I urge you to start at the beginning, from the library or On Demand TV.
Like Downton Abbey, you'll need to know the history of all the characters in order to fully enjoy the stories.


I'm especially enamoured with this red headed damsel, Demelza, wife of Poldark.

Lots of scenes with her standing by the water's edge, her gorgeous naturally curly red hair blowing in the wind. 


Perfect program for a snowy Sunday, especially if you're not into sports on TV.

I'll be able to show you a few sewing projects soon but for now they have to remain a secret.
Here is just a sneak peek though:


May you be surrounded by family & friends this Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Labor Day Table

I'm doing a re-run of a tablescape
I did a few years ago for Labor Day.
I have a bursitis in my hip that makes
dragging dishes up & down the stairs difficult.
I think I need to go soak in some of those
epsom salts I used with that candle!!

I assembled this little round table on our deck as a trial run
for Labor Day weekend.

We invited a widowed friend to join us for
Sunday dinner so I need 3 place settings.


This little table is at the far end of our deck,
opposite the Gazebo House.

Usually, I sit here with a cold Diet Coke,
watching the g'kidlets play in the hot tub.


The flower pot cost me all of $5 at the beginning of summer.
Amazing what a little Miracle Grow will do!

I placed it off center on our picnic tablecloth &
added candy-apple red chargers that sparkle in the sunlight,
followed by blue & white & polka-dot reds!


One of my favorite summer wines is this Blue River Riesling
but the unique bottle has a lot to do with it, too.

I love how you see through the bottle to view the
beautiful river scene.



The Revere bowl is there to hold shrimp tails.
I'm serving Garlic Marinated Grilled Shrimp &
will share that awesome recipe soon!


The red handled flatware is from this year.


My Napoleon Bee glasses were won in a Give-Away
from Libby at Taste & Twirl.
Thank you again & again, Libby!
I really use them & their matching carafe often.


I bought several of these glass stars last year....Dollar Tree.

They work for so many patriotic holiday celebrations

as well as Christmas.

This one is filled with epsom salts to help anchor the red candle.


Red chargers are from Big Lots,

Blue plates are from Pier One,

White plates are Bianca from Horchow,

Red polka-dots were found at Tues. Morning


I like to have my guests get up & change location for dessert.

If we eat in the dining room, then I often ask them to move into

the living room for coffee & sweets.

I think a change of locale adds interest to an evening

plus it feels good to move about after a big meal.


We'll move into the Gazebo for dessert,

in case the mosquitoes come out in the evening.

Plus, if it cools off, we can tuck the quilt around our legs.

This is a different quilt than the one I used for the 4th of July.

(see below)


I'll have fresh fruit with mint from 
the garden on hand & coffee or tea.




I also intend to serve mini individual cherry pies!

Yvonne, at StoneGable inspired me when she made blueberry ones.

One ready-made pie crust will make 2 little pies.

You use one side of the mold
(shown below)

to cut the bottoms & the lattice side

to cut the tops.

Placing the solid piece on the bottom of the mold,

fill with 3 Tbsp. of any fruit filling,

top with the lattice cut pie top &

PRESS together to seal & crimp the edges!

Easy as PIE!!


Available at Williams Sonoma for $10.


Any leftover crust can be re-shaped,

sprinkled with sugar & cinnamon,

rolled up, sliced & then baked with the pies.

(Thank you, Carol, for my special cinnamon!)


You know you want to lick up that drip, doncha'?!


A last peek at the lantern in the Gazebo at dusk...


Thank you to everyone who visits The Gazebo House.
Enjoy your holiday weekend!