Let’s have Afternoon Tea!

 

 

It’s always lovely  to catch up with family, friends, neighbours,  just  to make a special time,  or a casual time,  to reconnect, enjoy and relax.


A cup of tea, sandwiches, pastries and cakes,  a time to sip, eat, enjoy,  then after, perhaps walking in the garden,  by the river,  by the sea,  in a beautiful field or under an apple tree, in an orchard,  somewhere, anywhere!

A magical escape, a time to laugh,  feel,  believe that life is,  can be,  will be extraordinarily,  great!

Enjoy and remember these precious moments and remember them in times when, wow, did I just have an exceptionally bad day!!   Most definitely!   Then remember and plan that next afternoon tea,  that next afternoon getaway!  So important to break the  chain that  seems to lock us into the  humdrum of our lives. What is the alternative of ‘humdrum’?

Well, what is ‘humdrum’ !?      Boredom , lack of interest,  ordinary.

We need to escape the humdrum,  so a change is required, small at first,   always good and room to grow and   of course, think big , think  exceptionally large!

Well why not?!

The scene is set, what shall we have for afternoon tea!?

Some yummy delights to eat and Something stylish to transport our afternoon tea in and most definitely a  comfortable  water resistant Picnic blanket to relax on.   To complete our wonderful setting a Collapsible Picnic Table and some   Collapsible folding chairs. Why , well  we need  easy to transport and  light weight,  so easy to take and carry to our destination!

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(Most important for those  who  don’t wish to, or  maybe just can’t,  throw themselves down on that glorious blanket!)

Mmmmm… Done!       Now for our Afternoon Tea!

mmmmmm…. Our  Menu.

No matter whether casual or elegant we do need a menu of sorts!

I am thinking:

Savoury 

Salmon Pate with dry crackers on the side.

Finger Sandwiches:

Three fillings:

Curried  egg with mayonaise and lettuce.

     Cucumber with dill and  mayonnaise  

    Smoked Ham and  seeded mustard 

Lets  mix up those breads;  rye would be perfect with all three fillings, also mixed grain and white bread,  all delicious  and then,  well, mix it up!   Put white on one side and mixed grain on the other,  rye bread on one and mixed grain on the other!

Yum!   Different textures  of bread with the  filling in one bite!

Now to finish with some delectable sweetness!

Is it difficult to Transport a wonderful rich tasting, but delightfully refreshing delicious cheesecake perhaps, to our outdoors afternoon tea,  or should we opt for a substantial cake, full of fruit, or perhaps a ginger bread  cake,  a banana cake and then include some scrumptious  biscuits, home made of course,  to dip into our  freshly brewed cup of tea!

Mmmmm…., need a  contented sleep under the dappled sunlight of that glorious tree,  after these delectable delights!

Mmm….A shady tree!

 

Well, I have a lot of recipes to find for you and  I shall delight in foraging amongst my recipe books,  the salmon pate, (or was it a mousse), well, I used to make it  when we had dinner parties, oh dear, so many moons ago , hope I can rediscover it.   Mmmmm …I might just forget to resurface!

Well I have found my recipe for salmon pate and salmon mousse in the same recipe book, yay!   I have these recipe books, they must be at least 40 years old, my copies anyway. We have an Iconic magazine in Australia, it’s called;

The Australian Women’s Weekly

It started its iconic journey in 1933 by a very famous Australian  name, Frank Packer, it used to be a weekly magazine but became and still is a monthly event. The magazine  later produced  soft cover A4  page cook books and I think I just had to have everyone! The one that has my salmon pate recipe in it is;

The Australian Women’s Weekly  Dinner Party Cookbook No 2.

All the recipes that are published, come from the Test  Kitchens of The Australian Woman’s Weekly and  are thrice tested!  Wonderful!  The books are glossy and with lots of pictures of completed recipes so I knew/know how my  cooking efforts should hopefully look on completion! Love those pictures!

The recipe:      Smoked Salmon Pate

This yummy pate will just  complement our choice of fillings in our sandwiches, listed above, what better than  mixing egg and cucumber and ham with mayo and curry flavours with the  delightful smoked salmon flavour of our pate!

4oz (125grams)                   Smoked salmon

1oz ( 30 grams)                    Melted  Butter

2 teaspoons of oil               Perhaps vegetable or really whatever you have to               hand,  I normally do have vegetable or/ and olive oil in my pantry.

1 tablespoon  lemon juice

1/4 cup of cream

1/2 teaspoon French mustard

2  shallots chopped finely

sprinkle of salt and pepper

In food processor or blender, place roughly chopped smoked salmon, add melted butter and mix until combined. Add lemon and oil and blend until smooth, then add cream and mustard, salt and pepper to taste, then fold in chopped shallots and spoon mixture into two  Little pots and refrigerate to cool and set, already for our, Afternoon Tea!

Well I have now researched and found some of these wonderful  Women’s Weekly cook books and perhaps I should cherish mine a little bit better than I do, anyway have a look.


 Here are some more wonderful,  beautiful books to inspire us, to bake, enjoy and hey, just to show off our prowess in the kitchen!!



My Nanna, my Dad’s Mum, was an amazing cook and I inherited a shoe box, filled with hand written recipes, cut outs, from magazines and newspapers, it is old and smells of Nanna’s house, mmm… lovely!

My Nanna’s shoe box!

I found her recipe for her Christmas cake,  just a cutout from some long ago newspaper, well there are little holes in this recipe obliterating some of the recipe!  Oh dear, but obviously a fabulous recipe made again and again and again for all of her precious family to enjoy and we all just loved it!  Can I piece this together, just by trying to figure out and testing what has been lost!.

mmmm…. well we shall see!

And my Nana, how old?     Well my Dad was born in 1912, the fourth of five, the first born died, very young, a babe.   Dad was then the third of the living siblings.  My  Nana was amazing and at her table, I first tasted cream puffs filled with freshly beaten cream and sprinkled with icing sugar,  I must have been all of ten!  She was well before her time in Australia!

And born when,? Well  I shall have to ask my sister, why do your older sisters know so much more!.

Well, more recipes for our wonderful Afternoon Tea under that glorious shady tree!

Let’s try and find that cake recipe that  just satisfies  the desire for a little sweetness.  I love this English Magazine, ‘Landscape’,   I find it full of inspiring stories,  visual delights, recipes, craft ideas.     Mmmmm…. so much!  This recipe is from their website:

www.landscapemagazine.co.uk

Pear and Blackberry Cake

Serves 6-8
2 small firm, ripe pears
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 piece stem ginger,
finely chopped
150g softened butter
150g light muscovado sugar
3 free-range eggs
200g self-raising flour
150g blackberries
icing sugar to dust

Peel, core and dice the pears. Toss in the lemon juice and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition, adding 1tbsp of flour with the last egg. Sift the remaining flour into the bowl and fold in. Add the diced pears and sliced ginger and fold in.
Spoon into a greased 20cm-deep round cake tin and level the top. Arrange the blackberries on top of the cake and gently push a little way into the batter. Bake at 180ºC/gas mark 4 for 50–60min or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 5min. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and serve cold, dusted with icing sugar

A Biscuit! 

For Dunking?  No not really,  I have this recipe and have made it and these biscuits are just  Yum!!   and would I dunk?  perhaps not,  would I  have a bite of biscuit and a sip of tea!     Mmm… yes!!   Definitely yes and  Yum!

This recipe comes from Ina Garten, this absolutely amazing woman, who actually happens to be the most amazing, cook, chef and  home maker!  Ages ago and I actually mean years!  I made her ‘Thumb  Print Biscuits’, and then  lost  recipe, so I emailed her, and/or her support, asking for  her recipe.

Well they were absolutely delighted  to forward recipe to me, well there you go, an exceptionally wonderful, giving  person!

Thumbprint Jam Biscuits.

Ina Garten

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1-1/4 inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

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To the Pleasure of Tea and an Extravagant Affair on a Shady Patch  of Grass!

Michele

 

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10 Replies to “Let’s have Afternoon Tea!”

  1. How I love tea. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is. Tea flows down all day, every day. I just love how you have described  the tea taking process and what could make it perfect. I already see myself in that beautiful garden with a small blanket and tables. And did I say you got me salivating with the menu options? Of course I will lie down for a while after indulging in all these deliciousness. I’ll definitely try the Smoked Salmon Pate.This is a lovely and refreshing article. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Carol, Your  Welcome.

      The Salmon Pate, (compliments of our Iconic Women’s Weekly),  is luscious, light and just yummy, perhaps I should have added just a lovely glass of bubbly to have with it and then sip our  beautiful cups of tea with the delectable sweets!

      Michele

  2. Oh my! You have here so much to munch on. I am honestly so in love with your post here. Seeing that you have pictured a good afternoon with my family is really so refreshing. This is definitely something id like to give a try even though i am always currently busy with my business. It’s also good that you can share those biscuit recipes. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    1. Hello Henderson,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Yes, Our lives can just get too busy can’t they? 

      Ten minutes may just have to do, with your lovely choice of brew!

      Michele

  3. Your post here got me seriously salivating even though i am already an avid lover of taking tea. I think i need to get one of those books to help me with baking because that’s not something i like doing very often because maybe I’m a guy. Your biscuit recipes look like a big go-to for me right now. I have to appreciate this article. I’ll share it with my tea loving friends as well.

    1. Hi John,

      Books I love them, especially cook books with lovely glossy pictures and I just love to get comfy and devour them with a lovely cup of tea and a biscuit, home made of course!    ( well some of the time!)

      Michele

  4. I couldn’t help but marvel at your description of the tea taking process and the various descriptions on the menu to accompany the tea. Simply awesome, I must say. I also fantasied myself under that tree too with a blanket.  Seriously, it would be ecstatic. I love tea alpt and I love how you’ve magnified it here. Thanks

    1. Hi Rodarrick

      Thanks, yes it’s all about the plan, the getaway, timeout. But hey always a good time for a cuppa isn’t it!?

      Michele

  5. So much to take from this article, not least your recipe for the smoked salmon pate. Not my favourite fish but my by far my wifes’ most beloved. She really would have salmon with everything. I might have to try it out in secret, as a surprise.

    I was taken back to summer afternoons playing cricket. The mid point always a place of refuge to have a few limp sandwiches and some plain biscuits, quantity over quality. The saving grace, hot, sweet tea. Always out of a large urn and never have I managed to find the same taste again. Maybe because it was part of the day, all the senses being at play.

    I also had to Google Frank Packer as the name rang a bell, again with the cricket link. He was the father of Kerry Packer who, for better or worse, made more of his name promoting world cricket during the late seventies. Life brings with it a plethora of connections, sometimes from the least expected places.

    1. Dear Twack Romero,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Please no more limp sandwiches and plain biscuits!  

      ‘All the senses being at play’. Wonderful!

      Thank you Twack!

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