The first documented tea cosy in Britain was in 1867 and it was probably the Duchess of Bedford, who by establishing the activity of afternoon tea in 1840, increased the popularity of tea cosy.
They then flourished during the late 19th Century and were also starting to be used in North America during the same period.
It is defined in Wikipedia as ‘a cover for a teapot, traditionally made of cloth or wool, which is used to insulate the tea, keeping it warm while it brews’.
Cloth tea cosies often have padded inserts which can be washed separately and many are hand knitted looking just like a woollen hat with a bobble on the top.
Of course they don’t have to be knitted you can buy tea cosies made from fabric like this tweed fabric one from Folksy at £28
Or copy this DIY cup cosy also found on Pinterest
There are lots of easy handmade gifts all around tea which could soon be knocked up for any tea lover. These were just a few I found on Pinterest. It has inspired me to quickly knit up some of the cup cosy for my friends.
It’s worth a visit to the lovely Georgian village of Easingwold to appreciate the lovely tea rooms and cafes available. The Clark’s have two to choose from, Clark’s Tea Rooms, Market Place, Easingwold, Yorkshire, YO6 3AG Tel No 01347 823143. This tea shop has all the same cakes, breads and pastries sold at their other shop ‘Clark’s Cafe’ bakery.
It’s divided into three rooms with walls adorned with local artists work and a smokers parlour at the back.The position of this tea shop in the central Market Place is perfect for a stop while shopping where you can enjoy their delicious home-made cakes and a refreshing pot of tea.
Clark’s Cafe, 195 Long Street, Easingwold, Yorkshire, YO6 3JB Tel No 01347 821285. This shop started back in 1925 when the Clark’s grandmother-in-law used to make scones and tea and sell it from the kitchen window to road repair men and cyclists.
You can see from the displays of canal-wares around the room that the owners enjoy narrow boats.
There is also a pretty garden with outside seating for the good weather months.
Everything is made on the premises with the speciality being the all day breakfast, ploughman’s lunch and the set afternoon or cream tea. This comes with a selection of sandwiches, scones with cream and cakes and tea.
This is a great recipe for Pumpkin Loaf Cake for Halloween which I found on the Oakhillhomestead site…
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp mace
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups of fresh pumpkin or 16 oz of canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water if pumpkin is fresh or frozen OR 2/3 cup water if pumpkin is canned
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, soda, salt, spices and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In another large bowl, combine eggs, water, oil and pumpkin; stir until blended. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, add nuts if you’re using them and mix well. Lightly grease the bottoms of two 9×5″ loaf pans and pour in the batter. Bake for one hour. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the loaves; the toothpick should come out clean. Cool slightly and take out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.
Now Autumn is well and truly kicking in, the nights are starting to draw in and the mercury is on a slow downward slope, our bodies start to crave the warmth of comfort food. But instead of opting for stodgy, carb-based staples that will comprise all the salads you ate during the summer, discover afresh the ultimate cold weather comfort food – soup. Quick and easy to prepare, extremely versatile, nourishing and healthful, it’s a great comfort food to turn to when it gets chilly outside. There are so many great qualities that mean soup deserves to be your new best friend this autumn…
1. PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME…
Modern life seems to be a constant rush, so it’s little wonder that we see an inexorable rise in the popularity of convenience foods and takeaways. One of the great benefits of soup is that it can be made in advance, frozen easily and reheated quickly. Or you can simply pop your ingredients into a soup-maker and enjoy fresh food ready for when you come in in the evening – check out a few of the best soup makers.
2. A SATISFYING MEAL…
Another problem with junk food is that it’s a lot of empty calories – you may fill yourself up with unhealthy treats only to find that you’re hungry again an hour later. Soup can be made as hearty as you like – try bulking it out with potatoes and pearl barley for a traditional Scotch broth, lentils and beans for a spicy Mexican flavour, pasta in a Minestrone or noodles in Asian-style udon. The possibilities are endless – you could even make deluxe cheesy croutons on top of a French onion soup. Soup has a large water content, which means it keeps you hydrated as well – people often confuse hunger with being dehydrated. Studies have even cited soup as a diet aid for this reason, as being hydrated means that you’ll feel satisfied for longer and are less likely to reach for calorie-laden snacks.
3. SOUP IS A HEALTH AID…
It’s a fact that most cooking methods reduce the amount of vitamins and minerals in a vegetable. Making soup is the only method that doesn’t, due to all the vitamin-packed cooking water becoming part of the broth. Homemade chicken soup has also been proven to help alleviate colds and flu due to its ability to clear mucus and act as an anti-inflammatory to soothe aching muscles.
4. IT HELPS YOU EAT MORE VEGETABLES…
If you are trying to achieve your five a day, soup is a great way to get more vegetables in easily. Try adding peppers and onions to homemade tomato soup, or coming up with great tasting new combinations, such as butternut squash, leek and shallot. The only limit is your imagination. Plus, if you have children who are fussy about eating greens, it’s a great way to sneak extra nutrients in!
5. IT’S SUPER EASY TO MAKE…
Even if your culinary skills leave a lot to be desired, soup is easy to make. You can experiment by adding in any ingredients you like, and the whole thing is very hard to mess up. You can even vary a recipe by making a batch of soup and then adding something new for the following night.