BUY THE RIGHT TEA TO PAIR WITH CHRISTMAS FOOD…

To enjoy your cuppa at Christmas, make sure you have the right flavour to pair with your Christmas food.

When drinking Lapsang have it with turkey or smoked salmon sandwiches or walnut cake or Stilton cheese, to enhance the flavour of the tea and/or food. Try Twinings Lapsang Souchong, smoked pine flavour.

Of course, Christmas isn’t Christmas without chocolate but with different strengths of chocolate, this does mean there is a choice of pairings. With dark chocolate, try Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Gyokuro, or Oolong. Try this Whittards Loose Leaf Darjeeling Black Tea. A distinctly delicate loose leaf black tea, picked by hand in the Himalayan foothills. Fresh and fruity, with a muscatel sweetness.

With milk or white chocolate try Darjeeling, Dragonwell, or Oolong. This Gingersnap Oolong from Whittards will go perfectly with white chocolate. A speciality of China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces and Taiwan, oolong tea is semi-oxidised for an astonishing spectrum of flavours, ranging from “green” floral high-grown varieties to distinctive dark oolongs with nutty, chocolatey tones. A Whittard twist on a traditional chai, we’ve opted for a delicate, creamy loose leaf oolong base and layered it with sugar and spice, and all things gingery nice.

When drinking Earl Grey try The Tea Makers Earl Grey have it with fine pate or ham and mustard sandwich’s or Crème Brulee or Leicester cheese, to enhance the flavour of the tea and/or food. This stunning version of classic Supreme Earl Grey has been conveniently packed into our biodegradable tea bags. This tea offers a blend of exquisite Ceylon teas scented with flavours of bergamot oil and blue cornflowers. 

Fortnum and Mason have some amazing goodies paired with specific teas like their Christmas Green Tea created especially for Christmas, their gently warming blend of green tea, star anise, liquorice, coconut and a hint of vanilla is a festive treat that can be enjoyed by a crackling fire at any time of day.

If you don’t want to buy lots of different flavoured tea blends then you could always go for this Twinings Christmas Loose Tea Caddy A Black Tea with Spice Flavour.

A wonderful tea for the Christmas season. A Christmas Tea spiced malty black tea that has been expertly blended with warming, spicy, Christmas flavours off safflowers and orange peel. Enjoy with or without milk for a delicious festive treat.

The caddy depicts a wintery scene in the heart of London where Twinings was founded in 1706. When Thomas Twining opened his Golden Lyon shop at 216 Strand, it was the first of its kind and London’s love affair with tea started to blossom. The Twinings flagship store recently celebrated its 300 year anniversary and now offers Tea Experience masterclasses.

With so many black friday offers I decided to not add prices to the teas as they are on offer at the moment but may not be when you try the link. Enjoy…

FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT GRANDMA’S APRON..

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that,it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. When company came,those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.. And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden,it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the Autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, to tell us it was time to come in for dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes. Grandma would also set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters now set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

OVER TEN REASONS TO DRINK GREEN TEA…

 

The question is are there any other foods or drink that have been reported to have as many health benefits as green tea?

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times. It is made using the leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are then applied to heat quickly after picking which minimizes oxidation. This is thought to give the green tea it’s many benefits.

1. Researchers have suggested that it can help slash the risk of developing cancer by shrinking tumours.

2. It has been known to stabilise your cholesterol levels.

3. It has shown significant reductions in deaths of cardiovascular disease.

4. It can boost your immune system and aid weight loss.

5. It has been effective in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.

6. It can reduce tooth decay.

7. A recent report has shown that it can also slow the onset of Alzheimers and Parkinsons Disease.

8. It can help fight infections and allergies to the body.

9. They also say it can slow the ageing.

10. The latest news on Green tea is that it can enhance the ability of our brains’ cognitive functions especially on the working memory, a Swiss scientists suggest.Researchers have recommended further study into how green tea can help with cognitive impairments such as dementia.

11. Green tea’s other benefits include reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. This research was conducted at the University Hospital of Basel Switzerland and led by Professors Christoph Beglinger and Stefan.

12. Drinking green tea ‘may’ reduce the risk of age related functional disabilities like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

13. They say that for people who consume 1 – 2 cups of green tea per day have a ten percent lower risk of becoming disabled.

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GROWING YOUR OWN TEA…

We are not talking about herbal teas either, but real tea: Camellia sinensis. You don’t need a large garden to grow your own tea, a planter on a balcony would work just fine.

‘You could try growing Camellia sinensis in a greenhouse, or in a pot that you can bring indoors during cold winters.

The Camellia sinensis plant is a small shrub about 1-2 meters in height, though it will grow taller if you don’t prune it. In the fall, your tea shrub will flower with small white blossoms that have a delightful scent. These plants are often grown as ornamentals. For planting, Camellia sinensis likes well-drained and sandy soil that is on the acidic side. If you are going to grow your tea in a container, add some sphagnum moss to the potting mix. You’ll need some patience, too. Your plant should be around 3 years old before you start harvesting leaves.

A great site with all the details on growing your own tea is ‘Guide to Growing Tea’, and you might be able to get seeds at your local nursery or try online at Amazon.

From that plant, you could make black, green or oolong tea. Fascinating stuff and for all us tea lovers, its another thing we can try growing in the garden.

VINTAGE GROCERY BRANDS, FIFTIES STYLE…

The hardware shops of the fifties were where you could get most of your household goods as supermarkets were not up and running then. It was home for household items like balls of string, cook’s matches, mothballs, toilet blocks and nails. You could also purchase crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment.

Some of the traditional cleaning products survived the war and are still around today. Those who have changed little in their design including Brasso (in the can), Lux Soap Flakes, Tide Washing Powder and Ajax Scouring Powder. Other popular brands include Harpic, Flash and Surf. Of course, laundry detergents were quite different with optical brighteners like Reckitts Blue which would be added to the final rinsing water to ensure the linen was whiter than white.

Even some of the old breakfast cereals are still going strong, Kellogg’s Cornflakes and Frosted Flakes (now known as Frosties) Shreddies, Quaker Puffed Wheat, and Scotts Porridge Oats.

Although the fast food was not happening until the middle of the 1950’s there was plenty of canned foods around like, soup, luncheon meat, corned beef and tinned fruit and vegetables. Frozen foods were also starting to become popular with fish fingers being one of the first ones on the market.

Of course, there are still a number of stock cupboard items still going strong now including Marmite, Oxo, Bisto, Colemans Mustard Powder and Atora Suet. Diet drinks were not available at that time but Tizer, Lucozade, Kia Oran Pepsi and Coca-cola topped the list of favourites.

If you still love some of your oldies then try the British Corner Shop below.

The British Corner Shop is a unique online supermarket for expats around the world. Whether you miss Marmite or crave Warburtons crumpets, they can deliver your British favourites straight to your door.

Their website stocks over 10,000 products from Britain’s most loved brands, meaning you can enjoy the British food you miss, wherever you are in the world.

Customer service is at the heart of their business. Since their humble beginnings in 1999, they have refined and developed British Corner Shop, building on the wants and needs of their loyal customers.

From purchasing your shopping through to the delivery, they want their customers to have total confidence when ordering with them.

You don’t have to be a British expat to use the service. If you have friends or relatives overseas who may be missing the taste of home, why not order them a box of British happiness? Their service is perfect for sending parcels of British food to Brits in the Armed Forces and others working abroad.

DO YOU REMEMBER ‘LUK’ SUNLIGHT FLAKES FOR ALL YOUR HAND WASHING?…

lux soap

A bit of vintage memorabilia…

‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’, which was a pure soap in flake form, shaped like tiny flat diamonds. It was introduced in the US in 1899 and was perfect for washing delicate fabrics, silk and woolens and it had no additives whatsoever.

By 1924, Lux became a mass market toilet soap throughout the world endorsed by many celebrities.

In 1943, rather than risk lowering the high quality of Lux, the makers withdrew it from the market altogether. Then in November 1947 they announced that by Christmas of that year the blue packets of ‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’ would be back on the shelves again.

I had a box which seem to last me years and years. I only used it for hand washing but used to love the smell it left on my clothes. Now, you never see it around although Ebay and Amazon  have ‘Soap Flakes‘ you can buy.

During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s they used many famous stars to endorse Lux soap including Sandra Dee and Diana Rigg and in the 70’s and 80’s the famous faces were Brigitte Bardot, Natalie Wood, Sophie Loren and Raquel Welch.

Now you can buy posters of the adverts for ‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’ and even a Jigsaw of the adverts on Ebay or Amazon.

 

STICKY APPLE PUDDINGS RECIPE – Sooooooo easy…

EASY STICKY APPLE PUDDING…

Ingredients

75g/2.5oz Butter
75g/2.5oz Honey
3 tbsp Double Cream
4 eating apples
Half a packet of Duchy Originals Butterscotch Shortbread, crushed

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C Gas 6
Place butter honey and cream in a small saucepan and heat, stirring until melted, to make a fudge sauce
Place the mixture into a large ramekin dish
Top with a layer of apples slices, then add half the crushed shortbread then layer the remaining apple and shortbread
Pour over the sauce
Place on a baking sheet for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling
Enjoy !

EASY SULTANA, BANANA AND CINAMMON COOKIES…

 

EASY SULTANA, BANANA AND CINNAMON COOKIES….

Ingredients

85g/3oz Butter
55g/2oz Brown Sugar
1 Banana (mashed)
1 Egg (beaten)
115g/4oz Self Raising Flour
55g/2oz Oats
170g/6oz raisins
1 tsp Cinnamon

Method

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F or Gas 4
Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
Add mashed banana
Add beaten egg
Sift in the flour
Fold in the oats, raisins and cinnamon
Spray your baking sheets (2/3 depending on what size you want)
Drop heaped teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet, making sure you leave enough room to spread
Bake for 10 – 20 minutes until brown.

SULTANA, BANANA AND CINNAMON COOKIES…

Ingredients

85g/3oz Butter
55g/2oz Brown Sugar
1 Banana (mashed)
1 Egg (beaten)
115g/4oz Self Raising Flour
55g/2oz Oats
170g/6oz raisins
1 tsp Cinnamon

Method

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F or Gas 4
Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
Add mashed banana
Add beaten egg
Sift the flour
Fold in the oats, raisins and cinnamon
Spray your baking sheets (2/3 depending on what size you want)
Drop heaped teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet, making sure you leave enough room to spread
Bake for 10 – 20 minutes until brown.

THE RAREST JAPANESE TEA …

GYOKURO ASAHI TEA is the rarest Japenese tea of all, being grown in the Kyoto region under special bamboo shades to control the amount of sunlight to the plants. ‘Gyokuro Asahi’ translates to ‘noble dewdrop’ in Japanese

The fine emerald needle-shaped leaves give a bright, delicate exquisite infusion. This green tea is naturally sweet and strong and known the world over for its fantastic health benefits – it’s full of antioxidants, great for cholesterol and a fantastic weight loss aid. Gyokuro Asahi is grown in the shade, similar to matcha tea. This gives the tea its rich green colour and helps to boost its nutrients

This shaded growth and minimal oxidation allow this tea’s leaves to keep more of their natural nutrients and antioxidants.The extra shelter this tea is given during growth contributes to the strong, sweet and satisfyingly full-flavoured taste in every cup of gyokuru asahi.