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.

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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.