Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tea at Home

I am still enjoying the outdoor life at home. The convenience of it is so nice, since it requires no packing and no travelling.  It is simple to have a summer vacation at home if you take just a few minutes to set up a tea table outside in good weather. Tea time outside can get you out of the kitchen and out of the house without making a major trip somewhere that will cause you to lose half or all of your day at home. Or, if you are low on funds and need a luxurious lift, tea outside provides the sensation of relaxation in a vacation destination.

My Table in September by Susan Rios

You can make your scones and jam the night before, and the next day, if the weather is warm,  put table and chairs in a scenic spot and gather cushions, tablecloth, tea pot, cups and food.  Gather nearby flowers or fruit and greenery for a cheerful centerpiece. The recipe for the oat scones is below.

Outdoor Tea With Scones and Jam

Oat Scones

In one bowl mix the dry ingredients:
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups unbleached flour (not bread flour)
1/4 teaspoon real salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder  - Make your own baking powder.

In another bowl mix together til blended:
1 egg
1/2 cup water 
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted. (melt it by mixing it with the 1/2 cup warm water) (olive oil or butter may be used. If using butter, cut cold butter into small pieces and blend with a hand-held pastry blender or with your hands, into the flour mixture before adding the rest of the liquids)

Mix the two batches together, adding flour if it is too moist, and then pat it out on a piece of wax paper or on a cutting board, about an inch thick. Cut with a round cutter and place the rounds on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Split open with a knife and apply butter and jam. Serve with hot tea.

This recipe might not work for everyone. It is a variation of "Ruby Tea Biscuits" from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook.

When you take tea at home you are able to use what you have and appreciate your tea cups. I got these at a Goodwill for under $5.00 each, and although they might be classified as fine china, I feel I can use them every day. When I clear the tea table to take it all back into the house, I use a small plastic tub lined with a dish towel, and put other dish towels around anything that might break.

Instructions for making blackberry tea:

Crush a half cup of blackberries in a bowl and use a mesh strainer to strain the berries. Pour the liquid into the teapot and add boiling water.
To make blackberry powder for a tea, put  blackberries on parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and bake at the lowest temperature on your oven for 3 hours or until the berries are dry.  Crush them in a little electric coffee grinder like this.     You will know when they are dry enough, when they can be crushed into a powder. Use a teaspoon per cup, in the cup indidually, or in the tea pot. This grinder works well to make almonds into almond flour, and oats into oat flour, flax seeds into powdered flax, which can also be used in scones.

Before making tea, put some warm water in your tea pot to warm it up and absorb the shock of hot water when you pour it in. Make sure your water has been brought to a boil, but do not continue boiling it; pour it in the teapot right away.  Some people prefer to place the tea bag on top of the hot water, rather than leave it in the bare tea pot and pour the water on it. It all depends on your own experience as to weather it works better one way or another.

The tea ceremony at home is not expensive, and it is not difficult. It provides you with some time to rest your mind and body, which is essential to logical thinking, good health, creativity, and perfect contentment.

This tea time was impromptu, but some times I will plan it a few weeks ahead and sew a special summer dress with a daisy or rose print, or make a tablecloth and a tea cozy to coordinate with the dishes and the foods.

"Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. " Matthew 11:28


Anonymous said...

thank you-i love having my tea (coffee) outside while it is still nice. another item you can use your small grinder for is ,Peppercorns. I then place in a small tin and use it for an "upscale" pepper:)

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the oat scone recipe. I would like to try it, but I don't have coconut oil. Do you think another kind of oil would work, and if so, what would you recommend? I have olive oil, and vegetable oil on hand, as well as shortening. I just grocery shopped and live far from most of the stores, so I don't want to make another trip for coconut oil unless you think nothing else can substitute. Thank you!

Lydia said...

Any other oil could be used. I added the information in the post. Thanks for reminding me. Yes, you can use any other oil in the recipe.

Lydia said...

I would advise you to follow the original Anne of Green Gables recipe that I provided the link for, substituting one cup of oats for one cup of flour.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the prompt response about the recipe question. I will make them tomorrow and have them with tea, just as you suggested.

Bellacocina said...

Another lovely post and inspiration.Your table looks so pretty and inviting,and will definately try the recipe.You always set the prettiest tea tables.

Rightthinker said...

Beautiful post! Thank you so much for the scone recipe, as well.

I've missed your blog so much..but must admit at least I've only been absent in favor of smooching fat baby cheeks raising children and keeping home..I can only stay away so long though!

God Bless you dear friend!

Anonymous said...

Oh I just love your post tonight, Lady Lydia! It's so inspiring to have tea outside as you have done it....I hope my weather holds up for this...and I appreciate your giving us the recipes.

Anonymous said...


What a gorgeous post - just the lift I need at the end of my day to inspire me to put everything in order at home tomorrow, and thank you so much for this summer idea for those of your readership, we in the Southern Hemisphere, whose summer is all but here.

Re lovely tea crockery and glassware, I've been asking family and friends to nab a cut glass milk jug if they see one in an op-shop ('good will for Northern readers for years; I have already inherrited by one means or another cut glass dishes for butter/jam/cream, cut glass sugar bowl, cut glass vase and a beautiful oiled glass platter perfect for serving tea treats. another favourite of mine are the coloured annodized aluminium tumblers that came in sets of six back before plastic was popular - these keep cool drinks very cool, are cheerful and, well, I do like them very much (also had a request out for these for years of which nobody has obliged; they feel cheap going into op-shops for presents for me - i reassure folk that this is most certainly not the case...)

Keep on inspiring us!!

PS: awaiting two new dresses in floral prints, and a beautiful skirt and waistcoat set in white floral print on white - perfect for summer!!

Anonymous said...

You always have the most beautiful photos! I really enjoy your blog so much, I have gleaned so many helpful insights into so many areas of my life. Thanks for the time you put into blogging!

Lydia said...

When the post first went up I neglected to put list the baking powder but I just added it. I use the non aluminum natural baking powder. You can also make your own baking powder and I put the link next to the dry ingredient list.

Anonymous said...


There is nothing more condusive to contentment than when one has achieved a great deal in a day that may well not have started so promisingly...had a burst of energy and between the hours of 3 and 6pm,cleaned the home and sorted the breakfast and lunch dishes (mind you, I live in a townhouse, so cleaning is relatively quick), made a batch of chicken stock, finished the ironing and baked a batch of butter biscuits (cookies for Northerners). Lydia, you're inspiring, ever and always. This leaves tomorrow free to take care of church things and tackle some reading that needs attention.