Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Hospitality in the Home (Video 6)

Breakfast in the Garden by  Giuseppe De Nittis 
Italian 1846-1884

1Peter 4:9  "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

Hospitality is one of the ways Christians demonstrate the love of Christ to others, and yet it has many benefits to the one who shows hospitality. 

To help you become more at ease with hospitality, I have set up a tea table and will show you just a few things that might help you develop a love of hospitality. 

If you are not yet at ease in giving hospitality, begin with your own people: your family, and the people with whom you feel the most comfortable. Children especially love tea time, as they delight in the fancy settings, love to hear the sound of the tea spoon against the china cup, and enjoy pouring the tea from the pot, adding milk and honey, and eating all the little bites of attractive foods.

When you show hospitality, or entertain your children, they will become familiar with tea time and develop an appreciation and a respect for it. They will continue the tradition, as it brings so many happy memories.

You will notice on my tea table that I use plastic over the table cloths. A lot of people have written and asked me if this is proper etiquette and then want to know, if so, where they can find the plastic for their tables.  Although tea books and etiquette lists of the past have stated it is not proper to cover the table with plastic, most people I know are using it to protect their special table cloths.

I find the least expensive, and thinnest plastic from the roll at Walmart to be the best, because it adheres to the table better. The heavy plastic moves too easily and can fall off. People use it because they want their guests to be at ease and not feel worried about spilling things. Tea can drip and the foods sometimes are a little messy but it is good to let everyone stir and sip and enjoy themselves without worrying about staining the tablecloth or getting the surface of a table wet.

In America, some people are using honey to sweeten their tea. The tea books all say it is not proper to use honey in tea, but when I ask people why they use honey, they reply brightly, "Because we like it."  If no where else, the home is a place you should be able to do as you like, so honey is served here, especially since other people want it.  Most people here still use no milk and no sweetener in their tea, preferring it plain.

The little biscuits with jam you see on the tea table are called "Afternoon Ruby Tea Biscuits" which I got from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook at the library years ago. I tweak the recipe a little, substituting some ingredients, and you may like to do the same if you have special preferences. You can find the recipe online.

 One way I changed the recipe was to indent the dough to make a place for the jam, as I show in the photo, below. After baking and cooling the biscuits (scones), I fill the indentation with jam The original recipe is more complicated as far as cutting the pieces of dough and putting them together, which takes up a lot of time, and I found people do not really care for the jam to be baked along with the biscuits. That is why I add the jelly after baking and cooling.

Although there was only only one item served, most people provide some little tea sandwiches  You can do some research and find the kinds of tea sandwiches recipes that would suit your family. 

I chose tea time as way for a beginner to extend hospitality, because it does not require a lot of cooking and it is not necessary to serve hot food. For adults, however, the tea must be hot, so be sure to bring the kettle of water on the stove to a boil before pouring it over the tea bag in the teapot. ( Never put a teapot on top of a burner on the stove.) i use the Hamilton Beach electric kettle for boiling water, which has automatic shut-off and a temperature indicator for special teas which require different settings. It also reheats the water autimatically if you like. See picture at the end of this post. Tea time magazine usually has a page showing the temperatures required fir making herbal teas and green, white and other types of tea. 

This is a scone recipe, not a cookie. 

                   I have made a short video for you on tis subject and I hope it makes you want to start practicing hospitality at home. The important thing is to "show hospitality to one another without grudging" as the New Testament tells us.  


Since It has been requested that I show what I wear at home, I have tried to get some pictures of the outfit I am wearing in the video. 

 Years ago Victoria magazine had a photo of a cardigan and skirt set I really thought looked comfortable, but I never was able to find anything like it:

                         This is the issue where the adorable mother-daughter set was found:
Over 25 years later I ended up with a very similar ensemble, created from a Faded Glory brand cardigan (cotton and rayon, approximately $8.00 at Walmart this last week,  just like the yellow one in the previous video) and a "vintage" skirt someone gave me a few days ago. I knew when she handed it to me it would be just what I needed to make the outfit I was looking for.  

           I made the collar scarf years ago, and today fastened it with a large rose button.


                                        This is how everything looks on the dress-form. 

The skirt has a Ralph Lauren label and it has a very comfortable fit.  The lady who gave it to me (thanks for donating to my worthy cause :-) got it from someone who always purchased very high-end clothing. It seems a lot like the Laura Ashley brand shown in the Victoria magazine mother-daughter picture I posted in this article. 

Does it bother anyone that people call these clothes "vintage", when they were things you used to wear in the 1980's? They seem as classic and updated to me as when I first saw them in the picture! Now if I could only find that lovely blouse that the model was wearing with the cardigan. I probably have a pattern for it somewhere.

I prefer to use an electric kettle to heat water for tea. I sometimes take the kettle to the tea table and plug it in to an outlet or power strip behind the table so that guests can have hot water conveniently.

Below, the comb in my hair that matches the cardigan is made from Dollar Tree ingredients consisting of a hair comb, hot glue and a branch of silk apple blossoms. It was made to go alongside a French twist hair style, and matches coral and rose colors in clothing. You can get a hot-glue-kit at the dollar store, as well.

Thanks for all your nice comments!  I will be making one more hospitality video soon, I hope.


BCronmiller said...

Your home looks so elegant and inviting. I love your attention to detail. I particularly like all the pretty pictures hanging on your walls.
I live in a rural area and most people don't like to make the long trip to our home, but I do like the idea of entertaining my own family. Your baked cookies remind me of a recipe I have for thumbprint cookies, which the jam is baked along with the cookie. I'll have to add the jam after I bake it next time.
Keep up your videos, I look forward to them. It's nice to hear the voice behind the face.
Take care

Southern Ladye said...

First of all, the ensemble is so pretty, fresh, and feminine! Secondly, I am enjoying your "In the Home" series and am trying to incorporate these values more earnestly in my own home. So often we put our best foot forward to the outside world and neglect those at home. Thank you for these posts.

Jennifer said...

I really enjoy your videos, and find them very encouraging and inspiring. I have wanted to start a once a month "tea club" for my five closest friends. We are all so busy with raising children that we forget to take time for ourselves and nourish our friendships. This post has motivated me to start that! And your outfit is absolutely lovely. Yes, I think it is funny how people call this clothing vintage. It is what I wore in the 80s, and it would be my preference to wear these clothes now. However, it is difficult to find these styles today. I love how you reference Victoria magazine, because it is one of my favorites. Have a great day! God bless!

Gayle said...

This was so lovely and inspiring. Just in time for a Valentines Day tea for my grandchildren. I will have to find the recipe for the cookies now. Your outfit is so pretty, and I love your hair. Is it fastened with a comb or clasp? I agree with you about the clothing from the 80s. The Laura Ashley dresses were so pretty and the fabrics soft. If you look for them on Ebay I think they cost just as much as they did new. But you can also purchase the patterns and that is another way to get the look you want. Thank you again, and I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day.

Rightthinker said...

Love this so much, as always. Your new skirt is gorgeous, and looks so beautiful with the cardigan!

God bless you today!

Lisa said...

Once again, everything about your video is so beautiful! I'm enjoying this series very much. Thank you!

Lisa said...

Once again, everything about your video is so beautiful! I'm enjoying this series very much. Thank you!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Your cardigan and skirt are lovely. The skirt is so feminine and graceful.

You have a great idea about putting the jelly into the thumbprint on the cookies after they are baked. In the past when I have had that type of cookie, the jelly had firmed up in the oven and was a little hard on fillings.

The comb with the blossom branch attached is pretty. I think I will be making a couple of those soon.

Thank you for the inspiration today.

Dawn said...

I love your outfit. I especially like how your lacy scarf makes it look like your top has a feminine collar. I think I remember the post when you made it. The scarf is just right, not too big and floppy nor too skimpy and wimpy.

Your videos are so gracious and uplifting. It's nice to feel like we are having a little chat.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sherman, I do not know what changed in regard to your videos. I had written you about video #1, that I could not access due to problems with Blogger, and tonight I was able to see - and enjoy! - ALL the videos!! Thank you SOOOO much.

I just wanted to say that I have listened to all of them, and again I feel the urging to follow your advice and make positive changes in my/our lives. See, my husband has mental health issues and I must deal with them on a day-to-day basis, which can make life very challenging. However, I do have a number of early issues of Victoria magazine tucked away, and I was gifted last year with the CD of the first several years of Victoria, so I will "reward" myself with either a hands-on issue review or a vew on the web on a (hopefully) daily basis. Meanwhile, I am inspired to find myself a nook or table top that *I* can decorate (my husband does NOT like changes in our surroundings), and I have a bin full of lovely lines I have categorized as "antique linens" (although many are not really antique, just lovely), that I will get out and ENJOY........as well as a tea time on a regular basis. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I will also take up my sewing again, and make myself pretty dresses and skirts and aprons to well. I would love to know how you made the collar scarf.....

Thanks again for your blog and your videos. It is a "lovely place" I like to return to again and again!

Kathleen in (really cold) IL

Traditional Simplicity said...

Hello~ Thank you for this video. You are inspiring with your creativity. I go to the dollar store and have a blank stare thinking "how did she create that from these flowers?" Your encouragement keeps me trying. Thank you for the videos.

God's peace be with you,

Lydia said...

I hope all of you will continue to look for the truth of Christ, and His glory in every day life. Thank you for coming to visit this blog,

With love and Gods blessings,


Christine said...

My grand daughter and I are putting on a Tea for her mother (my daughter) and her little sister. We are having it at my home. Lulu is 8 yrs old and this is her first big girl tea.
She planned everything, from which cups, the food, decorations and invitations. I just guided her.
You have inspired me and it has benefited my grand daughter!
Thank YOU!!!
(really enjoy watching your videos!)

Helen Threlfo said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Thank you for the beautiful video and blog post! I was one of the ladies that asked about setting a table for tea and also referencing Victoria magazine.
Your outfit is beautiful! I also am so surprised when people refer to Laura Ashley things as vintage. To me they are beautiful. One of the readers commented that some of the older Laura Ashley clothes are very expensive to purchase, especially those made in Great Britain .
I am going to look for the recipe that you shared. At first when I looked at the lovely biscuits I thought that they were little biscuits that are called " Jam Drops", here in Australia.
Thank you for all the hints on how to dress, to make beautiful accessories and to follow Godly principles at home. I love these videos...please keep making them.
Could we have a video on wearing aprons, especially for housework and feeling pretty around the house?
Thank you, Helen

budgeteer said...

I would love to make a collar/scarf like that. Is it possible for you to show us how to make it please?

Renee said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
I appreciate your video series. I am using it as a supplement to God's Priceless Woman bible study with my fourteen year old daughter. They are so sweet and inspiring:) We both are coming away blessed! Thank you for these encouraging words. God is really using you. Renee

Susan said...

I am really enjoying your video series. It's like having a friend in my home giving me encouragement. I am off to Walmart on Saturday to search for those cardigans. The colors are so pretty.
I wanted to mention that not all the Walmarts seem to carry the plastic on the roll. In my area they have sold out of it and are not carrying it anymore. My table is in a country kitchen and I wipe it at least three times a day. It is used for many things and a regular tablecloth gets soiled quickly. I like to cover the vintage ones to preserve them when I can. There are many pretty oil cloth imitation table covers at the local Dollar General. They are easy to wipe and come in modern colors and designs. I have also found some pretty plastic table covers in the picnic section of the grocery store.
Thank you for the ongoing inspiration. I am also one of those people that look at the items in the Dollar Store and wonder how you create such beautiful settings in your home. I am slowly learning and the pictures and videos are very helpful. God Bless. Susan

Jenny said...

Simplicity and a desire to offer hospitality rather than impress are key with me. It took me 10 years to learn this. Your outfit is beautiful!

Lydia said...

I wanted to share a little family history with you. I don't want to bore you with too much detail but I think it will shed some light on the whole honey in the tea thing. Feel free to share it on your blog if you like.

Historically my family members were some of the first to arrive in America. I am of Amish and Mennonite heritage. They were primarily
poor farmers seeking refuge from religious persecution. Many food traditions and customs were changed to accommodate what was readily available to them on their farms or in their neighborhoods.

In my own home tea was only served in medicinal form. It was not available for purchase in the store but was grown in the backyard and dried for use. Almost all our neighbors had bees so honey was always added and lemon if you could afford to purchase citrus at the market. We grew peppermint and spearmint teas that were amazing in flavor. Sugar which was an extra expense was reserved for special baking only and was used sparingly. Coffee was almost always in the form of instant and rarely served. Those who could afford coffee beans brewed them on the top of the stove in a metal percolator. Coffee was usually reserved for guests and special holidays.

A morning beverage similar to coffee was roasted chicory root combined with roasted dandelion root. Chicory and dandelion were not considered weeds then and were grown for their healthy greens that appeared in late February, the first greens of the season. The roots were chopped, slow roasted and ground up like coffee. You can still buy roasted chicory in grocery stores here in PA. It's sold as a coffee extender and mixed with coffee grounds to make the coffee thicker, darker and more flavorful. We added honey to this beverage also.

Afternoon tea was never served in my home. The farmers worked from dawn till dusk and my mother was kept busy making meals and keeping house. I think it would have been a nice break though.

I hope this sheds some light on the whole honey in the tea thing. I think the tradition was started because of the lack of availability of other sweeteners. I prefer a little sugar in mine but when I am sick I like honey.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend.


Lydia said...

Thank you Susan,

Americans , if they take anything in tea at all ( usually the prefer tea without anything) ask for sugar or honey. I provide raw sugar, turbabno.


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