Teatime Recipes & Desserts
Southern PECAN PIE
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup pecan halves
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
9 inch unbaked pie shell
Cream together butter or margarine, brown sugar and salt; stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake in very hot oven (450 degrees) for 10 minutes; thenreduce heat to moderate (350 degrees) and bake 30 to 35 minutes longer, or until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool and serve with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 6 servings.
Teatime can be as simple as taking tea alone in the afternoon before the children or grandchildren arrive home from school. Reading and relaxing in the kitchen or on the porch or deck, with your favorite tea will quickly make you aware of the benefit it brings, of re-invigorating body and soul. It is also quite refreshing just to sit and drink tea with no other distractions. It only take a couple of times to realize just how wonderful a time it can be. Making this a ritual becomes quite easy and is something to look forward to each day. In fact, it becomes necessary in regard to our health and wellbeing, when we find out just how wonderful it is to ease the day's stress.
Children may also be included in this sweet ritual. This can be a very good time for teaching them the history, facts, and pleasures of tea, as well as teaching them how to sit and enjoy such a pastime. Never mind lecturing them, just let them ease into it, as they see how much enjoyment comes of it.
My husband remembers as a child, of he and his brothers visiting elderly female cousins and aunts every afternoon, and being served tea in fancy china cups with saucers. There was always a fresh baked cake or cookies to enjoy. He can still remember the tidy vintage houses, and the delicate little ladies who were so nice as to invite them there and share this time with them. It made them feel like little gentlemen, and they also felt important and special. He often says how much he misses these times. The ladies - the mothers, aunts, cousins and friends and neighbors, who make these times special are just as important as the tea itself. I suppose it wouldn't matter if we just served milk and cookies. It's the time spent, the welcoming atmosphere, and the love that matters to them, always.
Actually besides Sweet Iced Tea which is a southern favorite, the only other tea I can remember drinking when I was growing up was Sassafras Tea.
My grandmother, being part Creek Indian used to dig the roots and make a strong tea in the springtime for a tonic. Any other time of the year it was made weaker and simply drank because of its pleasant taste.
Some people use the bark, while others use the root itself. It varies within different regions.
WARNING NOTE: In large quantities it is said to be toxic. Pregnant ladies shouldn't drink it unless okay'ed with her doctor or natural practitioner, just to be on the safe side.
MORE TO COME...
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Having a friend or two over for tea, can be quite fun. To introduce your friends to tea, send out a few informal invitations. After which, you can all agree on a time and place for such gathering in the future, as I'm sure there will be more to come.
Tips & Ideas
For those who like coffee, place your chocolate
candies, or other sweet treats in a coffee can that
hasn't been washed. Just bump out the coffee
grounds and place the candies in the can for a
delicious coffee flavored treat! The oils in the
coffee will penetrate the candy.
Making scones is much like making homemade
biscuits, just add a little brown sugar if desired and
fold over dough to resemble a "turnover"...
Add yeast for a roll type dough.
You can also place these in the fold:
Apples, cinnamon, butter and sugar or
canned apple pie filling
Peaches, nutmeg, butter and sugar
Chocolate chips, sugar
Dried cranberries, blueberries or other dried
fruit and a little sugar and butter
If you prefer, add a dusting of sugar to the
top of scone before baking.
Or, Add a dusting of confectioners sugar after
Drizzle with melted chocolate
Glaze the top using milk, and confectioners
Tea is valuable chiefly for its warming and comforting qualities. Taken in moderation, it acts partly as a sedative, partly as a stimulant, arresting the destruction of tissue, and seeming to invigorate the whole nervous system. The water in it, even if impure, is made wholesome by boiling, and the milk and sugar give a certain amount of real nourishment.
Nervous headaches are often cured by it, and it has, like coffee, been
used as an antidote in opium-poisoning.
Pass beyond the point of moderation, and it becomes an irritant, precisely in the same way that an overdose of morphine will, instead of putting to sleep, for just so much longer time prevent any sleep at all. The woman who can not eat, and who braces her nerves with a cup of green tea,--the most powerful form of the herb,--is doing a deeper wrong than she may be able to believe. The immediate effect is delightful. Lightness, exhilaration, and sense of energy are all there; but the re-action comes surely, and only a stronger dose next time accomplishes the end desired. Nervous headaches, hysteria in its thousand forms, palpitations, and the long train of nervous symptoms, own inordinate tea and coffee drinking as their parent. Taken in reasonable amounts, tea can not be said to be hurtful; and the medium qualities, carefully prepared, often make a more wholesome tea than that of the highest price, the harmful properties being strongest in the best. If the water is soft, it should be used as soon as boiled, boiling causing all the gases which give flavor to water to escape. In hard water, boiling softens it. In all cases the water must be fresh, and poured boiling upon the proper portion of tea,--the teapot having first been well scalded with boiling water. Never boil any tea but English-breakfast tea; for all others, simple steeping gives the drink in perfection.
A disregard of these rules gives one the rank, black, unpleasant infusion too often offered as tea; while, if boiled in tin, it becomes a species of slow poison,--the tannic acid in the tea acting upon the metal, and producing a chemical compound whose character it is hard to determine.
TEA & COFFEE
A cardinal rule: The necessity of fresh water boiled, and used as soon as it boils, that the gases which give it character and sparkle may not have had time to escape. Tea and coffee both should be kept from the air, but the former even more carefully than the latter, as the delicate flavor evaporates more quickly.
To begin with, never use a tin teapot if an earthen one is obtainable. An even teaspoonful of dry tea is the usual allowance for a person. Scald the teapot with a little boiling water and pour it off. Put in the tea, and pour on not over a cup of boiling water, letting it stand a minute or two for the leaves to swell. Then fill with the needed amount of water still boiling, this being about a small cupful to a person. Cover closely, and let it stand five minutes. Ten will be required for English breakfast tea, but never boil either, above all in a tin pot. Boiling liberates the tannic acid of the tea, which acts upon the tin, making a compound bitter and metallic in taste, and unfit for human stomachs.
As to hard and soft water, the latter is always most desirable, as soft water extracts the flavor of tea and coffee far better than hard, and is also better for all cooking and washing purposes. Hard water results from a superabundance of lime; and this lime "cakes" on the bottom of tea-kettles, curdles soap, and clings to every thing boiled in it, from clothes to meat and vegetables (which last are always more tender if cooked in soft water; though, if it be too soft, they are apt to boil to a porridge).