Tuesday, June 29, 2021


My title today says it all.  Honestly,
can it rain anymore?  Yes, rain is
on the way..... again.  I just looked 
out and saw this so I took a photo
through the screen and window so
it isn't great.  But the hollyhocks
are going to seed and look who
is eating the seeds:

It seems like this year the hollyhocks have gone
rather quickly.

I try to walk everyday for an hour.  It
has really helped me physically.  I went
out early today in incredible humidity
knowing that if I didn't do it now it
wasn't going to happen. 

I love being home in retirement.
Everyday there are so many possibilities
of things to do, or make or bake or watch.
I have been sewing some clothing for
myself for the first time in years.

I hope you are having an 
enjoyable summer.

Saturday, June 26, 2021


 Today I had a little Afternoon Tea for
some ladies from my church.  They are
wanting to have an Afternoon Tea for
their ladies group this fall so I offered
 to give a tea 
 to help educate them
about Afternoon Tea Time.

I do most of my baking the day before
and bake the scones and final touches
of putting things together the day of
my tea.

If you are having Afternoon Tea 
the two most important things to serve
are SCONES  and even if it is hot - offer
some hot tea.  Most agree that offering
3 small savories and 3 small sweets is
 lovely .  Ladies usually eat about 2 of
each item if they are mini sized.

As you can see I used my mix and match
spring and summer tea wares.  We
started with salads and strawberry scones
and then savories and on to sweets.
Since I had 4 ladies (beside myself)
 I used my Afternoon Tea trio servers
for the savories and then
for the sweets. The number of
people you would be serving
really changes your serving style.

Here is what we had today:
Iced tea and hot tea
A salad with mixed greens, peas,
mushrooms, blueberries and crispy onion
rings with oriental honey dressing
Strawberry Cream Scones with Cream
Our savories were: Corned Beef
finger sandwich on rye, cheese, red pepper
 and asparagus tarts and Chicken Salad
mini Croissants.
Our sweets were: lemon tarts with
mixed fruits, Chocolate Peppermint
Brownies and Raspberry Cheesecake

I have shared my downstairs tearoom
before but this room is closeby for
last minute

 It is best not to confuse people 
by calling your luncheon or your
Afternoon Tea by the term "High Tea".
High Tea was an evening meal for
the working class with cold meats, cheese,
bread, pickles and a pot of tea.  Here
in America this term has been engaged
in business to upgrade the event making
it seem more substantial. 

Information for large group teas:

When churches give teas they often
make use of buffet tables because of the
 fact that a large group is being served.
  There are different ways a tea can
work for a large group.  The key is to
make the table interesting and elevate
cake platters and some decorations.
Keep your serving pieces at different heights
by stacking them. Otherwise, everything
 is flat down on the table.  A buffet is so
 much more interesting using vintage
 dishes, clear glass or plain pieces or silverplate.

Generally with a large group, one
lady is asked to be the hostess for a
table of eight ladies.  She sets that
table with her own dishes and decorations
appropriate to the theme for the day.
If there is a buffet table for the 3 small 
savories, it is nice to have a separate
area for the desserts.  (3 mini size desserts)
The scones and tea can be brought to
the table by the hostess.  Obviously,
there are different ways this can work. A 
salad can even be on the table when
the ladies arrive and all begins.
Remember to allow 2-3 pieces of each type
 of finger food for each person.

Saturday, June 19, 2021


 Today I am doing a very
quick "Tea In The Garden" posting
and sharing a cake I baked
this afternoon.  The temperature 
dropped to 90 degrees so I dashed
 out in the backyard to get
 some photos:

The garden is in a holding pattern now
waiting on all the wonderful
 hydrangeas.  The spring flowers
have all faded away and now we 
have some hot summer days.

I was searching the internet for a
Lemon Coconut Cake and had a
funny experience.  I started to
read a recipe and the instructions
weren't at all like the photo and
I got rather suspicious.  After
looking at other recipes I found
the real creator here at this site:
STL Cooks.  The other person
must of copied their recipe and 
even their photo.  That was naughty.

Then reading even further
I see that this site shared that they
 adapted this recipe 
from another site who took it from a 2006 
Southern Living Recipe.......imagine
all that.

Needless to say - this cake is
delicious and like you do, I did
make a couple minor tweaks
myself using lemon extract in the lemon
filling and the main cake  and using
coconut extract in the
cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

A STRESS FREE "Tea In The Garden"

Welcome to another special time
for "Tea In The Garden" and also
some"stress free time":

Well there it is and it is official now
 according to English Garden Magazine
and a report in the February/March
 2021 issue. - they claim that having 
a garden really helps people's stress

 A report has shown that after adding
front yard gardens in the Greater
Manchester area in England, stress 
levels in people went significantly

 They evaluated people over a
4 year period and during this time, they
added gardens to their front yards.  Stress levels
 went way down
after the gardens
were added.  

But if we are too totally get rid of our
stress - we also need a treat.

Did you know some people
 love to bake to releave
 their stress? So I have something
delicious for our "Tea In The Garden"
today!  I baked a Southern Butter
for the recipe.    Please enjoy
your piece with some tea.

I used 3 eight inch cake pans
for this cake.

And since it is now getting hotter,
and another from

I love having flowers for the
front entrance area again:

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


 It is such a delight to have my own 
flowers for bouquets again! 
 I really miss that 
in the wintertime.
I prefer not to have to
purchase them at the market.

Are you ready for June?  
We are!

The spring flowers have faded away to
give way for summer hydrangeas yet
to come, Queen Anne's Lace, Monarda
and Cone Flowers.

We have had some lovely yellow yarrow

I also love the Sweet William.
The Hollyhocks are starting to
climb taller too and the bittersweet
has blooms promising fall berries.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021


Yesterday we decided to go for
a short ride northeast and out of town.
I wanted to share just a couple
photos.  We always drive by this old
Victorian when we go through a
very small town called
Auxvasse, Missouri:

They have a little Gazebo out front too:

It was Memorial Day:

In Centralia, Missouri, the 
 was decorated
with so many flags: