Friday, July 21, 2017

Hydrangeas 2017

The hydrangeas are blooming! I always look forward to seeing their flowers and I am always hopeful that the recently planted bushes might flower. This year one did!
(I know I go a little crazy with pictures, but it is so fun watching them grow from year to year!)

Two weeks ago it started out like this, pale green centers that slowly turned pink. I think this is a "Peppermint Swirl" variety, but I will have to double check. The other small hydrangea I have is an unknown, it has never bloomed and was a gift. But I think this is the one that I bought, I will have to see if the label matches.

 And this is the flower this morning, all pink and twice as big!

It is lovely to have a bit of beauty to gaze at when going in and out of the house.

The hydrangea on the corner is going strong. It was covered with flowers two weeks ago. I am glad I took a moment to snap pictures when I did, as all the storms we have had have left it looking a bit bedraggled. It also isn't as heat tolerant as the others and fades quicker.
I hadn't realized how large the hydrangea is getting until I looked at last year's pictures!

I love all the shades of pink it goes through!

We have been busy doing a bit of damage control on one of the brother's houses. All things considered, my little cottage made it through the storms quite well. I only got a few small rivers in the basement, but they dried up quickly and there was no damage.
Goodness how the summer is flying by!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Summer Afternoon Tea

Back in March, Patti at the Emilie Loring blog invited all her readers to share an Emilie Loring inspired tea. The thought of warm days with dappled sunshine, dainty cakes and a lazy summer day sent my imagination swirling! Especially since it was a windy dreary not-quite-spring day!

If you have read any of Emilie's books you will know she loved tea. Elegant teas with silver, tea in the garden, tea on the terrace, tea in cabins and castles, formal high tea to cozy fireside tea and toast; she wrote about them all.

"Sure, Miss Di, with springs of mint as you told me. I put 'em in every day. Miss Merry's sure to have callers. Gee but she's popular." "That's because she makes people realize that she is interested in them. Get some lemons, quick. I'll mix a drink. When Merry rings, bring out the filled glasses and a plate of thin cookies on the silver tray. We won't serve tea." ~ Where Beauty Dwells

Since it was July and a lovely warm day, I choose strawberry lemonade instead of hot tea, with an assortment of sandwiches and cakes. (Besides I have a lovely glass pitcher collection that needed to be put to use!) I think Emilie would have approved!

I had great fun reading up on how to serve a proper tea. According to Ida Baily Allen's Modern Cookbook paper doilies on all serving dishes is a must!
For Strawberry Lemonade: Allow the juice of one lemon and a tablespoonful of sugar to each person. Pour enough boiling water on the sugar to melt it, combine with the lemon juice and a half glassful of crushed ice, fill with plain or charged water, shake in a cocktail shaker if possible. To each serving of lemonade add from two to four tablespoonfuls of crushed strawberries.
Ida Baily Allen's Modern Cookbook c.1935

Chicken or cucumber sandwiches?

 "Aunt Ellen, Phil and I are famished for our tea. I've just come from a day in Camp...." She ignored her Aunt's annoyed frown and smiled at Maury when he set tea and a plate of sandwiches on the white wicker stand she had drawn in front of her chair...." ~ Rainbow at Dusk

Chocolate Pinks, recipe is here, made dairy free for Mandy.

 The classic British tea cake, the Victoria Sandwich cake, has been on my to-make list for awhile. A tea party was the perfect time to whip one up! It is a sponge type cake with lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries sandwiched between the layers. This is similar to the recipe I used.

 I think I had more fun planning this tea then actually sitting down and partaking. I must admit I was a bit tired out from making all the lovely things to eat. It was so fun to comb through my vintage cookbooks for inspiration and I loved getting out all the old glassware and dishes. Some of the pieces I had forgotten I had!

Thank you for joining me for tea, do drop in again!