Afternoon tea and my handpainted teapot
My marathon of making and painting time has come to an end for a while. I have to say I have loved every minute but I do need a rest now to recharge my creative batteries.
I’m using this Jubilee weekend to relax and treat myself. I’ve had a long walk this morning and I have decided as an act of patriotism LOL I will have afternoon tea every day over this holiday weekend, poured from my handpainted teapot. What could be more British than afternoon tea?
While I was out walking I was thinking how things have changed, I come from a close family of women who baked every weekend. We had family ‘teas’ every Saturday and Sunday, and picnic’s in the summer. Think back to a time of ‘proper’ teas, not a few bits on a 3 tier cake stand, or worse, the American interloper the cup cake, we had teas where you couldn’t make it once around the table, and leftovers for through the week.
Usually there were sandwiches, a pie, corned beef, cheese and onion or bacon and egg, (gosh I’d forgotten about a bacon and egg pie). Sausage rolls or quiche, sandwiches, tinned salmon, or ham which was my favourite. It had to be ham cut on the machine at the corner shop, one of those large golden crumbed monsters cut on a meat slicer. I had to have English mustard too, the kind that tickles the back of your nose because you spread it too thick. Another family favourite but not with me, was tongue, just the name puts me off. My sandwich choice for picnics were egg and tomato, happily named ‘seaside sandwiches’.
If we had visitors there was a bowl of salad with hard boiled eggs on the top, and a piece of boiled ham and pease pudding for a ‘knife and fork tea’.
There was usually a fruit pie, apple or rhubarb and ‘evap’, scones or rock buns, or Chelsea buns. Cakes could be little buns with toppings, that became known as fairy cakes but they were always buns in our house. For birthdays they were made into butterfly buns, now overtaken buy the sickly cupcake with an over abundance of butter cream. The big cake was often chocolate , my Aunty Amy made the best one with a filling which I believe was invented during the war, it was half butter cream beaten with a roux made from cornflour and milk, this took away some of the sweetness of butter icing, actually now I’ve remembered it I’ll have to try it as I don’t like butter icing. Aunty’s chocolate cake always had a Cabury’s dairy milk topping. There was other cakes and tray bakes but this one was a favourite.
I don’t know how we ate these teas twice a week, but people were more active, just think of our mothers washing day, and walking to the shops daily for the groceries.
So today we don’t have teas like this but it’s probably good for our health, however a scaled down treat every now and then won’t hurt, so here’s 4 items that make my ultimate afternoon tea.
In reverse order
4. Toasted crumpet with real butter
3. Chocolate cake
2. Lemon merangue pie
1. Has to be a homemade scone, strawberry jam and clotted cream
What would be your ultimate afternoon tea I’d love to know?