The Glories of an Autumn Tea

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Fall greetings!  Do come in and warm up with some tea.  Recognize the music?  It’s mountain dulcimer to go with our rustic cabin theme.  I’ve already poured your cup, so please settle in, get cozy, and enjoy yourself.

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One of my grandmother’s entertaining mottos was, Use your best china, even if you only have bread and butter to serve your guest.  I’ve taken that to heart and brought out my Bernardaud Limoges pattern known as Louvre.  Based upon designs found on ancient tiles displayed in the famous museum, the dishes prove elegant in any setting.  Oversized latte cups are perfect for steaming hot India Spice Chai.

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Unavailable for many years, Celestial Seasonings has recently reissued this tea. I’ve stocked up on what was one of my mother’s favorite blends.  I will no longer need to ration the box I’ve kept in the pantry for almost a decade!  Yippee!  As a bonus, it’s a fabulous treat during these cooler months.  Even my kids love the taste.  It’s not found in a froo-froo catalogue or shop, but on your grocer’s shelf.

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Fall is my favorite season and I embrace its every aspect.  I appreciate the beauty, shift in temperatures, and the lack of activity that will soon be required for the upcoming holidays.  I welcome its peace, but also find the scent of chimney smoke, vibrant colors trembling in autumn breezes, sweaters, scarves, boots, and college football exhilarating.  There’s a remarkable dichotomy going on this time of year.  What do you enjoy most?

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Sing To Me, Autumn

Sing to me, Autumn, with the rustle of your leaves.
Breathe on me your spicy scents that flow within your breeze.

Dance with me, Autumn, your waltz that bends the boughs of trees.
Now tell me all the secrets you’ve whispered to the seas.

Sleep with me, Autumn, beneath your starlit skies.
Let your yellow harvest moon shimmer in our eyes.

Kiss me, Autumn, with your enchanting spellbound ways
That changes all you touch into crimson golden days.

Love me, Autumn, and behold this love so true
That I’ll be waiting faithfully each year to be with you.

© Patricia L. Cisco via  https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/sing-to-me-autumn

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I throw a few fall decorations out each year.  Here’s photos of my kitchen dressed for Autumn.  Look closely and you’ll see Old Faithful, my copper kettle, in the background.  A wired leafy garland wraps perfectly around a two-tiered serving stand.

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I’ve gone to a little more effort than bread and butter for you today.  Check out my acorn and oak leaf-shaped tea sandwiches.  They are easy to make and fun to serve.  Guests appreciate the extra effort, and they taste wonderful, too.  I’ve also made sirloin roulades with rosemary spears—yummy.

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In accordance with our theme, I’m serving sweet potato pie for the dessert course.  Made from a Krusteaz mix, it incorporates marshmallow crème and a cookie crust.  Delicious!

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For an extra touch, I’ve incorporated honey spoons. Have you ever seen these?  They are available in various catalogues, but I discovered these in a specialty store.  The stirrers tend to be extra sweet, so warn your guests that they might not need the entire spoon to dissolve before their tea is perfect.  Also, have plenty of lemon at the ready.

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Recipes:

Acorn Tea Sandwiches

1 slice of bread per sandwich
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup pecans halves, toasted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon sundried tomato pesto

Freeze as many bread slices as needed.  Cut with cookie cutters to desired shapes.  Thaw.  Mix other ingredients together, withholding 1 tablespoon of chopped nuts for garnish.  Spread mixture on one piece of cut out bread and top with matching shape.  Spread a small amount of filling on top of “acorn” – just enough to hold small nut segments.  Add segments as decoration from set aside pecans.  Serve.  Note:  Amounts shown for filling ingredients are for 4-6 sandwiches.  Adjust as necessary when making larger batches.

Oak Leaf Tea Sandwiches

1 slice of bread per sandwich
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon sundried tomato pesto
1/4 teaspoon chopped, fresh basil leaves
Basil leaves for garnish

Freeze as many bread slices as needed.  Cut with cookie cutters to desired shapes.  Thaw. Mix next three ingredient together and use as filling for sandwiches.  Cut 1 long strip for each sandwich from remaining basil leaves to create “veins” for leaves.  Top each sandwich with basil strip.  Serve.  Note:  Amounts shown for filling ingredients are for 4-6 sandwiches.  Adjust as necessary when making larger batches.

Sirloin Roulades

6 thinly-sliced pieces of sirloin, cooked medium rare
1/4 cup goat cheese
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon well-drained crushed pineapple
6 pieces of sour dough mini toast (I used Boudines, but you can make your own)
Fresh rosemary spears

Mix cheese and cream together until homogenous.  Add parsley and pineapple.  Spread mixture on steak slices.  Roll and pierce with rosemary spears.  Serve on mini toasts.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed our autumn tea as much as I.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and do pop by again soon!

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COPYRIGHT 2017. VICTORIA BENCHLEY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A Thanksgiving Tea

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Do come in and get warm.  I’ve got just the thing for that chill!  Settle in and have a cup of my Harvest Blend Tea.  Can you taste the rich spices?  I’ve combined a favorite Chai (no longer available in stores, so I’m hording what I have) with a beloved Orange Pekoe.  I hope you like Beethoven.

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As we barrel towards the holidays, I want to pause and say Thank You to all my readers.  I appreciate each and every one of you!  In the States, we celebrate Thanksgiving at this time of year, remembering our heritage and counting our blessings.  Most gather for feasts and special times of fellowship with their families.

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As Oscar Wilde said, summer collapses into fall.  October and November seem like a blur to me.  2016 is going by faster than I’d like.  The past year has been one of loss for our family, but we still have so much to be thankful for.  I thank God for my children, our health, friends, family, our home, our country, and you, dear reader, along with countless other blessings we’ve received.

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So choose a chair, a cup, and a treat, or two! Please, do share some of the things your’re most thankful for.    

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I’ve pulled out all the stops with my fall décor for this tea. Utilizing ribbons, leaves, and ornaments found in discount stores, I adorned glass candle sticks, giving everything a festive air.  The unusual tea service, in fall colors, proved perfect for the occasion.  The candy corn and Indian corn candles remind me of my childhood (my dad always had bunches of Indian corn hanging from beams in his den!).  I purchased them in a specialty shop.  Store bought cookies, flavored with fruit and nuts, fit the theme nicely.

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Tips:

  • If you are short on time, spend your moments on the décor and purchase the food you’ll serve guests.img_2062resizedcrop
  • Use festive ribbon to tie florist picks, leaves, or themed ornaments to candlesticks, serving trays, or napkins.
  • Keep an eye out for bargains that you can use to amp up your décor.  I bought my themed candles while on a trip and transported them home!
  • Pick a tea or create your own (like I did) that matches the season.
  • It’s a busy time of year, so be considerate when scheduling your event.  Invite your friends well in advance.

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May each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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COPYRIGHT 2016. VICTORIA BENCHLEY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED