Oct 2, 2011

Autumn Delights :: A Spot of Tea

What a beauty and radiance this time of year posses. It is a time when everything comes alive with color. It is a time when the air transforms -- from the moist and stickiness of summer -- into the crisp, cool breath of autumn. It is a time when our days are shortened, and cozy evenings are at hand.

It is on these chilly autumn evenings, that I most enjoy a lovely cup of hot tea. Everything about it is simply delicious. There is a beautiful aroma which graces the air as I scoop the loose tea leaves from my tea jar, into the little tea bag. My heart is warmed as I watch the hot water steeps to darker shades of flavor, and watch as the steamy fragrance fills the air. And, once it has finished brewing, I enjoy pouring in a dab of cream, along with one lump of pure, crystal sugar -- stir it -- taste it -- and let my taste buds begin to dance ecstatically!!

Over the years, I have tried multiple teas (herbals, whites, blacks, greens, etc) and find that my favorite would have to be Black Tea. In fact, I rarely drink any other type. Black tea holds such a unique flavor, which is very soothing, and refreshing, yet quite strong -- I love it! My favorite way to take black tea is ::

An Old-Fashioned Cup of Black Tea
Taken from Johanna Rose's Kitchen

Spoon one tea spoon of loose black tea into your tea bag. Boil your water, and pour over your tea leaves, in your tea cup -- fill it approximately 3/4 full. Let this steep for three minutes. While it is steeping, heat approximately 1/8 of a cup of Milk (you can use cream if you wish). Stir. Add one lump of pure, crystal Sugar. Stir again. Enjoy the Aroma -- Relish the taste!

Do take time to try out this lovely 'recipe' for taking tea -- as I said -- it is my favorite way of taking it. Indeed, I find it to be the only way to drink black tea! *smile*

A Cup of Tea
by J. Jonker

When the world is all at odds
And the mind is all at sea
Then cease the useless tedium
And brew a cup of tea.

There is magic in its fragrance,
There is solace in its taste;
And the laden moments vanish
Somehow into space.

And the world becomes a lovely thing!
There's beauty as you'll see;
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea.

Tea helps our head and heart.
Ted medicates most every part.
Tea rejuvenates the very old.
Tea warms the hands of those who're cold.
When planning an Autumn tea, the first thing we must do is plan out the menu. While there are many delicate treats that you can prepare for your Autumn tea, I believe that the most important addition would have to be delicious scones -- pumpkin scones would be delicious. Maybe along with some homemade autumn preserves? *smile* There are so many wonderful recipes to choose from, be sure to try a few out this fall....

Pumpkin Ginger Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour 
7 tablespoons plus 
1 teaspoon sugar, divided 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
5 tablespoons cold butter, divided 
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1/4 cup canned pumpkin 
1/4 cup sour cream 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 7 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger and baking soda. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the egg, pumpkin and sour cream; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Pat into an 8-in. circle. Cut into eight wedges. Separate wedges and place on a greased baking sheet. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes approximately 8 scones.

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter

2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed 1 egg
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons chopped pecans, optional

Place cranberries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes; drain and chop. In a small bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and cranberries; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pie spice, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, pumpkin and milk; add to crumb mixture just until moistened. Stir in pecans if desired. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Pat into an 8-in. circle. Cut into eight wedges; separate wedges and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with berry butter. 
Makes approximately 8 scones (about 1/2 cup butter).

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for dusting 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces 
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 large egg 

 Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the pieces of diced butter and combine, with your hands, until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.) Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with approximately 1 1/2 tsp. of sugar. Use a 3" biscuit cutter, and cut out as many scones as possible; place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart. 
Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes approximately 8-12 scones. 

Cranberry~Clove Marmalade

Cranberries - 2 to 2½ cups (12 ounces)
Oranges - 2 cups of cut fruit
Palm Jaggery - 1 cup powdered
Cloves - 6
Water - 1 cup

Wash and remove bad cranberries. Peel orange and separate into segments over a bowl (to catch the juices). Powder the jaggery and measure. Make a fine powder of cloves. In a heavy pot, bring one cup of water to a boil. Add jaggery and wait until jaggery melts. Add cranberries and orange pieces. Cook, until the fruit breaks down, turn to mush and come together to a firm quivering mass. Takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Just before turning off the heat, sprinkle powdered cloves. Cook few more minutes and turn off the heat. Let marmalade cool completely. Store in a tight lidded, clean jar and refrigerate.
But, of course, much more goes into hosting an autumn tea then just tea and scones. Let us now look to how we may dress our tea-table with autumn decor, and bring it alive with the radiance of autumn itself. When looking for special ways to accent your table with the lovely air of harvest time, I encourage you to look within you imagination, and use your creativity -- for handmade gifts and decorations are always the best, are they not? *smile* Recently, I have found a multitude of beautiful tutorials which I plan to try when hosting my next tea ...

I think this is such a charming idea! You can be so creative in making these little tea bags -- be sure to pick out some lovely autumn fabrics, and stitch away.

What perfect little table-favors for each one of your guests. Inside each one of these envelopes, you can store a special bag of tea for them to take home, and enjoy on a windy evening. I think this is such a sweet idea, and one that leaves you so much room for your imagination to soar.

What lovely little table-favors these would make; made from, of course, warm fall materials, and scented with cloves, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other harvest-scents.

Wouldn't these be simply adorable to set out on your tea-table? I certainly think so!

This table runner is simply gorgeous -- it will truly bring the beauty of autumn to your tea table.

So now, I invite you into my parlor for tea time, in which we will enjoy many cups of tea, and a scone {or two} together, as we share with each other what makes autumn special to each of us. 

Your Cup of Tea :: Please create a post on your blog that pertains to an Autumn Tea. You can share :: recipes, tea-table craft tutorials, photos, quotes, poems, et cetra -- or simply share with us some memories you have made in that past at the tea-table. Once you have created your post, link it up below. You will be able to host a tea over at your blog until October 23-- We can't wait to come and visit!


  1. I can't join, but still a lovely post... despite it making me hungry... lol :P

  2. Miss Johanna, I am glad that you are able to continue this! I can't wait to read the rest of your lovely autumn posts.

  3. Ooh, gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing the recipes - on the spur of the moment, I made the pumpkin scones (with berry butter) to accompany my thick chicken rice soup. Perfect for a rainy (Southern Hemisphere) spring evening! Also, difficult to cease devouring. :o)
    Hannah Jasmine

  4. I posted pictures of the scones here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=165447840210800&set=a.104403919648526.14008.100002367557198&type=1&theater

    Such a lovely treat!

  5. Is too late to join in on this autumn delights spot of tea link up ?
    Miss Johanna Rose I'm so glad you were able to continue this lovely idea.
    Rachel Hope