Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tea Bread and Treasure

The Honey, Sultana and Pecan Tea Bread from Tea at Fortnum & Mason filled the kitchen with the aroma of Christmas yesterday.  My shorts, tank top and the sound of lawnmowers buzzing in the background set the record straight that it was most definitely not December!  There were some slight modifications, I had to investigate what "mixed spice" was (it's an English term) and had to do a bit of mixing of my own from jars of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.  And I didn't have Earl Grey on hand so regular black tea it was with a splash of brandy for interest.  It tastes absolutely delicious!

I've been pulling my copy of Taste  from my bedside table in the morning before Deacon decides it's time to haul everyone out of bed.  This morning I read about wartime rationing and recipes for mock this and that leaving me quite thankful for a full pantry.

"Icing was illegal, wedding cakes were more often cardboard than edible, and, as Christmas Day dawned, 'Austerity Pudding' was likely to be made with potato, grated carrot and apple, as much dried fruit as you could get your hands on, dried egg, flour, breadcrumbs, cooking fat and a scraping of precious golden syrup or marmalade."

On a related kitchen matter, my good friend and colleague, Roberta, picked up this cup and saucer from one of her treasure hunting jaunts because she thought I would like it.  R loves to tease that over the years of her gifting treasures she hasn't lightened her purse by more than $7 to date.  We ignore him.  The exact reason for two handles, other than looking quite pretty, had us wondering.  With a bit of searching the internet we now know it's actually a cream soup bowl and stand.  My everyday china doesn't come with anything so pretty or so dedicated, it's all about simply making do.  I read that two handles also make tea drinking easier for the infirm.  Knock on wood, I won't need it for that reason for quite some time.


  1. I've been collecting cream soup bowls! They're so elegant... I love this one.

  2. Doh! I've just realised I HAVE this recipe book!!! But thanks for sending me the recipe :)

  3. If anyone else would like the recipe, I googled it & here's the link.

    Your's looks so much better than the cake in the picture, Darlene! Must have been your special adaptations.

  4. Audrey, I can see the attraction! What a lovely thing to have lots of!

    verity, Even better...and you're welcome.

    thecaptivereader, It's deceptively filling as well so a slim slice goes a long way.

    lyn, Thank you for sending along the link! Why didn't I think of doing that? Now I'm off for a peek...

  5. We had a set of 6 two-handled soup bowls on stands when we married in 1964 (they were modern ones but they were still being produced even then!) But this one is much prettier than the Midwinter ones we had, part of our dinner service.
    Tea bread is delicious. I make one which you boil and then bake and when cold, slice & butter. Wonderful!

  6. Mixed spice is an absolute must for rock cakes - when I put a recipe up on my blog a while ago, non-UK readers didn't know what it was. Missing out!

  7. galant, You were infinitely more savvy as a newlywed than I was. I would have been drinking hot chocolate out of them!

    StuckInABook, A container of mixed spice will be coming home with me this September. The concocting that went on with my spice bottles, sheesh! This bread would never taste the same twice.

  8. If you're without mixed spice, some cinnamon and nutmeg is a good substitute.
    Margaret P