Monday, November 14, 2011

Afternoon Tea And My Mom's Sugar Cookie Recipe

I collect Old Country Roses China and tea ware..,

 I am joining Wanda Lee and Pam this week for, Teapot And Tea Things Tuesday @

Mom made these cookies every Christmas for as long as I can remember. To be honest, they weren't my favorite, because they were very hard. However, since they were the only sugar cookies I had ever eaten, I asked Mom for the recipe.

The first year of my marriage, I made the cookies, but instead of using margarine, as Mom always did, I used butter. The difference it made in the recipe was phenomenal! In fact they were so good, I was grateful that I lived 4000 miles away from Mom. I didn't want her to taste my version, because she took such pride in her own recipe, and frankly, mine were SO much better, that I didn't want hers to be overshadowed.

Every year I would make them I would say to her, "Well, Mom, I made the sugar cookies, but they just don't taste like yours." I never told her that I used butter, and she would quiz me as to what I might have done wrong. I'd tell her that there was no way that I would be able to bake them like she did. I think she took some pride in being the "Sugar Cookie Queen".

Having said that, I have to admit that my Mom's potato salad was absolutely THE BEST! I couldn't come close to reproducing or improving it. She just had the touch, and she certainly didn't pass that one on to me, or any of my sisters. Mom passed away 7 and 1/2 years ago. I really miss her, and would give anything to sink my teeth into her sugar cookies one more time., even if they were a little firm.

These cookies are absolutely delicious, very moist and flavorful, and they are especially good after a week or two, once the flavor of the nutmeg really becomes pronounced. This makes about 5 dozen cookies, or about 2 1/2 dozen double cookies. I make double cookies which are a round cookie on the bottom, and a cookie of the same circumference but with a small hole in the centre, into which I put a dab of raspberry jam. To give you a word to the wise, these bake up quite large, and need to be watched so that they are baked sufficiently , but are not over-done.

Anyway, here they are in all their glory, but take my advice and use butter!

Please enjoy our little Tuesday, Afternoon Tea respite my friends. ~ Do make this special Sugar cookie recipe soon and curl up with a freshly brewed cup of tea and a good book, enjoying the sweet, slightly crunchy, somewhat soft, buttery delights with just hint of Vanilla flavor.., Yum!

Compliments of moi, A.K.A./The Scone Queen

Mom's Sugar Cookies

Cream together: 2 cups sugar
1 pound of butter
4 eggs (room temperature)

Combine and then add to the above mixture: 5 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Roll into a large ball. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate until firm to make rolling easier. Roll out 1/4 inch and cut into designs. Bake 350 degrees F. six to seven minutes.

~ Please let me know you came by to visit by kindly leaving a comment. ~ I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU.

Warmest regards, Rose, A.K.A./The Scone Queen

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cherishing Christmas in Our Hearts

Here I am again, my sanity precauriously intact. With Halloween behind me by a mere 48 hours, I feel this year as though I have escaped a dark and foreboding maze.  For the past several weeks the road has been difficult,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Fresh Springtime Beginning:

Hello there once again dear friends;

Pretty little molded sugars..,

 A word from a dear blog friend:

Today, at long last, there is a post on this lovely blog of my dear friend Scone Queen! ~ I am a guest blogger and my name is Silken Purse.

Dear Scone Queen and I have been friends for many years and from time to time, we will be enjoying being guest bloggers on each others blogs!.., Scone Queen has been very busy over the last while, yet from time to time it is my hope that she will once again grace the pages of her delightful and well written blogs, full of her lovely pictures of teatime repasts and her wonderful prose!

Do enjoy some of her posts from the past, especially her Valentines tree post; so pretty!..,(We have been enjoying Afternoon Tea and the decorating of fun, seasonal projects, such as our own respective, Valentines trees, for many years).., FUN!

Please visit her other blog for today's latest, Tuesday Tea For Two, blog post on her lovely , The Tea Trolley blog:

Please do leave a comment and also consider following my friend's blog; that way it is easier to stay in touch!~ She's a very special and dear lady with an abundance of God given talent!

A word from Scone Queen:

Photo credits; photo is from Flickr.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rolling out the Tea Trolley Once Again!

After a delay of many, many months, I am pleased to announce the re-introduction of  "The Tea Trolley",  my  blog dedicated to the sumptuous art of preparing and enjoying afternoon tea.  I want to express my heart-felt appreciation to my dear friend, and blog collaborator, the Paper Princess, creator and author of The Silken Purse, who graciously gifted me with an absolutely stunning banner to crown my new venture.  Even though we are sadly seperated by thousands of Canadian miles, it was so much fun to partner on this project, via long disatnce and internet.  It was ALMOST as fun as spending an afternoon at her lovely Bed and Breakfast on the east coast,  enjoying her precious company, sipping a steaming bowl of splosh and indulging in freshly-baked scones smothered with raspberry preserves and topped with a generous dollop of clotted cream.. (ALMOST, but not quite!)

My vision for "The Tea Trolley" includes the sharing of recipes, table-setting and tea invitation ideas, and so much more.  Come and be a part of our little community. There may even be an opportunity for a cyber-space tea party and a give-away or two!  Our only limitation is the breadth, height and depth of our collective imagination.  How wonderful is that! 

The Paper Princess and I have been blessed immeasurably by the people we have fellowshipped with  over the intoxicating aroma of a finely-brewed cup of tea.    Between the two of us, we have hosted and attended hundreds of tea gatherings, each unigue and memorable.  We invite you to join us at "The Tea Trolley" to glean what you can from our experiences, and to contribute what you will to our tea-sipping community at large.  You are most cordially invited and welcomed!         

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Flowers From a Kindred Spirit

Ten minutes ago my doorbell rang and I received an unexpected but much needed long-distance hug from an old and dear friend, in the form of beautiful posie of purple Roses, Irises and Snapdragons accompanied by a sweet stuffed bunny.  My first thought?  Some bunny loves me!  I wonder who?

Although I seldom let my mind travel down this dangerous road, I found myself wondering today what, or more specifically who I have spent my life serving.  Sometimes people can be so self-focused, ungrateful and unhelpful, and  I have recently had my fill of feeling unappreciated and taken for granted.  After a week of ill-health, and stress, I finally reached my limit in the early hours of this morning and called an old, dear freind to share my heartbreak amid many tears. She listened, she comiserated, she couseled she told she understood, and I believed her. By the end of our conversation, I felt as though I could live through the rest of my day.  What would we do without friends like that?  I shutter to think.  

The card read:  "Friendship is when people know all about you but like you anyway.  Here is a hug to celebrate 33 years of unconditional friendship, Love Cindy"  Thanks, I needed that.    

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Diminuitive Strand of Pearls

I remember my grandmother Annie as a woman of extraordinary integrity, compassion, and dignity. Although she died when I was very young, her influence on my life has been monumental. A devoted Catholic, the loving wife of a hard-working husband, and the mother of 16 children, she epitomized grace even at the most difficult of times.

As a young girl I suffered from a perforated eardrum, a condition that colored my young life for many years. Because of it, I was unable to learn to ride a bike, as it affected my balance. Lack of coordination made me clumsy and prone to falling. I always seemed to be sporting scrapped knees, sprained ankles or wrists and I was constantly plagued with painful ear infections. I remember one year when all my classmates were enthusiastically involved in swimming lessons at a local pool, but I was doomed to sit out, and watch them have fun because chlorinated pools were breeding grounds for bacterias that I was not able to properly fend off. I felt isolated, excluded. awkward and sad. My grandmother understood my disappointment, but never allowed me to fall into self-pity. When my doctors determined that they only way to deal with the condition was surgery, I was frightened, but hopeful that I would soon be able to participate in the many childhood experiences that my condition had kept me from enjoying. Sadly though, my dear grandmother had become ill, and died of pancreatic cancer days before my surgery. One of her last requests was for my grandfather to make sure that I received a bouquet of roses from her after my surgery. When I awoke from anaesthetic my eyes focused on a beauty lady's head vase filled with pink baby roses, with a small card that simply said "with love from Meme". It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The porcelain lady wore a grey-black hat, a diminuitive strand of antique white pearls around her neck. I was smitten by her simple elegance, and have always wanted to own just such a necklace of my own.

Pearls however, are an expensive luxury, and not something I could ever justify buying for myself. Even for my wedding, fifteen years ago, it just wasn't possible to see my way clear to indulging in something so costly. Five years ago my husband, a fine piano accompanist, visited China as part of a cultural exchange with the British Columbia Girls Choir. Knowing that China was renowned for pearls, and thinking that buying them from the source mught make them affordable, I requested that he look for a strand for me. When he arrived home, he informed me that, in fact, the pearls were VERY expensive, and it just wasn't in the budget. I was disappointed, but understanding. Two years later, on Christmas day, he gifted me with a gorgeous, long strand of ivory pearls, presented in a pink box from the pearl district of China. I loved them, but they were not the short elegant string of antique white pearls I had dreamt of for so many years.

The following year I began to teach ESL(English as a Second Language) to a group of wonderful Asian adults at my Church. At the end of the year, it is their custom to gift their teachers with a token of their appreciation. That day in June, I opened a little box to find something that took my breath away. There, cradled in a cloud of white cotton batton were the pearls of my dreams. My students did not know, as I had never mentioned how much I had always wanted just such a necklace. I was taken back, shocked really at how they were exactly as I had imagined them; unassuming, pure and elegant, just like the ones worn by the demure lady with the pink roses in her hat, that bitter-sweet gift from my Meme. So, it seemed appropriate to wear them on that special day this summer, lovingly coupled with my engagement amethyst when I once again renewed my wedding vows. The idea of them, a gift from my beloved grandmother, the reality of them from precious ones whom I have had the priviledge to teach and befriend in my adopted province.

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More on the Anniversary Party

Rose with Joseph Shore who gave the toast to the anniversary couple

Back again with a few more pictures from our recent soiree. Celebrating a 15th amiversary is a bit unusual, as it is not traditionally seen as a significant year, but we felt very much in the mood to recognize the blessings we have receieved over the past decade and a half. Our love for one another has been greatly enhanced by the friends and mentors we have met in our adopted province since 1994. As none of us are getting any younger, we wanted to fete not only our marriage, but the significant influence these wonderful folks have had in our "Common Life". Eric's pastor, a young man in his thirties, commented that many of our guests were elderly, and as I reflected on his observation, I came to the conclusion that this celebration was really in honor of these dear ones who have meant so much to us, and have taught us immeasurable lessons about what it means to be committed to God first and then to your life's partner. It was far more about them and much less about us. Because of their sainted example, Eric and I have successfully completed Marriage 101, and look forward to tackling advanced studies, and perhaps even our PhD in marriage like many of these folks have who have been faithfully espoused some of them for 45 to 50 to 60 years. It is one of the truisms of life that you never know when someone dear will be taken from you, so the rule of thumb should always be celebrate when you can, as often as you can, with as many of your loved ones as you can. Tomorrow may be a day when sterling memories of parties-past will be one of your most precious comforts until that Day when, all tears behind us, we meet at the Great Wedding Feast that knows no end.