“Tea is much more than a mere drink in Britain. It is a solace, a mystique, an art, a way of life, almost a religion.”
– Cecil Porter of Gemini News Service
Centuries ago in England, there was a tradition of gathering with colleagues and having a tea party. A British tea party used to be the perfect method of celebrating special occasions like an anniversary, birthday, or even weekends. The tradition of using tea as a luxurious drink is continued to this day.
A British tea party can be organized in any season. In the summertime, the tea party is done mostly outdoors. Due to cold weather, the party is done indoors in the winter. There are a wide variety of different tea to choose from, such as white tea, green tea, black tea, oolong tea, or if you are feeling really adventurous, you can even make kombucha tea.
There are many recipes you can try for a vintage British tea party. Here are some of the most delightful ones:
1. Apple Tart
It is an enticing combination of a shortbread crust, a cream-cheese filling, a scattering of sliced almonds, and a few slices of cinnamon-sugared apples. It is deliciously warm from the oven, where the shortbread is nice and crisp, where the slices of apple are warm and fragrant, and the filling is soft and creamy.
The most important ingredient here is apple. Therefore, you must take care in deciding the brand of apple. You can also try mixing two or three varieties of apples for a more complex flavor. (Click here for the recipe)
2. Vanilla Cupcakes
Vanilla cupcakes are baked in a 12 cup muffin tray and are lined with paper liners. To make this type of cupcake, you need to mix the white cake batter using the “creaming” method. This method includes the mixing of butter, eggs, and milk at room temperature.
Cupcakes are one of the most popular bakery items. They are found almost everywhere, from birthday parties, to weddings. Their decorations range from the very simple, to stunning works of art. (Click here for the recipe)
3. Chocolate Sponge Cake
Chocolate sponge cake is different from other sponge cakes, as it doesn’t contain flour. It also contains beaten egg yolks, sugar, and melted chocolate. It has a lovely spiral design. The light and airy texture makes it look like it will just melt in your mouth.
I love the rich chocolate flavor of this sponge roll. The good part is that it can be stored in the refrigerator for four to five days, although I have never had one last that long. It’s a perfect recipe for an afternoon tea party. (Click here for the recipe)
4. Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite quick breads, as it is easy to make. This moist quick bread is full of pumpkin and its spices. However, what makes it different from other quick bread is the vein of cream-cheese filling through its center.
5. Cream Scones
Cream scones are a warm and lovely dish, served with clotted cream and jam. They have a light interior and crisp exterior with some flavor of butter. It is best if all the ingredients are cold, to add the liquid to dry all of the ingredients at once, and then to mix all of them together in a quick and light manner.
6. Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate & Raspberries
One of the easiest cookies to make, shortbread cookies are actually two sweet shortbreads, buttery in taste, that are filled with raspberry jam and white chocolate. They look very festive and make a perfect cookie during the Christmas holidays or for Valentine’s Day.
Their white coating of powdered sugar and the red raspberry jam pokes through the cut out. When making sandwich cookies, you want all the cookies to be of the same size because if the cookies are of different sizes, they don’t fit together particularly well. (Click here for the recipe)
7. White Sandwich Bread
The ingredients of white sandwich bread include bread flour, a small amount of plain flour, SAF Gold instant yeast, dried milk powder, some kosher salt, and a little water.
When the bread first comes out of the oven the crust is slightly crisp. As it cools, the crust becomes softer and the texture becomes flaky. The texture of this bread is soft. It’s so fluffy that you will surely find it more delicious than you think. (Click here for the recipe)
8. Meringue Cookies
They are so light, sweet and crisp that they seem to just melt in your mouth. The outside of the meringue cookies seem nice and crisp, but the inside remains soft and puffy.
They are used as a normal dish, but they can also be used as a dessert item by topping with ice cream, whipped cream, or fresh fruit. These cookies include just two ingredients: stiffly beaten egg whites and superfine sugar. (Click here for the recipe)
Featured photo credit: English Cream Tea via upload.wikimedia.org
Last Updated on February 12, 2019
12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid
I’m a hypochondriac. Always have been since I was a child. One of my biggest fears as an adult is getting breast cancer. I visited my gynecologist a few months ago and asked what I could do to help prevent getting breast cancer. You know what she said? Nothing. According to this recommended OB/GYN doctor, besides regular check-ups to see if I already had breast cancer, there was nothing I could do to prevent a cancer that impacts 1 in 8 U.S. women.
After heavily researching breast cancer, I found out that I was making quite a few mistakes with my everyday activities. Here are 12 things that may cause breast cancer that you should avoid.
Buying Deodorant Without Checking the Label
I actually have a good friend who is more of a hypochondriac than I am, so I went to her with my concerns about breast cancer. She took me into the bathroom and thrust her deodorant at me. While at first I was confused and slightly offended, she explained that I should start using a different deodorant because the mass-produced ones at the store have ingredients (ie aluminum –based compounds) I can’t afford to put under my armpits and so close to my breasts. Luckily, she had an extra Tom’s natural deodorant to give me.
There might not be any “conclusive” research that links antiperspirants to breast cancer but better safe than sorry.
Using Chemical Hair Dye
I know so many people who dye their hair every few months using the cheap boxed dyes you can buy at the store. Sure, it can be fun but it’s like playing Russian Roulette because the dyes you use most likely contain carcinogens. The National Cancer Institute even warns against the practice of just picking out a hair dye willy-nilly. So the next time you do it, go to a health foods market and find the most naturally-based hair dye you can.
Regarding my visit to the gynecologist, she did come back after our conversation a few minutes later and asked if I smoked or drank a lot of alcohol. I said no (I don’t think any true hypochondriac can do either of those things). “You’ll be fine then,” she said. But she forgot about second-hand smoke, which can be just as dangerous. Now, I won’t go near anyone if they’re lighting up, including my BFF’s boyfriend. He can get as mad as he wants; my health is more important!
Wearing the Wrong Bra Size
When an organization devoted to protecting women against breast cancer suggests you get fitted with the right bra, you take notice. Bras that are too small or big might pose a risk because they just aren’t supportive on the breast tissue or if they are too tight they will cut off drainage of the lymph fluid. Hey, it was a great excuse to head to Victoria’s Secret to get measured.
If I had my choice though, I would go all-natural and join the bra burners of the 60s (however, my mom was a bra burner, so that might make it a little awkward).
Using Chemical Household Cleaners
If the cabinet under your kitchen sink looks like most, there are enough chemicals to make all sorts of crazy things. And yes, as you and I suspected, those chemicals are REALLY bad. Not only are they connected with breast cancer, they are connected with other kinds of cancers, as well as chronic conditions like migraines, allergies and more. So from now on, clean with vinegar, baking soda and other materials that aren’t going to give you a medical nightmare.
When I was a little kid, I learned to use mothballs. They actually remind me of my grandmother, bless her heart. Little did I know that they are filled with chemicals that have been connected with breast cancer development. Looks like I’ll be looking for an alternative, like cedar chips. Sorry, Grammy!
Putting Non-Organic Make-Up on My Face
I won’t tell you the foundation I use, but I will tell you that after I read the ingredients, I promptly threw it away. It was chock full of all sorts of nasty things like parabens, which have been found en masse in tissue samples that came from breast cancer patients. I can still wear make-up, though. A trip to my local whole foods store was all it took to come up with organic-based, paraben-free cover-up.
Neglecting My Physical Health
In my research, I discovered losing weight is a good way to ward off breast cancer since there have been indications of a link between being overweight and being diagnosed with this type of cancer. That’s all the motivation I need to get off the couch and head to the gym.
Like I mentioned above, alcohol has never been my drink of choice but basically everyone else I know highly enjoys their beer. Yet alcohol is super problematic if you want to avoid breast cancer, liver cancer and heart cancer. In a global study, over 21 percent of alcohol related deaths were because of cancer. I’m hoping for a soon-to-be revolution that swaps alcohol for tea (healthier and less expensive) when it comes to social drinking. Tea time anyone?
De-Odorizing My House With Air Fresheners
I love a clean-smelling house and car, but the air fresheners I’ve been using contain phthalates, a type of plasticizing chemical. Phthalates have been found in air fresheners because they help create a long-lasting fragrance. Unfortunately, that fragrance could be deadly. Looks like I’ll be boiling some water, cinnamon sticks and cloves on the stovetop to make my house smell really amazing!
Storing Everything in Plastic Containers
I have a habit of collecting those plastic containers. Whenever I get a coupon for them, I just go hog-wild and buy a bunch. But they have a connection to breast cancer, which I didn’t know before. It’s especially bad when you use them to reheat food in the microwave. I’m going to suck it up, throw them out and use glass containers instead.
Buying the Wrong Food
I figured that pesticides were trouble from the get-go, and I was right. They get into your foods and, in some cases, seem to foster an environment where cancerous cells feel compelled to grow within the organs and tissues, including the breasts. It’s one more reason to buy from local farmers, as long as they don’t use pesticides. You’ll have to ask them, by the way; most local food market stands don’t have signs up about the whole pesticides topic.
While everyone still makes fun of me for being a hypochondriac, I know in my heart that I’m actually just protecting myself, and maybe educating some people on the health dangers that lurk in everyday items. My wellbeing is worth being the butt of a few jokes. Yours is, too.
Featured photo credit: NA via istockphoto.com