“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 TartAdvertising
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 CakeAdvertising
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 SconesAdvertising
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 BreadAdvertising
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 December 2, 2018
How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life
Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.
The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.
The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.
Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:
Review Your Past Flow
Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?
Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week. That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.
Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern
Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.
Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.
Account for Big Picture Fluctuations
Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?
We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.
Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?
Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com