Monday, August 30, 2010

Delightful Redundancy! Another Afternoon of Tea at London Farms

Welcome to another delightful, 'Tuesday And Wednesday Teatime In blogland' and also to Friday's lovely blog parties as well!.., Enjoy my friends!

This week I am joining in with these tea parties; the 18th , 'Teapot And Tea Things Tuesday' @ and also @

.., And also @  for the 46th, 'Tuesday Tea For Two', and also the 37th, 'Wednesday Tea For Me And Thee'.

I am also linking in with Martha and Terri's, Teacup Tuesday this week @

And the lovely,  Teatime Tuesday ,  at dear Lady Katherine's which is held weekly  @

And also with dear Sandi for, TeaTime Tuesday @

I am also linking in with the fabulous, Foodie Friday @

As well with the wonderful, Show And Tell Friday @  ( I am featuring my red and white, gingham slip covers for Show And Tell Friday, that my dear little pup is sitting beside at the bottom of this post)..,

If the fact that I adore Tea time is not evident by the existence of this blog, one need look no further than my repeated visits to the London Farms Tea Room to conclude that I am a bit of a fanatic.  Truth be known, I would probably go there on a weekly basis, if I had the discretionary time and funds.  My only criticism is that they don't "do" a bonifide "cream tea" as they chose  not to serve clotted cream with their delicious scones.  However, they offer a lovely homemade raspberry jam, creamery butter, and three scrumptious sweets which vary from time to time, along with a smashing spot of splosh known as London Lady Tea which they also sell in their darling little gift shop! It is seldom that I possess the needed self control to leave there without buying a little something for my collection, whether it is silver-plated spoon, a fragrant lavender sachet,  or a lovely tea-cup!   I say, blushing all the while, that I have been to London Farms no less than three times this season.

In my own defense however, I must admit that I do have a "partner-in-crime" on my frequent forays to the farm in the person of my dear friend Ruth, who knows that she need only mention the possibility of a visit to the tea room to obtain my hearty agreement.  This time we took delight in viewing a bevvy of free range chickens clucking contentedly in the front garden. amid the brown-eyed-susans.  As we sipped on our delicious brew and lingered over our scones and sweets, we discussed plans for our church's  up-coming Christmas Tea and bandied about ideas for everything from decor to door
prizes, and keynote speakers to scones!  It was a lovely break from the everyday.  I do hope that perhaps, we might go there just one more time before the season ends.  In my life there is always room for tea!     

The folks at London Farms Tea Room have many such collectable teacups and teapots .., I do not know who these little teacups are made by, but aren't they pretty!?.., I love antique, teacups and saucers!

Another delightful recipe for you to enjoy my friends..,

Nova Scotian Gingerbread

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup lightly packed demerara brown sugar

1/3 cup Molasses

*1 egg

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup boiling water


In a medium-sized bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, and spices) Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Into these wet ingredients beat in molasses and egg.Stir the dry ingredients gently into the creamed mixture, alternating with with boiled water, and ending with dry ingredients, combining until just mixed. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 8 X 4 or 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F oven for 40-45 minutes or until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for ten minutes. on a baking rack. Remove from pan and allow to sit of baking rack until completely cool. (If you can STAND it, but I like to serve mine warm from the oven!) To store, wrap tightly or put in an air-tight container. Each 1/12 of a loaf is 133 calories! Pretty good for a delicious dessert, but that of course does not include the lemon sauce or whipped cream. (Lemon Sauce Recipe to follow! Yum, yum, oh yum!)

* your egg should be room temperature, but I NEVER remember to take it out of the fridge in time for that, so soaking the egg in warm water for 15 minutes before hand will bring it closer to room temperature.

Lemon Sauce

1/2 cup white sugar ( if you are concerned about calories you could use a 1/2 and 1/2 split if sugar and Splenda)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup boiling water

1 tablespoon butter ( Go ahead and indulge, it won't kill you!)

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

*the juice of one lemon

In saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and nutmeg/ Gradually whisk in boiling water, stirring to remove any lumps. Simmer over low hear, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Serve over warmed gingerbread and enjoy AS, NO DOUBT, YOU WILL!

* To get the most juice out of your lemon, heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds on high. You will double or even triple the amount of juice you will get from the lemon. I like to zest my lemon after if has been juiced, because if you do it before, the lemon falls apart as it is juiced.

Please  also enjoy my little, "puppy-scape", tablescape for Marti's , Tabletop Tuesday @ 
~This is my dear little doggie,  Charlie D. Dog. ~ Woof!
 Warmest regards from Scone Queen

~ I always so enjoy your comments , so please kindly leave me a comment and I shall visit you in return.., (I am still making the rounds from last week, so please be patient; I adore visitng you as well my dear blog friends)!  ~ Thanks so much for all of your lovely comments last week!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Queen of sweets; Cape Breton Pork Pies:

This week I am joining in with these tea parties; the 16th , 'Teapot And Tea Things Tuesday' @ and also @

.., And also @  for the 44th, 'Tuesday Tea For Two', and also the 35th, 'Wednesday Tea For Me And Thee'.

I am also linking in with Martha and Terri's, Teacup Tuesday this week @

And the lovely,  Teatime Tuesday ,  at dear Lady Katherine's which is held weekly  @

I collect the Old Country Roses Pattern by Royal Albert and have many pieces; I so enjoy using the teacups especially!..,

A picture of a tart tamper.., very handy for making tarts of any kind!

If the scone is the "queen of sweets" for the tea table, then surely the delectable tart must be her "lady in waiting".  Easy to make, and ever-so-dainty, a variety of tempting tarts offers the tea-taker a symphony of tastes wrapped in  a sweet, melt-in-your mouth shortbread crust.  For an afternoon tea, I delight to offer at least two (and sometimes three!)  types of tarts,.  My favorites are the ever popular lemon curd, tart served plain, or presented with a diminutive dollop of clotted cream,  the Maid of honor, a delightful jam filled tart with a delicate cake hat punctuated with a Florette of pink butter cream, and finally, in deference to my east coast  ties, the toothsome Cape Breton Pork Pie.  This little gem, one of my husband's all-time favorites, contains NOT ONE OUNCE OF PORK! 

It's name is the subject of some conjecture. My favorite explanation is that they are so good, when you have one, you can't resist having another, and another and another!  Thus, you "pork" out on them, making a little piggy of yourself in the process!  So dear bloggerites, here is my recipe for Cape Breton Pork Pies. I found it in a venerated cookbook, which was given to me by my dear friend , June one year for Christmas.  Imagine my delight, precious bloggerites, when I received this, to discover that it was the cookbook most used by my own sweet Mom.  In fact, she used it so much it was in tatters by the time she passed away, and was mistakenly discarded when my sisters were packing up her kitchen.. The title page had gone missing when I was just a little girl,  so the name on it's front meant little to me, but the pages looked familiar somehow, so I quickly turned to the cake section to discover the recipe for the birthday cake mom had always made for me. 

I felt as though I had recovered a bit of my own heritage from the ashes of time.  What a blessing! Upon further investigation of it, I found the recipe for the Pork Pies, something my husband had intimated was an integral part of his own Christmas tradition from Sydney, Cape Breton.  I made them as a surprise for him, and to his delight, he pronounced them "better" than his auntie's.  So now they are a staple in our house for Christmas, but also for tea. ~ Enjoy and please let me know how yours turn out!..,  


Tart Shells:

1 cup of cold, creamery butter ( this is what made them better than Auntie's.  She probably used margarine, which was a common practice in Cape Breton.  The difference it makes to the recipe is unmistakable!)

4 tablespoons icing sugar

2 cups flour

Cut the butter into the flour suing a pastry cutter.  Add sugar and knead until well-blended.  Press small amounts into small muffin tins.  Bake at 425 degrees F. for 10 minutes.  Keep a close eye on them as they brown very quickly, and you DO NOT want to make them too dark. ( In my opinion, the lighter they can be, the better, but that is just MY preference!) Remove and allow to come to room temperature.  Carefully remove from tins, as they are VERY delicate!


2 cups finely chopped dates

1 1/2 cups brown sugar ( I use demerara)

1 cup water

Lemon Juice (the juice of one lemon, whatever that may be.  I usually heat my lemon in the microwave for a quick 10 seconds.  It DOUBLES the amount of juice you will get from it.  How much of that juice you put in is really up to your taste, but I like the whole amount.)

Simmer the above ingredients until the dates are of a soft consistency.  Cool, then fill the tart shells.  Top with a piped swirl of butter cream icing which has been flavoured with maple syrup or flavouring.  YUM! YUM! YUM!  These freeze well, and can be made weeks ahead if covered well in the freezer.

* anecdotal additions are my own, but this wonderful recipe is from "Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens" by Marie Nightingale  (Nimbus Publishing Limited)    

A lovely, Old Country Roses, teapot, creamer and teacup..,  So pretty! 

Happy  16th, 'Teapot And Tea Things Tuesday', 44th, 'Tuesday Tea For Two' and 35th,
'Wednesday Tea For Me And Thee'!.., And also  please enjoy your other  lovely, 'Tuesday And Wednesday Teatime In Blogland', tea parties at other blogs ladies!

Cheers from Scone Queen

I love hearing from you so please kindly leave a comment.., Thanks

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Delicious Spot of Splosh in Big Pond, Cape Breton: Tea with Rita

Heading back to the mainland of Nova Scotia after sojourning on Cape Breton Island for two weeks with my husband's recently widowed mom, Eric and I decided to take the old highway, instead of the new one which is quicker but terribly boring.  The biggest delight by far was visiting Rita MacNeil's famed tea room in Big Pond.  What a delightful place indeed.  We had heard rumours that the prices were high, but dear friends, I do not know the last time I had a large, sumptuous bowl of fragrant seafood chowder, a mile-high cloud-light scone, with homemade strawberry preserves, and a robust and flavourful cup of tea for under $15.00!  The service was swift and friendly, and the surroundings were picturesque to say the least, and there was no sense that you were being rushed through your meal to accommodate the incoming crowds.  The icing on the cake, ( or perhaps one might say the clotted cream on the scone!) was the presence of the grand dame herself.  Yes, indeed Rita McNeil was there in the flesh talking congenially and having her picture taken with all manner of folk, treating everyone like a long-lost friend visiting "from away".  I chose not have my picture taken with her.  Believe it or not, I am a wee bit on the shy side myself, when it comes to celebrity, and I did not want to impose, but I must say it was ever-so heart-warming to see her and to experience the genuine warmth of her personality as she greeted her tea room patrons.  It made me proud to be a Nova Scotian, even though I have been in exile these 14 years on the absolute opposite of the country!

I must say I was suitably impressed by the scones.  They were positively massive, at least 5 inches high, and light as light could be!  HOWEVER, to be totally honest, they were a wee bit lacking in terms of taste.  If I could combine the height of hers with the taste of mine, I would be a rich, rich, woman!  That having been said, I have to say that the chowder was absolutely lovely, with five or six HUGE scallops in it, and a clam or two for good measure.  The only thing it lacked was lobster.......PRAISES BE!!!! As I am allergic to the little red-shelled devils and would have been heartily disappointed had they ruined my chance to enjoy this steaming dish of delight.  So, Rita dear, congratulations on your great success as a singer, entertainer, entrepreneur and tea-room maven. I doubt that anyone deserves or appreciates it more than you do, dear soul.     

I love hearing from you so please kindly leave a comment..,Thanks!

Regards, Scone Queen