A favorite dish at many restaurants serving breakfast and brunch is Eggs Benedict. Delightful, rich, and satisfying, yet thought by many to be too much of a challenge to prepare at home. Take heart! This recipe is easy. And it includes tea! Continue reading Recipe for Tea Eggs Benedict by Janet Sanchez
Easter is almost here. I know this not by the calendar but by the pallet loads of “Peeps” in the stores. They’re everywhere! So that means it’s time for a “Peeps” Easter Tea Party!
Unless you have been living in the remote reaches of some very unenlightened corner of the planet, such as, oh, Siberia, you have probably heard of “Peeps.” In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the folks in Siberia did know about these sweet little treats. They certainly know about tea and keep their samovars fired up all day long in case the stray wanderer or horde of relatives stops by unannounced.
But I digress…
At this time of year, “Peeps” pop up by the legions on the shelves and/or piled high in the aisles of grocery stores, drug stores, and even those big you-can-find-everything-under-one-roof stores. But what are they? Well, as Sergeant Friday used to say on the old TV show classic Dragnet, “Just the facts, ma’am”:
- Shaped like baby chicks, bunnies, etc.
- In yellow, pink, and purple.
- Meltable (especially when one is sitting next to your teacup when it’s full of hot tea).
- Started by Sam Born, a candy maker born in Russian who immigrated to the U.S. in 1910.
That’s the basic facts of “Peeps” but there is another side to these wee, edible creatures: they seem to multiply every time you turn your back on them, like those gremlins. (Buy one package and you’ll soon find you have two. Buy two and in the blink of an eye you’ll have four. And be sure not to get ’em wet!) They also tend to share a trait or two with fruitcakes — they seem to get passed around and “re-gifted” a lot, they can turn rock hard but never seem to rot, and once you have some in your house, they seem to hang around forever. We use some of ours as doorstops!
A gallery of peeps (click on each photo for a closeup and more info):
The best solution to prevent the massive, tribble-like build-up of “Peeps” is to serve them immediately after bringing them home. One of the best settings for this is a special tea party, complete with every child living within a 10-mile radius. You’re gonna need just about any mouth you can find to stay ahead of the “Peeps” propagation potential.
It will also help to invite some ravenous adults, the kind you invite over to assure that you won’t have any leftovers from that 20-pound turkey you decided to cook for Thanksgiving, or the ones that can single-handedly guarantee there won’t be even the tiniest crumbs remaining from the dozens of pies on hand at the family reunion picnic since every uncle, aunt, and first-, second-, third- and fourth-cousin brought one. Just set the packages of “Peeps” in front of them, back away quickly to the kitchen, and try to ignore the sound of unbridled gluttony while you steep up the tea.
I find a nice Imperial Formosa Oolong Tea to be a good choice. The smoky flavor for me goes well with sweets, sort of a balance of contrasts, and tastes great both hot and iced or chilled. A gentler accompaniment would be a white tea such as Doke Silver Needle (see my adventure with it here) or a green tea such as Chun Mei. Speaking of chilled teas, Darjeeling is another good option.
For those of you who think I exaggerate anything here, all I can say is, “You’ve been warned!” Go ahead, buy a package of “Peeps” or two or even three. Then, stand back and see what happens. Better yet, set ’em on the kitchen counter or dining room table, then go make some tea. Don’t take too long though!
© 2017-2021 World Is a Tea Party photos and text
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This year March is packed with memorable times, including Easter, a time of rebirth and renewal, when we know that the dormant world around us is reviving and once again budding. It’s also a time for colored eggs and special tea times and the many traditions of Easter that have come about over the centuries. Continue reading Eggs and Tea and Traditions for Easter
Revisiting a tale of one of the cutest tea time guests I have had. [Originally posted on another blog a few years ago.]
This is the tale of Yellow Bunny and his Easter tea time. No, he’s not a live bunny. He’s stuffed … and soft … and plush … and has a cute yellow ribbon bowtie. Even so, he loves having tea out in the sunshine. This is especially true at Easter time. As you can see below, he had quite a jolly time. Read on for the details.
Spring has sprung. That means sleeping daffodils are awakening and stretching up their green arms and yellow and white bloom heads into the fresh Spring air. They’re always the early show offs, their bright petals dotting a landscape still hued with the dull browns and grays of Winter. It’s also when the cardinals, bluejays, and house wrens are flitting and singing, the males trying to attract a mate, the females scoping out the best nest sites. And the squirrels are running about to find the last of the nuts they buried during the past Fall and twigs to rebuild their nests ravaged by winds and storms.
Best of all, it’s the time when tea growers are out in the fields gathering that first flush (the first harvest of the growing season). Those wonderful tea plants (Camellia sinensis) slumber during the Winter, just as many of the plants in your yard and garden do. The very thought of this first harvest gets Yellow Bunny all excited and starts him planning his tea party in the great outdoors.
The tea of choice: a first flush Darjeeling. It’s flavor is lighter and more delicate than the second and autumnal flushes, where more complex tastes have had time to develop. He steeps up a cupful and gets ready to head outside into the nearest flower bed, bringing along his favorite tea time treat (fresh, crispy carrot sticks of course!).
Settled in the flower bed next to a tall batch of bright yellow daffodils, like little suns bobbing in the light breeze on their bright green stems, Yellow Bunny munched on his carrot sticks, sipped his Darjeeling tea, and watched the antics of “critters” in the garden. A ladybug or two came by, but they were shy and hurried on. A caterpillar inched across the flower bed edge but didn’t even stop to say “Hi!” in his search for tender green leaves to chomp on. The birds were too busy singing and flying from tree branch to tree branch. Only a neighborhood cat, hoping that the bunny was a real live rabbit, stopped by for a few moments. But the tea was too hot and didn’t have any milk in it and the carrots were too crispy and didn’t taste like bird or fish or rabbit and the bunny was all stuffing and velvet, so the cat went on his way.
When the tea was all gone and the carrots had all been munched into oblivion, Yellow Bunny sat for awhile longer. He felt the breeze flopping his ears ever so gently. He watched a couple of fluffy clouds take the shape of fellow bunnies and then morph into dragons or grasshoppers or big cloud carrots. Eventually, he fell asleep and dreamed of verdant tea fields with crews of tea pluckers pulling off those tender first flush leaves from the tea bushes. Then, they processed the leaves and put some in a large teapot, filled it with hot water, steeped the tea, and poured a never ending stream into the bunny’s teacup. His whiskers quivered while he dreamed (some say it was just the breeze blowing them, but I know better).
Soon, the warmth of the afternoon sun faded away and the shadows grew longer. Time for Yellow Bunny to head back indoors and have another hot cuppa tea. Until next time…
Now wasn’t that a cute tea time?
© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text