Thursday, July 31, 2008

5 Embarrassing Songs

I’ve been tagged by Willow to list five songs that I am embarrassed
to admit to actually enjoying. This will forever humiliate me but here goes!

The rules:
1. Post the link to the person who tagged you and post the
rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 songs you are embarrassed to admit to others that
you like and tell why.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post.

( In no particular order)

1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang- I sing this song to my kids and get so tickled because it's so silly but lots of fun.

2. Oompa Loompa Theme- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- I don't know why but this song enters my head at the most bizarre times.

3. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go-Wham!- I know! I can hear the laughter in the Blogosphere right now!

4. Baby I'm A Want You- Bread (Actually, the title is more embarrassing than the song.)

5. Pop! Goes My Heart( Fictional song performed by Hugh Grant in the movie Music and Lyrics...) I can't help it! I love this cheesy song...( Click on the song title to watch the hysterical video on You Tube..)

OK...Now, I'm tagging some others....

I'm tagging:

1. Kalianne at Bygone Beauty
2. Natalie at Zip Zip Vintage Sewing
3. MMM at Steamed Sponge
4. Lavinia at Birdbath Chronicles
5. Marie Antoinette at Dolls by Marie Antoinette
6. Pamela at House of Edward
7. Dee Dee at Love White Linen

Monday, July 28, 2008


Don't you love church picnics? Whenever there's a parish picnic or potluck dinner announced I get so excited. It's not only a time to see and fellowship with friends but it's a chance to taste some amazing food, drink gallons of sweet tea and learn about other recipes, some of which have been passed down from many generations. We had just such a picnic on Sunday after church. This time I brought an apple pie but one recipe I sometimes make is Loaded Baked Potato Casserole. Whenever I've taken this dish to a potluck, I don't have as much as a tablespoon left to bring home. I made this a couple of weeks ago for the four of us and we managed to do quite a number on it. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
serves 6

8 potatoes, cubed (half peeled or half with skin)
2 teaspoons salt
6 slices bacon, diced & crisp cooked
6 green onions
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Miracle Whip

1.Cube and boil potatoes with salt.
3.Crumble bacon and slice onions (including tops).
4.Combine sour cream, pepper and Miracle Whip.
5.Add to potatoes.
6.Add bacon, onions and cheese (reserve some of each for top).
7.Mix with potatoes.
8.Pour into baking dish.
9.Top with reserved cheese, onions, and bacon.
10.Bake 350 for 10-15 minutes (until cheese melts).

Note* I always add extra cheese and bacon on top...

Saturday, July 26, 2008


According to the BBC, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list.

Kalianne at Bygone Beauty posted this meme. I've read 36 and see I have tons of reading that I need to do to catch up to many of the great classics that I've shelved for far too long.

If you'd like to participate in this meme simply copy the list and follow the instructions below. Don't worry if you haven't read many books - the list is only opinion. Be sure to include the books you'd like to read too and those you think should be struck off the list. Feel free to list books not on the list that you deem worthy. Finally, be sure to post a comment so we know where to find you!

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you love.( I had a hard time underlining so I put starred them)
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog.

1 *Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 *The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 *Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 *The Bible
7 *Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 *Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 *Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 *Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 *The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 *Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 *The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 *Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81* A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89* Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I might read those that I haven't so I didn't want to strike through them...I can't remember really disliking any except Heart of Darkness was pretty hard to get into and not a particular favorite.

Books I feel should have been included:

1. Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey
2. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
3. E.M. Forester's Room with a View

Image by Alphonse Mucha

Friday, July 25, 2008


Elmwood Inn:Rose is a delectable black tea with the addition of rose petals. The aroma instantly reminds you of walking through a rose garden on a late Spring morning. The taste, when steeped for exactly 3 minutes, is very smooth. The oil from the dried petals creates a very pleasing and subtle aftertaste and not the least bit bitter. I've been drinking this tea black with no milk or sugar added but it would be delicious with them as well...Enjoy!

A Little Budding Rose
by Emily Bronte

It was a little budding rose,
Round like a fairy globe,
And shyly did its leaves unclose
Hid in their mossy robe,
But sweet was the slight and spicy smell
It breathed from its heart invisible.

The rose is blasted, withered, blighted,
Its root has felt a worm,
And like a heart beloved and slighted,
Failed, faded, shrunk its form.
Bud of beauty, bonnie flower,
I stole thee from thy natal bower.

I was the worm that withered thee,
Thy tears of dew all fell for me;
Leaf and stalk and rose are gone,
Exile earth they died upon.
Yes, that last breath of balmy scent
With alien breezes sadly blent!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Thanks to Kalianne at Bygone Beauty, I've discovered a wonderful blog called Jane Austen Today. It just so happens that on August 12th, Laurie Viera Rigler, author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict , will be available on said blog for an online chat. Ms. Rigler will be available on the site from 10 PM - 12 AM EST, and 7 - 9 PM Pacific time. For more information and the opportunity to win an autographed copy of the book, please visit Jane Austen Today. Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 21, 2008


( No lunch is complete at Whistle Stop without their famous "Fried Green Tomatoes" which we all thoroughly enjoyed!)

We had a sun drenched heatwave of a day on Saturday as we headed west for our Glendale excursion. In attendance were three of us from my town, two members from Lexington, and a lovely friend from the Glasgow area who met us there. We arrived just before 11am and browsed a little before we met for lunch at the regionally famous Whistle Stop Restaurant..It is aptly named due to it's location literally beside the downtown train tracks.

History:( from the Whistle Stop Web page)

April 30, 1975, Idell Sego made her dream a reality when she opened a sandwich shop seating 20 people in her husband's hardware store. Idell had little experience, but a great love for cooking and entertaining, and the sandwich shop grew into a successful restaurant.

By 1979 the Segos sold the hardware inventory to expand the restaurant, which now seats 85 people downstairs and 85 upstairs in the buffet area. Over the years, Idell continued to serve southern foods made from scratch using recipes handed down from family and friends. Many dishes served today are made from the original recipes from the restaurant's earliest days.

The Segos also worked hard at establishing a unique dining atmosphere, with handmade wooden booths and unique Whistle Stop hanging lamps throughout the restaurant. An original log cabin was also brought to Glendale and rebuilt; this log cabin now serves as a waiting area and gift shop.

March 1, 2005, James and Idell retired from the restaurant, entrusting Mike and Lynn Cummins to continue the tradition of quality at the Whistle Stop.

A visit to their website provides additional photos and a glimpse at the menus and find their wonderful recipe for Fried Cornbread which I've provided below...Delectable...

During one visit to The Whistle Stop, Colonel Sanders walked back into the kitchen while Idell was mixing up the cornbread... The Colonel -- already famous for his fried chicken recipe -- asked Idell what she put in her cornbread. Her answer to him was, "a few secret herbs and spices."

So the Colonel didn't get our secret, but now we'll share the Whistle Stop cornbread recipe with you!

Whistle Stop Cornbread

1 cup self risingflour

1 cup self rising cornmeal

1/8 cup sugar

2 eggs slightly beaten

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Combine the eggs, milk and oil in a larger bowl. Add the dry ingredients; stir until just blended.

Here at the Whistle Stop we heat our skillet to 350 degrees, put a bit of oil on the surface, and pour like a "pancake". Fry until golden brown on one side, flip and repeat.

Smear it with some real butter and enjoy!

Note: This recipe can also be baked as cornbread in a 425 degree oven.

More photos and reports to come throughout the week.....

Saturday, July 19, 2008


We're off for a day of antique hunting and delicious Southern cooking in Historic Glendale! I hope to share a report of treasures found and some nice photos to go along with our outing...Here's hoping for lovely shopping weather!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Darjeeling tea, known as the Champagne of teas, hails from the Darjeeling region in West Bengal, India and cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world. “Just as Champagne is indigenous to the Champagne district of France, so is Darjeeling Tea to Darjeeling.” In the United Kingdom, and former British Empire, it stands as second to none among all other black teas. If brewed properly, it should be a thin-bodied tea, light in color, with a floral aroma. The flavor of the tea has a “musky spiciness,” referred among tea connoisseurs as “muscatel.” The sensation one should experience after drinking a cup of Darjeeling should be that of a sweet cooling aftertaste.

History of Darjeeling(click here to visit the official Darjeeling site)
Tea planting in the Indian district of Darjeeling was begun during 1841 by a Dr. Campbell, a civil surgeon of the Indian Medical Service, who had been transferred to that area during 1839: he used seeds from China, so the Darjeeling taste is really from the original black tea plant from China, the taste "darjeeling" derives from the earth that it is cultivated in. Experimental tea plantation by Campbell and others occurred during the 1840s and the government established tea nurseries during that period. Commercial exploitation began during the 1850s. ( source- Wikipedia)

( Darjeeling Tea Plantation)

(Darjeeling Tea Garden)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


One of the many advantages I've found to having Netflix is undoubtedly the countless classic BBC productions that are now so readily available. No longer do I have to wait with impatience for these spectacular shows to air on my local PBS station. Now, they are merely a red envelope away! One particular series which I have been thoroughly enjoying this summer is The House of Eliott. This series was absolutely brilliant and I feel as though I've discovered the greatest treasure in finally watching this saga unfold. I remember Victoria magazine featuring the most lovely images from the set of this show back in the early 90's and the costumes were absolutely breathtaking. Please allow me to provide a brief synopsis. This wonderful BBC production takes place in the exciting London fashion world of the 1920s. It introduces the viewer to Evie and Beatrice Eliott (Louise Lombard and Stella Gonet), two beautiful sisters who find themselves in financial ruin after their wealthy father squandered their fortune. With this challenge, and a sinister family guardian/executor determined to ruin them before they begin, the two enchanting sisters endeavor to succeed in the glamorous but very elitist fashion industry. Revealing any more would spoil the thrill of discovery so I will only say that the acting is quite good and the chemistry between Lombard and Gonet is extraordinary. I highly recommend a visit to The House of Eliott. You will be very glad you happened by.

Monday, July 14, 2008


What a wonderful award from Willow at the Manor! She was so kind to give this lovely little token to the Tea Society Blog...Now my turn is to select 5 other blogs...Some may no doubt have received this from others and may have two of these lovely statuettes to display. Congratulations to the recipients!

The Five I've selected are:

1. From The House of Edward-Pamela and Edward
2. Steamed Sponge-MMM
3. Sea Cottage-Fairmaiden
4. A Little Birdie Told Me So-Steviewren
5. Dolls By Marie Antoinette( A new blog from an incredibly talented Doll/Vignette Maker)-Marie Antoinette

The rules to follow with this award are:

1) Choose five blogs that you consider deserving of this award
for their creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution
to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2) Post the author and link to each award winning blog.
3) Each award winner posts the award and the name and link to
the blog of the award presenter.
4) The award winner and one who has given the prize should post
the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, the origin to this award.

Friday, July 11, 2008

(Spode Willow ca. 1790 image from The Spode Museum)

'Two birds flying high,
A Chinese vessel, sailing by.
A bridge with three men, sometimes four,
A willow tree, hanging o'er.
A Chinese temple, there it stands,
Built upon the river sands.
An apple tree, with apples on,
A crooked fence to end my song.'

The Legend of the Willow Plate

My Willowware plate has a story,
Pictorial, painted in blue
From the land of tea and the tea plant
And the little brown man with a queue.

Whatever the food you serve, daughter
Romance enters into the feast,
If you only pay heed to the legend,
On the old china plate from the East.

Koong Shee was a mandarin’s daughter
And Chang was her lover, ah me,
For surely her father’s accountant
Might never wed pretty Koong Shee.

So Chang was expelled from the compound,
The lover’s alliance to break,
And pretty Koong Shee was imprisoned
In a little blue house by the lake.

The Doughty old mandarin reasoned
It was time that his daughter should wed,
And the groom of his choosing should banish,
That silly romance from her head.

In symbols the dress she should wear,
Her headband of scarlet lay waiting,
She should ride in a gold wedding chair.

He was busily plotting and planning,
When a message was brought him one day,
Young Chang had invaded the palace,
And taken his sweetheart away.

They were over the bridge when he saw them,
They were passing the big willow tree,
And a boat at the edge of the water,
Stood waiting for Chang and Koong Shee.

The furious mandarin followed,
The groom with revenge in his eyes,
But the little boat danced on the water
And traveled away with the prize.

But vengeance pursued to their shelter
And burned the pagoda, they say
From out of the flames rose the lovers
A pair of doves winging away.

They flew toward the western heaven
The pretty Koong Shee and her Chang
Or so says the famous old legend
From the land of the Yangtze Kiang.

I wouldn’t be one to deny it,
For the little blue dove and her mate
Forever are flying together
Across my Willow ware plate.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


With the aroma of chocolate and hazelnut richly permeating from the kitchen when making this tea, it's easy to discover why this could fast become not only a favorite dessert tea but also a delectable way to satisfy your sweet tooth without all the calories and guilt. I usually drink hot tea with no sugar and rarely with milk but this delicious tea demands a little milk and a cube of sugar( or Splenda if you must) and you will then have one of the most aromatic and delicious flavored teas that your taste buds will have the pleasure of meeting. I also added a nice cube of Dove dark chocolate to nibble on, just to really enhance the chocolate effect. Tea and chocolate mesh quite well together yet most of us tend to think of coffee and chocolate over tea.

Stash's Chocolate Hazelnut is made with 100% all natural ingredients. It is a naturally decaffeinated black tea with natural chocolate, vanilla nut, and hazelnut flavors. Contains: peanuts and hazelnuts.

The History of Stash Tea Company:
( From
The Stash Tea Company is a privately-held company headquartered in Tigard, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. Founded in 1972, Stash Tea originally operated out of an old Portland Victorian style house, supplying loose herbal teas and bulk herbs to natural food stores. Starting in 1975, the company broadened its focus to include bagged teas and then began to sell a full line of traditional, specialty blend and herbal teas directly to fine restaurants and through a mail order catalog to consumers. Today, Stash Tea is enjoying steady growth and has become one of the largest specialty tea companies in the United States, with products available through foodservice, grocery stores, tea and coffee shops, club stores, mass merchandisers, natural foods stores, mail order and the Internet. Stash Tea is also available in Canada and in several foreign countries.
The company derives its name from an entertaining aspect of tea folklore. In earlier centuries, tea was a valuable commodity traditionally transported by clipper ship. The ship's captain often was presented with some of the finest teas for his personal use. This supply was his "stash," stowed carefully as his "private reserve." Today, the term still is used to denote anything put away carefully because of its preciousness.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I've been tagged by Willow for a fun favorite summer music list. Here’s how it
goes…List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what
the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any
good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping
your summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with
your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what
they’re listening to. Here's my list and I'll be tagging some in the blogosphere in the AM.

1. The Mummer’s Dance: Loreena Mckennitt This is one of my favorite songs and one that I never grow tired of listening to. Just this weekend my daughter kept amused by watching and listening to the live rendition on Nights from the Alhambra. This was an amazing concert performance. Loreena McKennitt, to me at least, has the voice of an angel; a hypnotic one at that.

2. Heart To Heart: Kenny Loggins- ...I love Kenny Loggins’ music and had a massive crush on him when this song came out in the very early 80’s. I get nostalgic in the summer and love to listen to songs from my youth and this was and still is a favorite. From the CD, High Adventure, which will forever be near my car stereo. .

3. Moonlight: Sting- Another musician that I had and still have a major crush on. I just re-watched the 90’s version of Sabrina the other night and can’t get this song out of my head. Sting is like a fine wine, IMO, he keeps getting better with age.

4. Je Cherce Un Homme: Eartha- Dee Dee had this on her blog and so does the Iron Gate web site. It’s so infectious that I’ve been humming this for months.

5. Dancing Queen: Abba- It must be because I keep seeing commercials for Mama Mia which is opening in theaters very soon...Love this song!

6. Someone to watch over me: Ella Fitzgerald- This has been on the blog playlist since early spring and still love to listen to it.

7. Strange Magic: We listened to ELO’s Greatest Hits when we were traveling to South Carolina last month and this song always makes me turn up to volume.

Being a lover of quiche, frittatas, and omelettes, I'm always on the lookout for an easy but delicious egg based recipe...This dish is perfect for tea events and also for a nice light supper paired with a chilled glass of Chardonnay... I made this pie last week and added 1/4 cup grape tomatoes and 1/4 cup green onions to the mixture to give it some more color and to create a nice variation. Enjoy!

Impossible Vegetable Pie
A vegetable pie recipe with broccoli or cauliflower, eggs, Bisquick, and cheese.
1 cup chopped cooked broccoli or cauliflower
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup green pepper
• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 3/4 cup Bisquick
• 3 eggs
• 1 teas. salt
• 1/4 teas. pepper
Heat oven to 400°. Lightly grease pie plate ( deep dish works best ). Combine broccoli, onion, green pepper, and cheese in the pie plate. Process remaining ingredients on high speed of blender or food processor for 15 seconds, or until smooth. Pour mixture into pie plate. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and knife comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate any remaining vegetable pie. Impossible vegetable pie serves 6.
Add cooked chicken or any other vegetable you'd like.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day

Edward Moran, Unveiling The Statue of Liberty, 1886

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883

Thursday, July 03, 2008


The name alone, Gunpowder Green, peaks ones interest. Don't you think? I have a somewhat turbulent relationship with green teas...I must admit, it has taken some time for me to come around to drinking them on a fairly regular basis. Black tea to me is the essence of what good tea is all about and I might add that I am still firmly in the "Black Tea Is Best Camp" My dear ex-pat friend at Steamed Sponge will no doubt agree with that position:-). Not all too many years ago, when green tea really started to make a name for itself, I will be the first to admit that I turned my nose up at the mere mention of it. Then I discovered Elmwood Inn's Gunpowder Green (see the link to Elmwood under the links portion of this page). Up until trying this blend, I found green teas weak and unimpressive. However, Gunpowder Green was different. It was a darker tea with a definite earthy/oak flavor and had a much more pleasant aftertaste to my palette. The history of the tea is quite interesting as well:

Gunpowder tea production dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618–907) but it was first introduced to Taiwan in the 1800s. Although the individual leaves were formerly rolled by hand, today most gunpowder tea is rolled by machines (though the highest grades are still rolled by hand). Rolling tea leaves into gunpowder tea renders the leaves less susceptible to physical damage and allows them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. In addition, it allows certain types of oolong teas to be aged for decades if they are cared for by being occasionally roasted.When buying gunpowder tea it is important to look for shiny pellets, which indicate that the tea is relatively fresh.From Wikipedia

Another wonderful description of the tea has been provided by The English Tea Store . Please look for the link on the sidebar where you may purchase the tea:

Legend has it that the name Gunpowder was given by an young English clerk who thought the tiny rolled green balls looked like gunpowder. The tea leaves are specially selected for quality, size and style. They are then rolled into very small tight nuggets. Gunpowder tea keeps a lot longer than other green teas and is favored because of this characteristic. Chinese exporters recommend gunpowder for iced tea flavored with lemon and sugar. Gunpowder tea is also very popular in Morocco where the leaves are boiled and mint and sugar are added.

Gunpowder is more dense than other teas so if you are making a teapot full you only require one or two teaspoons for a teapot.
Chinese researchers have found that gunpowder tea is high in fluoride and known to reduce cavities. They say that a human body requires 1-2 milligrams of fluoride a day. Ten grams of gunpowder tea (enough to make 3 cups of strong tea) can supply this amount.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Lavinia, from The Birdbath Chronicles, has presented me with this wonderful Birdbath award...This was so kind of you and greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


10. Joan Fontaine

9. Rene Zellweger

8. Nicole Kidman

7. Dame Maggie Smith

6. Emma Thompson

5. Vivien Leigh

4. Dame Helen Mirren

3. Audrey Hepburn

2. Dame Judi Dench

1. Cate Blanchett

Throughout this Blogosphere there have repeatedly been posts concerning favorite movies and certain actors. There are so many wonderful films to discover as well as talents in those films so that sparked an idea to create a top ten list of favorite actors. I welcome all bloggers, responding to this post, to pay homage to their top ten favorites on their blogs or in a direct response to this post. It would be fun to discover your favorite thespians...

10. Liam Neeson

9. Alan Rickman

8. Colin Firth

7. Daniel Day-Lewis

6. Cary Grant

5. Johnny Depp

4. Ralph Fiennes

3. Sir Richard Harris

2. Sir Laurence Olivier

1. Gary Oldman