A Message from Ruth at Antiques And Teacups

Welcome to the blog of Antiques And Teacups! Let's share a cup of tea and talk about the things we love...like teacups, antiques, collectibles, visiting England, antiquing and learning about victoriana and quirky gadgets. Fun!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Burns Night, Shelley Thistle, Downton Jewels and More!

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea for the last Tuesday in February!



Because my post today is focused on the tradition of Burns Night, the meals and festivities focused on the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns, that are celebrated in various fashions around January 25th which is his birthday, I have chosen a Shelley Thistle teacup which I have shared before...




Thistles and heather have always been the symbol of Scotland, and the thistles represent Scotland in the arms of the United Kingdom.  This Thistle design by Shelley China is pattern number 13820 dates it to from 1955 and 1956 when the pottery closed. 




The shape is the Cambridge shape. The Thistle pattern was made in about 4 other shapes with green and gold trim, but this is the pink trim version. Perfect with the Walnut Shortbread recipe later in the post....


Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759 and lived until only 1796 and is revered as one of the most famous poets of all time, and certainly the most revered Scottish poet and song writer.  He is called one of the founders of the Romantic era and also as a social reformer. His works were both lyrical, romantic and full of social and political plain spoken opinions.  There are huge Scottish clubs and societies all over the world where this is celebrated, and everyone is asked to wear Tartan. An example of an invitation:


The evening will usually start with the singing or saying of what is called the Selkirk Grace:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Ans sae let the Lord be thankit.



A traditional Burns supper...or party...or tea, has several essential ingredients. Basically those are "neeps and tatties" or turnips and potatoes, a "wee dram" of whiskey....which is where some of the all male celebrations get a bit rowdy, and last but not least, Scotland's national dish...haggis! Haggis is a sheep's intestines stuffed with...okay, you don't want to know. I tried it, and DIDN'T like it! 


Part of the dinner is the Address To The Haggis after it is bagpiped into the room with much ceremony and toasting...

In honor of Burns Night celebrations I have a few tartan or Scottish tea related items to share, tartan being the first thing that comes to mind when talking of Scotland. Some of these items are available at Antiques And Teacups, and some are from my archive. Just click on the photos and if it is still available, there is more information.





A vintage, hand made padded Tartan tea cozy





A new Springfield, England Glamis Thistle large bone china teapot....Glamis being the Scottish castle where Queen Elizabeth's mother, the Queen Mum Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was raised before she married the man who became King George VI...



A vintage Tartan needlecase or vinigarette case also called Mauchline War from the 1870s...






A vintage Robert Burns tea towel


A vintage English tea towel with Scotties, heather and thistles...we don't have thistles around here that I know of, but because we have weather similar to that of Scotland, we have lots of heather...



This is a sprig of heather I just picked on our walk today...brought it home and put it in a Royal Albert teacup called Highland Queen with purple thistles that I got yesterday and was waiting for a sunny day to photograph, so excuse the less-than-perfect photography...



As you can see, heather comes in lots of colors...we have pink, white and this magenta outside...and all over Sequim, as a much used ground cover.  And now for some Scottish Shortbread....



While I was looking for a Shortbread recipe to share, I found this Afternoon Tea book by Michael Smith from 1986 that I had lost in the back of my tea recipe bookshelf. There is a Walnut Shortbread recipe which is very good and easy I'd like to share....

The pastry is soft and must be handled with care.  It can be made in a food processor, although I didn't this time, using the all-in-one method. 

Walnut Shortbread

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup finely crushed walnuts (I prefer Pecans actually)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
generous 1/2 cup confectioner's (powdered sugar)
2 small egg yolks..or egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Sift the flour and crushed nuts together into a bowl.  Make a well in the center. Mix the softened butter to a paste with the sugar and egg yolks and place in the well.  Gradually draw the flour into the center and mix into the butter forming a soft dough. Roll out on a floured board approximately 1/8 inch thick and cut into 2 inch squares, and transfer carefully to baking pan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 16-20 shortbread biscuits. There are not too sweet, perfect with a cup of tea.



The Burns Night celebration evening is of course ended with Robert Burns famous song For Auld Lang Syne, preferably to the sound of bagpipes.  Much fun and good food is enjoyed. Sometimes even Burns teas are given, by those not overly fond of the whiskey...that would include me!


I found this great website, www.bagpiper-online.com where you can listen to bagpipe music. How cool is that!   So Hoots, Mon...or lady...and enjoy Burns Night and have a cup of Irish Breakfast tea with me...since I don't have Scottish tea! !



And to change the subject slightly...I do do that, don't I???  Here is this weeks page from my Downton Abbey Engagement calendar...Daisy at work...do you think she might be making Shortbread?  Who knew Miss Bunting would help her to realize she's a math whiz? Good for her!




I had posted this on my Facebook page today, but thought many of you wouldn't have seen this.  Awesome article from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) about the jewelry created for Downton Abbey...this is Violet the Dowager Countess of Grantham's "Russian" tiara...gorgeous! Visit the link below for a wonderful slideshow of some of the fabulous pieces created for the show, with some fun stories.


http://www.gia.edu/downton-abbey-jewelry




So thanks for joining me today for a Burns Night edition of Tuesday Cuppa Tea! Below is the list of some of the blog parties and the linky for your tea related posts. I love to hear from you...have a wonderful week...and have a cuppa with a friend!





Thursday, January 22, 2015

News Flash! I be HOME!

I just wanted to say...I'm back after a break to recover from the Christmas season...the busiest on our 4 websites that augment our social security...that had the added stress of 2 months of heart issues for my husband as well as the normal Christmas stress....


I am so happy to report everything is balanced now with his medications for his heart, Thyroid and Parkinson's Disease, all of which have side effects affecting the other so that balance is even more of a challenge than usual. So...we took a break.


We visited friends in Southern California for a bit of warmth, and got an email for a Mexico cruise, last minute, for a price we could not believe! Cruises are our favorite vacations...if I can find a deal. And this was incredible! The Crown Princess on a 10 day Mexico cruise for what usually a 3 day goes for. John rests, I rest...none...or at least not much internet, I put the business on hold and relax with nothing to do BUT relax. We do a lot of napping, walking the decks and read...oh, and of course a Seahawk game or 2 for my Honey this time. 


We didn't even go off the ship...this is Cabo San Lucas...but being on the ship when everyone is on shore is so peaceful and uncrowded...just what we needed!

I just want to thank everyone for their prayers, thoughts, emails and comments...God bless you, my friends! Now it's back to work...have to call an Endocrinologist and make my Honey an appointment tomorrow....We are indeed so blessed!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Underground Anniversary, London Mug Whittard Tea

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! I am in a London mood today...so I hope you have your passports...because Tuesday Cuppa Tea to going back to my roots!



I have a tea mug instead of a teacup today, because of the anniversary of the London Underground...aka The Tube...this week....




This is a fun English bone china mug made for Whittard Teas in the London Icons pattern in a series called Royal Tea Party made by Roy Kirkham, England in 2002. I love the fun London landmarks like the Tower Of London, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, even a Corgi!


If you have ever been in London, you'll recognize them...they really are London icons...including Queen's Guardsmen....my husband was a Coldstream Guardsman and found the guard at Buckingham Palace when he was in his 20s.



Whittard Teas has been around since 1886 and has a great main shop on the Tottenham Court Road in London. They do some great tea tins and tea collections as well as serving tea at their shop.



And the mug includes the logo for the London Underground as well!...





January 10th, is the birthday of the London Underground, affectionately known as the Tube. Last year, 2014...was it's 150th anniversary. A favorite way to travel around London for us with our trusty, money saving Oyster card. You top it up and just swipe the card going through the turnstiles, which really speeds things up...as well as being charged the fare with a discount...which is all good!




One of our favorite routes is to the antique markets at the Angel stop in Camden Town



Other London Underground shots we've taken and a Tube tea towel






So happy birthday to that wonder of Victorian engineering, still going strong after 150 years, an essential of London!

For more info on the tube:

Top 10 Reasons to Love the London Underground
Don't miss the great old travel posters

and to read my in depth post about one of our visits to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden click Antiques And Teacups London Transport Museum Blog Post



I wanted to share a recipe from Victoria Magazine...I can't find the issue, but I cut it out of a duplicate magazine I bought at a flea market a few years ago....



It's a very simple, easy and pretty fool proof scone recipe that I make often when there's going to be company around tea time. I have added currants from time to time, which my husband prefers.



Love this whimsical artwork about aging...certainly looks right to me...

Thanks so much for visiting Tuesday Cuppa Tea! Have a wonderful week with a dancing spirit, overcoming any earthly burdens and trials and....dance!   Below is a list of some of the blog parties I'll be joining, although...I may be slow again responding to comments this week...a lot going on! Life happening! Also, as always, the Linky for your tea related posts and PLEASE no selling sites! Be patient...it does appear!







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