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, September 25, 2016

Tuesday Cuppa Tea - Victorian Ingenuity - Sugar Sifting Spoons

Welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! A bit different today...no teacup, but a Victorian teatime necessity explained!




I was just thinking about how good the Victorians were at having a utensil for everything!  Sugar sifting spoons came to mind...



The Victorians were famous for coming up with fun things for the table. And everything they came up with were practical as well as finely wrought and decorated to within an inch of it's life! The spoon below is an antique American sterling silver example, probably by Watson....






I am fascinated by Victorian gadgets, and especially those that relate to the taking of tea. Sugar sifting spoons were originally design for use when sugar came in large cones and had to be broken into smaller pieces. Sugar bowls or sucriers were quite a bit larger than the sugar basins or sugar bowls of today because the lumps were truly that...lumps like coal or coke. The sugar was then crushed with a sugar tamper (another story) and then the sugar sifting spoon came into play.  






Muffins, crumpets or pikelets (sort of our English muffins) and pancakes were a teatime favorite with butter, honey, jam or syrup and the sugar was sifted onto the muffins or crumpets. Sifting spoons were necessary to get a good sprinkle going from obviously un uniform sugar. And they were usually beautifully designed. 




These 2  mid Victorian designs above are completey hand made...




Sugar sifting spoons came in sterling silver and silver plate and were a normal part of a Victorian set of table flatware. 




They are very difficult to find nowadays.  




The 2 examples blow are commemorative sugar sifting spoons...the top made in 1937 for the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and the next as a souvenir on the White Star...later Cunard ocean liner the MV Britannic...





The top sugar sifting sppon example is currently available at Antiques And Teacups . For more photos and info, go to: Sterling Silver Sugar Sifting Spoon Fancy Shell USA.

The other examples are from the sold archives of my shops. 

Lovely...a spoonful of sugar will be sure to make the medicine (or crumpet) go down in a most delightful way with this!  Hope you enjoyed seeing some fun examples of Victorian ingenuity!  I will be traveling for the next few days, so will be slow getting back to you...heading to see our Daughter and family for a bit of a between doctor related medical break. John's MRI went well, but we don't hear for a few weeks, so decided to visit the family...Hopefully I will be joining:



Thanks so much for joining me for tea!  Here is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and I do read every one if I can find and can get to you to visit!  If you comment from Google+…it isn’t easy...so forgive me if I am not replying to comments you so kindly leave...I am trying!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

First Day Of Fall - A Good Report

Can you believe it? Today is the first offiial day of fall...although it's been here for a couple of weeks around here on the Olympic Peninsula...


This is from Country Living magazine...love the quote from Albert Camus....and Butchart Garden in Victoria, BC Canada, our closest big city, provided this next fall photo from a few days ago...


And last night we received the results of the brain scan...we didn't expect it for a couple of weeks, so was a bit apprehensive when we got the email notification...but it came back normal in every respect...albeit with the usual signe of Parkinson's Disease that was expected. So, no fluid on the brain and we can happily deal with whatever, knowing there is not a more underlying, more concerning problem. Sigh...relief! 

So have a wonderful day, and thanks so much for your sweet and supportive comments and emails.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Lemon Curd, Cream Scones and Mice!



Hello and welcome to another Teacup Tuesday on a crisp fall day...although I hear it's quite warm elsewhere. The autumn leaf wreath is back on the door, and the leaves are falling around here. Welcome!




I had hoped to do a tea in the sunroom this week...but we have still been dealing with the medical issues and their psychological/physical fallout on my husband...Parkinson's Disease makes it hard to deal with stress, and the news about losing the neurologist and an MRI and cognitive tests ordered for him have taking their toll on his condition....so I am just sharing a fall teacup this week...



This is the Autumn cup and saucer made by Royal Doulton, England in the 1980s in the seasonal Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem, that I know many of you love as well as I do...



The story of the Brambly Hedge community of mice is so beautifully illustrated...with such charming detail.   I discovered the books in England when they were first published, and was a devoted fan from then on! This is what is said about it on the box of the teacup:




That is so true for the little world of Brambly Hedge! Indeed a special place!




For more info on the Brambly Hedge fall teacup at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

I wanted to share some of my favorite fall photos from the September/October 2008 issue of Victoria Magazine, my most favorite subscription.









I have pumpkins on the brain...because they are everywhere right now, also because I am planning some pumpkin cashew coconut curry from a recipe in Sunset magazine!

This next photo I found is so fun because the cat is exactly like my Tinker...even down to the white whiskers! I didn't know he had previously been a model before we adopted him....



And perfect for a fall tea, I did make some scones last week, and some simple lemon curd to go with them, because it just seemed sort of seasonal to me...



I sort of adapted a Cream Scone recipe from Tea Time magazine which you see below...that's their photo...



Which you can find here...

Tea Time magazine Cream Scones

http://www.teatimemagazine.com/cream-scones-recipe/

When we used to have our bricks-and-mortar antiques and tea items store, this was the lemon curd we stocked...by Thursday Cottage...a brand we discovered in Cornwall, England and imported. They have grown considerably since the 1980s and 1990s, and you can find them more places. It is delicious!  Photo below is from the company website...





But I sometimes make lemon curd, and so am sharing my microwave Lemon Curd recipe, which is great on scones, crumpets, muffins, as cake or pie filling, on ice cream, pancakes and even makes an interesting tea sandwich! This recipe is quick and good, and came from a 1989 Sunset magazine....

Microwave Lemon Curd

8 tbs unsalted butter
grated peel of 3 large lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar

In microwave safe bowl, melt butter. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon peel and juice until well blended. Whisk in the melted butter. Microwave on high 4-6 minutes, whisking often, until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.
Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month...the recipe says that, mine is always long gone before that!



Photo source for above: Pinterest, unattributed....photo below is some of the fall decor I have put up on my china cabinet...




Thanks so much for joining me for tea!  Here are some blog parties to visit...I won't be linking this week...more tests, doctor visits, kids coming, and then some traveling to see our daughter and family for a bit of a break from doctors, etc....




Here is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and I do read every one if I can find and can get to you to visit!  If you comment from Google+…it isn’t easy...so forgive me if I am not replying to comments you so kindly leave...I am trying!  Have a great day and have a cuppa tea with a friend!





Monday, September 12, 2016

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Fall Tea Tray, Harney Blueberry Green Tea

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea. It has been fall here, so I am celebrating that...



As usual, my old Victoria, Tea Time and Country Home magazines and Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady has been a companion at teatime respites...






The tea tray was a welcome break from dealing with some medical issues...my husband's neurologist, who has treated his Parkinson's Disease for 5 years, is leaving the area November 9th. And we are rural enough, the closest other neurologist is in Seattle 85 miles away...not good...so a relaxing tea was definitely the order of the day...



I am using my family 1950s Arzberg, Germany unnamed pattern china that my parents brought home from a convention/international meeting in Munich...




I do love the fruit and nuts....recently I found some pieces of the same pattern which I don't need, so will be adding the to my shop Antiques And Teacups as soon as I can...








Joining me on the tea tray is a cut little pewter squirrel candle holder my daughter gave me one year...I just love him...a good companion...



And with a lot of appointments, phone calling, etc I didn't bake this week, but did find these cheery fall cookies at our local QFC...I especially love the mils almond flavor they all have, as a lover of Marzipan and almond paste...





I realized I had forgotten the tea! We drink green tea every day, and recently decided to try 2 new Harney & Sons flavors...today's was Blueberry Green tea sachets...



It was quite strong smelling...the mail box smelled like the tea enen inside a tin in a box! Actually, I thought it smelled like an artificial grape smell, which I don't like, but despite the smell, it does taste like blueberries and vanilla and is quite nice...


and brews a delicate pale straw color as you can see in this photo...Sp grab a cookie and a cup, and it's so nice to have you for tea! We have remembered to rejoice in our blessings and live one day at a time, trusting in the grace of God! Can't get any better than that!



I am joining:  


Thanks so much for joining me for tea!  Here is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and I do read every one if I can find and can get to you to visit!  If you comment from Google+…it isn’t easy...so forgive me if I am not replying to comments you so kindly leave...I am trying!





Saturday, September 10, 2016

I remember....9/11




I won't be posting Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky party tomorrow...because I don't want to detract from a day of remembrance for 9/11/2001....do you remember where you were when you heard? We do. 
It seemed that day like life altered a bit....



But I know Who holds our future...and knows all....

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