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, March 17, 2013

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Crocus Flowers, Saffron and a Spring Tea

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! I'm a bit late...watching the PBS program on the Diamond Queen, Queen Elizabeth II. Wonderful! But...I digress.  Hope you are all enjoying your corned beef and cabbage! We had ours yesterday with leftovers for tonight. Yummmy!



As I am joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for her Springtime Tea...




 (as well as the other blogs below) , I was thinking about where we are in the spring progression here in the Pacific Northwest. We are in the crocus stage...far behind most of the rest of the country. Here is what is growing in our yard...the rest are buds...






I love daffodils, but we are only budding. So I remembered I have 2 teacups with crocus blossoms on them. I have shared the Rosina before, but not the Shelley China teacup.





This 1950s Rosina, England has dark pink crocuses on it. I love the shape, and the handle is quite elegant!





This design by Shelley China, England is named for the designer and is called Butcher's Crocus or Butcher's Crocus, Rose And Bluebell because of the yellow and red crocus in the flower bouquet. The shape is called Gainsborough which was made throughout most of Shelley's history until 1965, a year before the pottery closed, although the pattern dates to 1940-1965.  This is one of my favorite shapes. I love the delicate elegance of the design. 
For more info on the teacups at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.



I wanted to talk about crocuses also, because their stamens are the source  of the spice saffron. This photo is courtesy of www.gourmetsleuth.com which explains why the spice is so expensive. The crocus flowers are grown particularly for their stamens, only 3 to a bloom in areas like Iran and India






And the stamens have to be removed by hand...so it's an expensive process. Here is my jar and the strands....



That's over $10 dollars of spice! Saffron is also used to give a distinctive yellow color to foods.  I use it in a risotto I make and in an Indian rice dish with cashews and peas which I am sharing below. I happened to find an identical recipe to mine online, although mine is from an old Small Planet cookbook from the 1970s...would have photographed that, but it doesn't have a cover any longer! We love Indian food and Indian spiced food. This is very nice!





Saffron Rice with Peas and Cashews


Rice is a staple of many diets across the world. It's endlessly flexible and variable; it can be a dessert, a side dish, a main dish. As good as plain white rice can be, we love to dress up our rice just a little. All it takes is a pinch of this and that...
This slightly sweet and nutty rice has the golden flavor of saffron that spreads throughout the dish as the rice cooks. It also has tender little peas and cashews that have been softened in cooking. This mix of colors and flavors is warming and refreshing. We serve it with good lamb curry or eat it on its own with a little yogurt for a light vegetarian dinner.
Saffron Rice with Peas and Cashews
serves 4-6
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups Basmati rice, well-rinsed and washed
1/2 teaspoon (2 pinches) saffron threads
1 cup unroasted, lightly salted cashew halves
1 cup frozen organic peas
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Wash and drain rice. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 4-quart pot. Add the rice and fry a couple minutes. Add the saffron threads and cashew halves and fry for another minute. Add the peas, fry for a few moments, then add the water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 18-20 minutes.
Take off the lid and turn the heat off. Stir in the garam masala and salt to taste. Let the rice sit to "dry" for a few minutes. Serve.
Taken from www.thekitchn.com
These are saffron buns, and if you have any Scandanavian ancestry, you probably have these around December and for St. Lucia's Day.  The distinctly yellow color and equally distinct flavor is the saffron form thos little crocuses! Amazing!

So thanks for joining me today for Tuesday Cuppa Tea and don't forget Sandi's Springtime Tea. Here is the linky for your wonderful tea related posts and a list of some of the blogs I am joining.

Monday Marketplace
Terri~  http://artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com/ 
Teacup Tuesday
Trisha~  http://sweetology101.blogspot.com/ 
Tea Party Tuesday
Teatime Tuesday
Kathy~  http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Victoria - A Return to Loveliness
Tea On Tuesday
Miss Kathy ~http://thewritersreverie.blogspot.com/
Tuesday Tea       
Tea On Tuesday
Tea Tuesday
Tea On Tuesday
Poetry In A Pot Of Tea
Friends Sharing Tea Wednesday
What’s It Wednesday                                           
Home On Wednesday
 A Tea Lover     ~http://the-teaist.blogspot.com/
Tea Talk Wednesday



24 comments:

  1. How nice of you to share all these interesting information about crocuses and your beatifull photos !!!
    Thank you again !
    Crocus (safran) is also cultived in large areas in northen Greece in Kozani and this is a well known product exported all over Europe
    Have a nice week !!!
    Sophie

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  2. Your crocus teacup is so pretty and I didn't know that saffron comes from the crocus flower. Thank you for the info. and have a nice day.
    ~Clara

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  3. Hi Ruth,

    I just love your crocus tea cup - the shape is simply stunning! I also didn't know Saffron came from the crocus flower. Someone gave me some when I got married, but I didn't know what to cook with it :) Thanks for the info.

    Enjoy your week!

    Hugs,
    Stephanie

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  4. What a lovely post, Ruth! Love all the pretty spring flowers and your teacups. The recipe looks yummy too. Thank you for sharing and joining me for my Spring Tea. Have a beautiful day, dear friend.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  5. Beautiful teacup and post.. thank you for the information on the saffron, I had no idea. Thank you for hosting this lovely party. Have a good week.
    FABBY

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  6. Hello Ruth! Wow, the Rosina and Shelley cups are gorgeous. I don't think I have ever seen a photo of the saffron in the 'before' stage of in the actual flower. Thanks for sharing that image. It's been a long time since I cooked with saffron, I should give your recipe a try. Love the addition of nuts. Thanks for hosting, friend. I am nursing a terribly sore leg (sciatica) and trying to think positive when it comes to PT- ouch!
    Shawn

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  7. I love the crocus. Your Rosina and Shelley cups are wonderful. So much good crocus *stuff* here -- including saffron! No wonder it is so expensive. Thanks so much for hosting. It is always fun to visit. Happy Tea Day!

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  8. That is really interesting about saffron, Ruth. I've never used it before. We don't have anything blooming here as it's very cold right now and there are 2 snow storms coming this week so it will be a while yet. I have seen your Rosina cup before and I like the pattern. The Shelley one is really pretty with beautiful bouquets of flowers and the blue edging. Happy spring to you! Blessings, Pamela

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  9. Both of the teacups are so pretty but, I love the shape of the Rosina! Gorgeous pictures of the flowers. Thank you for hosting!

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  10. Hello Ruth
    You're ahead of us, the crocus leaves are just poking through the ground now. I do like the teacup with the crocus on, you don't see this flower often on cups.
    The information on saffron is interesting, I've not bought it to use but have seen how expensive it is at the store.
    Judith

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  11. Gorgeous teacups! I did not know that saffron came from crocus! How cool is that - No wonder it is so expensive - wonderful post - I do appreciate you hosting and sharing,
    Kathy

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  12. How enlightening! I had no idea where saffron came from! Your teacups are just delightful! I think I must have far too few! Happy Spring!

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  13. what a lovely Post! -Those tea cups are just perfect! we have several inches of snow here so this was a delightful mini escape-
    Loved the information on saffron too- My husband was born in Spain and it is such a popular spice over there but hard to find here at times-
    Thanks so much for hosting your lovely tea parties!
    Cheers

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  14. Oh wow...I did not know that about saffron! I went to buy it once for a recipe and skipped it because it was so expensive. However, I've got crocus right in my front yard! Thanks so much for the info! This week's Homemaking Linkup is live and ready for whatever you've got to share!

    Blessings,
    Mrs. Sarah Coller

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  15. Hello Ruth,
    Your post today is beautiful and delicious looking! I love your two crocus tea cups. Both have lovely designs on them. The Shelley has a lovely shape too.
    Saffron is a magical plant! I love the delicate flavor it lends to rice.
    The daffodils are blooming here, and many other trees and bushes as well. I can hardly wait for the lilacs : )
    Hugs,
    Terri

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  16. Hi Ruth and happy spring to you from just a little higher in the Pacific Northwest. :) Love the tea cups and also love saffron. Isn't rice just the best with a little saffron? Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe; I've copied it and will give it a try.

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  17. Hi Ruth: Love your Shelley! You always amaze me with the cups you share. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

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  18. Hey Ruth, I love your Shelley china (Shelley's my favorite!) and the crocus. The rice dish looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe! ~Michelle

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  19. Hi Ruth,
    Crocus on tea cups is really seldom. So you have two treasures in your collection. They are both lovely. Thank you for the intersting lesson about Saffron. I loved to see how they are grown and harvested. Really a majestic spice. I love them in rice. Thank you also for your visit and the kind comment.
    Best greetings, Johanna

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  20. I'm so excited to finally have something to share with this link party. I look forward to seeing what others share too. Thank you for hosting.

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  21. I never knew that about saffron either. Fascinating

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  22. The information you shared about saffron is very interesting to me. It is surely a very precious spice. The recipe you shared looks like one I would love. Rice is my favorite starch choice for meals. ( I hate potatoes)You are so right, rice is very versatile, but I have never had it with saffron and think I need to try it soon.

    I think the first teacup , the Rosina is unique and lovely. Now I have even more appreciation for the little crocuses blooming in our flower beds right now.

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  23. What a fun and informative post! I'm not sure I've seen crocus teacups before, so I'll have to add that to my list of floral teacups to scope out! That recipe sounds delicious, as I like Indian foods too. Yum!

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  24. What a great post, Ruth! I don't think I've ever eaten saffron, but your recipe sounds good. Your teacups are lovely and so are your crocus! Hope your week is going well.

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