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!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Green Teas We Are Trying

WE have a cup of green tea daily, as it has great antioxidant and mood improving qualities, and has been recommended for my husband's Parkinson's Disease for brain function too. So, we have been trying to find one he likes.

The first is from Arbor Teas, a smaller tea company. The name of the tea is Decaf Tropical Green, in a loose leaf tea, and is has lots of botanical stuff in it and actually smells quite strongly of tropical flowers....

But, therein lay the problem...too flowery for mu Honey. We finished the bag, but he didn't want to get it again.

The current choice is much better for him. We drink PG Tips for an easy go-to black tea...my Honey drinks their decaf...one of the only ones he says actually still taste like tea...so we were pleased to find they started several naturally flavored green teas in the last year or so. The lemon version was sold out on the British tea website we use, so we got the Raspberry, which he says is quite nice. I am sticking with my Harney & Sons Green Tea With Coconut, because I don't like raspberry in any form, but he is quite happy with it. He is looking forward to the lemon version, though.

This tea is in biodegradable silky sachets, and please note that the PG Tips mascot, Sock Monkey is on the teabag tags! My hero! Hope you are enjoying your week...I'm off for a cuppa...my green tea this time...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tuesday Cuppa Tea Cottage Tea, Toasted Almond Crisps

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!

This is the time of year we often headed out on our yearly month long visits to the UK, we spent quite a bit of time on week long breaks in the Cotswolds.  This was one of our favorite places to stay in the Cotswolds...Washburne Court House Hotel in Lower Slaughter...yep...that's the name...and there's a Middle Slaughter and Upper Slaughter...generally referred to as The Slaughters....

And that became my theme for this week's tea...a cottage ware tea.....

Cottage Ware or Cottageware was all the rage from the late Edwardian era to the 1960s in England...some felt that it's popularity was nostalgia to the times before the war when cottage life with it's rustic vistas and scenes, made up a large part of Engish life...and after World War II because the bombings and difficulties had so changed the landscape and culture of England. Cottage ware was a nod to a disappearing world.

I have pulled various things from my home and Antiques And Teacups for my cottage tea, including these cute antique postcards and trade cards form the Victorian and Edwardian era...I love them, and have quite a collection that I really should do something about...sigh...

The cottageware teapot is by Price Kensington, England from the 1950s in a design called Ye Olde Cottage...

Several other English potteries made cottage ware, and Japan had several companies that made it, especially in post war Japan...and Occupied Japan is marked on a number of examples, and is very collectible...but my favorite are the English versions...no surprise, I am sure!


The mark is easy to date, and this is right before the transition when Price Brothers became Price Kensington in an merger of Price Brothers and Kensington in 1962. Price Kensington is still in production, but most is made in China now....sigh...

It looks charming by the cross stitch of the thatched cottage I did a few years ago that now hangs in the guest room...

I had to tip the cross stitch to not get a light reflection on the glass...as it actually is sunny today!

I'm sure you recognize this Shelley from last week, but I just could not put my hand on any other yellow teacups, and when I looked at what I had on the tea table I knew I needed a bit of brightness...hence a reappearance of the Shelley Dresden Footed Oleander teacup....

But back to cottages...we have a Cottageware butter or cheese dome or dish, also a Price Brothers piece.....still has a faint smell of butter or cheese...wish it could talk...

As you can see, the earlier version...Price Brothers so dates before 1962.

We also have a Cottage ware cream and sugar...cottage ware pretty well was made in everything really...you could set the entire table with it, and Queen Elizabeth II's mother, Queen Elizabeth...better known as the Queen Mum...famously had an entire set of Price Brothers Cottageware, and used it in her breakfast room...Queen Elizabeth II grew up with it!

Also by Price Brothers is this toast rack for 3 slices...makes a great letter holder too!

And we even have a cottage ware toast rack...which will take 3 slices...for your eggies and soldiers...as we grew up calling them...boiled eggs with toast fingers if you don't know Britspeak...

Also by Price Brothers so on e of the earlier marks from the 1950s...

And lastly I used my thatched cottage bone china mug from Adderley, which you have seen before...but I love it!

So that's my cottage tea! I hope you enjoyed your cuppa with me!

I wanted to share a recipe I worked out for Toasted Almond Crisps after tasting some from Costco at a friends, but you had to buy a zillion in a package, so I improvised, and they came out well!

Toasted Almond Crisps
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar

2 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking power

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
Cream together butter and sugars, until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla and beat again.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to dough, one third at a time until all added. Stir in almonds, until well incorporated.

Using a small cookie scoop, place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet three inches apart , as they sort of melt and spread when cooking.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-9 minutes until edges turn golden. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.

Pretty simple, and pretty tasty!

For those of you who saw this published in error a few days ago, only 1/2 done, I apologize...I must have hit publish instead of save...Thanks to Bernideen for her comment which alerted me! 
I musta needed another cuppa!
I am joining....

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 can find you to visit! Thanks so much for joining me for tea!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Easter Tea, A Winner!

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea for the week before Easter...Holy Week as it is known to many. Sometimes Jewish Passover overlaps Easter, but not this year...Easter is early.  

It seems we just finished Saint Patrick's Day, so I have a very simple Easter afternoon tea in the sunroom...just changed the tablecloth and decor today....

I kind of centered it around a new Shelley teacup and some giant yellow Easter egg cookies I found at our organic bakery yesterday....

I know that I have shared several elements before...like my green cross which is always out in the sunroom, reminding me of John 3:16 

For God do loved the world
that He gave His only Son
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have
everlasting life

And I always have out my cute little lamb to remind me about new life and to tie into the Lamb Of God and also an element on the Passover plate which I will share about next month during passover.  The eggs speak to me of God the Three In One, and also new birth as well...and is an international symbol...I love this antique Russian Orthodox Easter postcard...it says "Christ is Risen!"

To get back to my tea, I have another vintage tea cloth or embroidered tablecloth...linene with pastel embroidered flowers and an art deco basket design...

And how about these egg sugar cookies! How fun is that! I have Hot Cross Buns coming from the bakery on Tuesday, but today...just  Easter Egg cookies...

I put them on a Shelley Dainty yellow Rosebud plate from the shop...I don't have much in yellow...this colorway is seldom seen really...mostly the red/pink Rosebud pattern.

I had some difficulty finding yellow, but did have this Royal Albert Tea rose cream and sugar set, 

and a pair of 1940s Georgian style English EPNS sugar tongs...

And here is the Shelley teacup, in the footed Oleander pattern with wonderful sunny yellow exterior, pale yellow interior and the Dresden pattern, in pattern number 13438/516. The 516 after the / indicates the color.

The pale yellow doesn't show up well. The teacup was made from 1940 until the pottery closed in 1966.

I always love the pretty molded shape of the Oleander, and the burnished gold  trim is just beautiful!

And to serve the tea...a green jasperware teapot...but not by Wedgwood!

Jasperware has become synonymous with Wedgwood, but several other companies made it as well...Adaams and Dudson did, and this is a Dudson, England teapot from the 1940s. The pattern is the same as Wedgwood's Sacrifice Figure pattern, but then, the English potteries of Staffordshire had  copying each other...and the entire industry came out of a desire to copy the wares coming into England from Japan and China in the 1700s...hence the name "china" for fine dishes!

I'll be saving the other teacup for later...there's a history attached I don't have time for here, so....

I found this great recipe for a bunny shaped cake in Good Housekeeping magazine and thought I'd add it here...as it's Easter bunny time fast approaching.

I thought it was so cute!!

Pineapple-Coconut Bunny Cake

Serves: 16
Yields: 16 servings
Prep Time: 35 min
Prep Time: 25 min


2 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon(s) bakingpowder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup well-stirred cream of coconut (from 15-ounce can)
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup/ 1 stick butter or margarine, softened
3 large eggs
Silky Coconut Butter Frosting
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup well-stirred cream of coconut
2 tablespoons well-stirred cream of coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup/2 sticks unsalted butter (no substitutions), softened

1 bag(s) (7 ounces, or 2 2/3 cups) sweetened flaked coconut
2  pink Jordan almonds
1  blue jelly bean
1  red heart-shaped tart candy
2-inch lengths black licorice lace


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 13- by 9-inch metal baking pan.

Prepare Pineapple-Coconut Cake: On waxed paper, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine cream of coconut, pineapple with its juice, and vanilla. 

In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat sugar and butter just until blended. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes or until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Beat in flour mixture alternately with pineapple mixture just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture and occasionally scraping bowl.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen cake from pan; invert onto rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare Silky Coconut Butter Frosting: In 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar and flour. Gradually stir in cream of coconut until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool completely.

In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in cream-of-coconut mixture. Makes about 3 cups.

When cake is cool, transfer to large flat platter. Using pattern and knife, cut out bunny's body and ears from cake. Place some cake trimmings on tail and ears to add height. With metal spatula, spread frosting over side and top of cake. Gently press coconut into frosting on cake. Decorate bunny with Jordan almonds for ear, jelly bean for eye, heart-shaped candy for mouth, and licorice for whiskers.
*Reserve cream of coconut remaining in can (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) to use in frosting recipe.

And we have a winner!!!! Congratulations to Linda of Linda's Life Journal

who was picked by Random.org as the winner of my giveaway for the Jan Karon book A Common Life. Please email me your snail mail address and I'll get it off to you ASAP!

Okey dokey, that's it for today. May this be a blessed week for you with lots of tea and goodies! I am joining: 

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 can find you to visit! Thanks so much for joining me for tea!


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