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!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Welcome February with Groundhogs, Valentines and Winter Still

Welcome to February!

With the possibility of new life beginning.
February is usually our most wintry month, and it is starting out that way with more than average rain and snow flurries....
The above is from Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden, a year round favorite.

1935 February cover of Good Housekeeping magazine, reminds us February 2nd was Groundhog Day, and supposedly an early spring is in view...

I won't mind!

And for a February tea, this was tea time yesterday, while my Honey was watching the Super Bowl. I often have only one teacup in my photos, because my Honey always has a mug as it is so much easier for him with Parkinson's Disease and his tremor.

This is a gorgeous cup and saucer with matching plate in a version of Royal Albert, England's Old English Roses that is rarely seen. This was part of a series called Treasure Chest which had the most expensive wide sponged gold trim along with the usual lush Roses the pattern is known for.

The particular cup and saucer has the seems to have been made earlier than the plate as the cup and saucer has the earlier Royal Albert Crown China mark which dates from 1927-1935, but the plate is the first mark after the Crown was dropped from the name, dating it to 1935 to 1946.

I found this fun woven metallic red fabric tubes heart a few years ago and still love it!

I was wanting to make something different, and remember a recipe from my childhood I hadn't made for years. The reminder for me was finding it pass by on my Facebook feed from Marie Rayner of TheEnglish Kitchen.
My grandmother... my English Nana who infused me with her love of afternoon tea... used to make these. I found Marie's recipe years ago when she was Oak Cottage, and it was very close to my Nan's.

She has updated it and made them in a heart pan, as I did above too!

So tasty, not too sweet, but with no preservatives, have to be eaten fairly quickly. I made some leftover batter into a small loaf cake, which froze well, and we cut that into pieces and had with butter and jam... 

Her recipe:
*Queen Cakes*
Makes 12 small buns
or 8 heart shaped cakes

Dating from the 18th century, these cakes have always been baked in small individual tins, either patty pans or individual heart shaped molds.   Sweet and buttery, flavoured with lemon, and stogged full of lovely dried currants

125g soft butter (generous half cup)
125g caster sugar (2/3 cup)
2 large free range eggs
150g plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
the finely grated zest of one un-waxed lemon
125g of dried currants (scant cup)
a splash of milk

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.   Butter a 12 hole patty pan, or 8 heart shaped pans.  Line the bottoms of the heart tins with baking paper, and the patty pans with paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, eating well after each addition.   Beat in the lemon zest.  Sift together the flour and baking powder.  Stir in the currants.  Using a large metal spoon, fold in the flour mixture, along with a splash of milk, to give a gentle dropping consistency.   Spoon into the prepared cases, filling each no more than 2/3 full.

Bake in the heated oven for 20 minutes, until well risen and the tops spring back when lightly touched.  Allow to cool in the tins for 5 to 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Delicious when fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.


Have a lovely week! 

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