April

 

 I think there is no other holiday other than Christmas, that raises such artistic imagination of decoration… than Easter.  It inspires even the untalented fingers of myself to grab a piping nozzle and go to town on dozens of sugar cookies.  Fortunately, I do come to my senses… and think more about Mimosa bars… which will follow.  But for the piping talented… here are some incredible examples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And although I would really enjoy a Spring Tea – I started thinking more about a Spring Brunch…  

 

With………..

 

 

 

 



And it’s not about just orange juice anymore…. It is about Bubbly and Fruit.   Wow… that actually sounds healthy.  Because as you know….


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And not only that… Brunch is great fun with awesome opportunities for really fun food ideas.  One of your best friends for this is puff pastry – no need to struggle making it – just trot to the store and buy it.  Then the possibilites are endless:


And cute…

[yeah, it’s always about cute]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puff Pastry Appetizer with Grilled Pear, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese

[OMG!]

 

 

 

And think outside the box… love French Toast?  How about French Toast Shooters….  This is a great idea for a casual, maybe outdoor Brunch, where people aren’t going to be confined to tables and chairs.  If you are lucky enough to have it someplace that inspires you to walk around, talk, and look at beautiful Spring plants.

 

Think small:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





It will make it much easier to eat and hold that Mimosa in the other hand.

 [love these heart shaped potatoes] 


But again, if you don’t want to imbibe so early in the day [who are you!?!?]  you can put other things in your glass, like yogurt, granola and fruit.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

But I digress a bit… this is a tea page after all.  So let’s talk about one tea that many of us are very fond of:

 

The Mysterious History of Earl Grey Tea

Earl Charles Grey and the Tea Connection

For more than a century, tea historians believed that British aristocrat Charles Grey, the country’s Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834, introduced Earl Grey tea to London drawing rooms. According to traditional lore, he received the distinctive blend as a gift and then shared it with friends and such notables as Queen Victoria. The original mixture contained black China tea tinctured with citrus oil from the bergamot orange, a fruit native to Italy.

One version of the tale involves a Chinese mandarin who presented the Earl with a tea he had specially formulated to mask the taste of lime in the Earl’s local water supply. Another rendition sweetens the plot by casting Charles Grey as a hero who saved the son of a Chinese official. In gratitude, the official sent Grey a supply of the flavorful tea.

The Earl and the Tea: Truth or Fiction?

However, doubts about a connection between the Earl and the tea have called the well-loved legend into question. No records exist to verify that Charles Grey ever traveled to China. Also, the Chinese almost certainly had no access to bergamot oranges.

Historic accounts from the early 1800s suggest that certain tea makers used bergamot to disguise the shortcomings of inferior tea so they could charge a premium price. This practice raises reasonable doubt that an English aristocrat would have leant his name to a questionable product.

The Oxford English Dictionary Investigates Grey's Mixture

In 2012, The Oxford English Dictionary made a public appeal in an attempt to discover the true origins of bergamot-scented black tea. The appeal unearthed several interesting bits of data but reached no definitive conclusions. OED found references from as early as 1884 to Earl Grey’s mixture but nothing to suggest the existence of Earl Grey tea until long after the actual Earl’s demise.

Pending further revelations, OED’s research threatens to sever the longstanding link between Earl Charles Grey and the tea that bears his name. Some speculate that William Grey, a London tea merchant who advertised his “celebrated Grey’s mixture” in publications dating to the mid-19th century, originated the popular blend.

 Earl Grey Tea Trendsetters

British-based Jacksons of Piccadilly was among the first tea companies to produce the bergamot-scented tea for sale to the general public under the name Earl Grey’s Mixture. Later, Charlton & Co. and Twining’s of London also marketed similar blends.

Today, a multitude of Earl Grey teas are available, some containing such ingredients as lavender and green tea leaves. A variant known as Lady Grey tea includes lemon and Seville orange peel in addition to bergamot oil. Legend has it that the Earl’s wife served her tea to appreciative visitors at their London abode.

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It is always fun for me to search down the history of things, whether it be fact or sometimes fantasy.  But this was a pretty good story of The Earl Grey.

I have a variation of the Earl Grey that I’m very fond of – sometimes called Lady Earl Grey.  It has the addition of lavender in it and it is quite yummy!  And if you ever happen to be in Lonesome Valley Brewery, they sometimes have a beer made with Earl Grey…. Really.  It’s totally yummy too.

So I leave you with one important thought, and that is…. GET OUTSIDE.  Enjoy the spring weather before it turns blistering hot, and then worse… cold.  Celebrate our beautiful Spring weather.


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And let us not forget….

juniper


My best wishes to all of the fellow sufferers…..

 

 

 


 

 


                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012