Farm to Table Hodgepodge

It’s time again for Wednesday Hodgepodge where Jo From This Side of the Pond asks the questions for us to ponder.

Speaking of farmers, on one of our traveling days we took an exit to visit the Mennonite Heritage & Agricultural Museum in Goessel, Kansas. The mural above is from part of the museum.

1. What obligation do you believe you have to your country? 

I suppose as a good citizen we are obliged to follow the laws of our country. It would be good for a citizen to know what is in the Constitution of the United States of America. I also think we are obliged to cast an informed vote in elections. As long as the laws of the country don’t violate my religious freedom in following God’s laws and my worship of Him I’ll keep the law. My allegiance is first and foremost to God the Father and His Law set down in the Bible.

2. October 12 is National Farmers Day. Do you know any farmers?

Yes, I know several farmers from my experience with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook and now living in Colville we’ve been acquainted with more farmers. We have farmers across the road from us.

What do they farm/grow/raise?

Hay, Wheat, Alfalfa, Corn, Vegetables, Apples, Apricots, Pears. Dairy Farms and Cattle ranches abound, too, along with sheep and goats and pigs.

Are there any farm stands where you live? Do you shop there? 

Yes there are great farm stands and farmers markets and yes, I do shop there. Wednesdays and Saturdays we have a Farmer’s Market in town. I like to stop and support our local farmers. Farmer’s Market only runs through October and then opens up again sometime in the Spring.

3. What’s a skill you think everyone should have? Tell us why? 

I think everyone should be taught to read. Reading is foundational to so many other skills. Without this skill you are more open to misguidance and deception and false teaching.

4. Favorite thing you’ve purchased this year? 

I bid on, won, and purchased Tea for Eight in my home. It was so nice to sit at the table and be served all the wonderful delicacies that the Hostess made. The only thing I had to do which I thoroughly enjoyed was to set the table with my hoard of tea things.

5. What’s your favorite place to visit in the fall? 

The Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze at a local farm here in Colville. The maze is always top notch!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We are just back from driving across the country for 20 days. We called our trip, Land That We Love Tour. I’ll be sharing lots of photos from all the things we saw along the way on my blog. So much to share.

When we arrived home we found sweet notes taped around the house that our grandkids left us.

“Welcome home We missed you See you soon Addy” also “I ❤️ u”

The note on the bottom right is Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti. Addy has been mastering and enjoying this song.

Baba appreciated each note and drawing and it made me smile real big.

Hope to come around soon and see how y’all answered the questions this week.

 

Tea for Eight

On Saturday I cashed in my winning bid at our Missions auction for a Tea for Eight. I set the table and invited the guests and then was able to sit and enjoy being served along with my seven guests.

As my guests arrived they were invited to choose the tea cup and saucer from the tea cart. Once the choices were made and the headbands chosen we sat down for our first cup of tea before the Tea Sandwiches arrived.

 

Kathy, the gal on the left was the the cook and organizer and she brought along a helper.

Each sandwich type and quiche were delicious. Not sure what my favorite was. Cucumber Cream Cheese and Dill was delicious and such a classic. The artichoke sandwich might have been my favorite but then there was the Chicken Salad. Something else that was different besides the yummy artichoke sandwich was the Cream cheese, Apricot, Olive and Pecans. Would we have room for Scones?

Oh yes we had room and some of us even managed a second scone.  All the right stuff came on the luncheon plate for the scone along with fresh strawberries in a lavender syrup.

After our Scone course we decided that a little walk about would be good. Addy was really taken with the older girls and they were very sweet with her.

After our walkabout we enjoyed a piano interlude from the girls.

The Dessert Course. A picture is worth a thousand words.

I think the youngest guest thought the dessert course was the best!

Addy and Auntie Lolo.

Addy’s great aunt Rhonda bought this tea dress for her. If you look closely the skirt has teapots and teacups on it.

 

I got the cutest thank you card from one of the young girls in my box at church on Sunday. She thanked me and said she thought the tea was excellent!! It was a wonderful treat to be served tea in my home with my guests using my dishes. We were all thankful for air conditioning, too, since we reached the upper 80’s on Saturday.

Happy Summer everyone! Summer is coming in hot for us here with 3 digits predicted for the end of the week!

Tea Time ~ The Pinkie

On Mother’s Day while the guys prepared breakfast and Jaymison was sleeping the girls had a little tea party using the tea set that Josh and Laura purchased for Addy for her 1st or 2nd birthay.

 

When we were ready to drink our “tea” we showed Addy how we extend our pinkie finger for some classic tea time photos. She watched carefully and then…

…her version of the pinkie.

We all had a joyful chuckle. One day she’ll get a chuckle out of this, too.

The pinkie!

We are all looking forward to a proper “High Tea” with Addy in the future but this first one with water was a special treat to enjoy.

Addyson loves her auntie Lolo!

We had a very successful trip to Spokane and home again on Wednesday. My eye exam revealed that I am developing a cataract in my right eye which is no surprise and the eye surgeon said it was most likely to occur. I’ll need cataract surgery in a year or two. I got a fresh prescription for my eye glasses because of the change in my right eye. To get into the eye clinic I had to have my temperature taken, answer a few questions and I had to be wearing a mask. They had the waiting area staged to have the minimum of 6 feet between those waiting. I wore the mask the whole time I was being examined, too. The clinic was across the street from the center where Trader Joe’s is so that was our second stop.

We filled up the cart with some things our kids were in want of and added a few new choices for meals for us. On to Hobby Lobby which has just re-opened and I added several Easter items to the cart at 80% off the original price. We found another jigsaw puzzle that I used my 40% coupon on. After each customer transaction the cashier sprayed and wiped off the counter and the credit card terminal. Our last stop in Spokane was Costco where we filled up the gas tank for $1.97 a gallon and loaded up the cart with some things the kids needed and a few items for us. With my new eye glass prescription in hand I was able to choose and order two pairs of glasses, regular and sunglasses. The new COVID-19 guidelines meant I had my temperature taken again and then an attendant pulled frames off the wall for me to try. After trying on the frames they had to be disinfected before they went back on the wall. No one allowed by the wall of frames unless being assisted by one of the worker bees. A few hundred dollars later and a couple weeks wait and I’ll be able to see better. I was wiped out by this time. It was an extra strain to shop with dilated eyes and a mask. I find my shopping skills with a mask on are not organized and efficient.

On the way home from Spokane we called our favorite Mexican restaurant in Chewelah to see about ordering some food for our “Linner”. Lo and behold Hector recognized my number and said come on in we are open 24-7. (Actually 11-8) It was such a great feeling to be able to walk into the restaurant and be served a meal there instead of hauling it home. It was fun to interact with Hector face to face again and to have our little toast of celebration! They only have 6 tables that they can seat at 50% capacity and maintaining the Social Distancing required. We left full and thankful with twenty more miles to go…

About 12 miles in we stopped at the kids to drop off their goodies. A quick hug with the grands before they went down for their naps and then 8 more miles and we were home for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Hopeful for more normalcy to come back to all of us…

Tough Times for Tea Rooms…

On the letter T for the A to Z Challenge and I’m choosing Tea Rooms and Tea. I hope all the Tea Rooms in Great Britain survive the COVID-19 shut down! All these photos are from our trip to England in July of 2014.

Stow on the Wold 028Although we passed quite a few tea rooms while we were in England I only had tea once and it wasn’t in a tea room. Oye. I will show you many lovely tea rooms that you can choose from if you travel to England. Lucy’s was in Stow on the Wold.

Broadway Day 7 023

This one was in Broadway in the Cotswolds.

Our daily timing was way off for stopping to enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon. By then we were usually a bit warm and needed something cooler to drink.

Broadway Day 7 072Love the name of this one, Mrs. T. Potts…pretty clever. It was real close to Martha’s coffee house on the main street running through Moreton in Marsh.

Broadway Day 7 070

Sunday-Banbury 010On our way to Banbury we saw Mrs. Brown’s Tea room.

Bourton-Gloucester 020In Bourton on the Water there were a few tea rooms to choose from.

Bourton-Gloucester 021

This restaurant/tearoom was less appealing than the Small Talk Tearoom above.

hereford 104

If we didn’t manage to walk right past a tearoom we enjoyed seeing signs for tearooms.

Hay on Wye 062

2014-07-12 Hay on WyeWe got a little closer to a proper tea experience with these delicious scones and clotted cream but the drink of choice on this morning was coffee in Hay on Wye.

To Windsor 158On one of our last days in England I decided it was high time to have some tea so as not to totally disappoint my tea drinking readers.

To Windsor 162It wasn’t the finest of tea services in the bar of our hotel. The scones were no where near as nice as the ones we had in Hay on Wye.

To Windsor 159This was my tea and tea experience. One hot and the other one cold. The cold one may or may not have had some alcohol in it.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post I hope that the many tea rooms in Great Britain will survive the COVID-19 lock down. We are hoping that things will look good enough come September for us to keep our flight and apartment reservations for Oxford, England. We wait and we’ll see.

What is your favorite tea? Do you have a favorite Tea Room? Have you ever attempted to host a proper Tea?

A Royal Tea

On Saturday I met up with our DIL Laura’s family to celebrate her Grandma Wilma’s 95th birthday. Laura made reservations for the seven of us at a new to us tearoom in downtown Bothell, Graham’s Royal Tea. Laura and her sister-in-law, Lisa, are flanking Grandma Wilma who had the royal chair and crown for the day.

Grandma Wilma has four daughters and a son. Three of the daughters including our Laura’s mom were at the tea. One of Laura’s aunts lives in Colorado and was not in town for this regal event. Wilma’s son lives in Australia. There was a room where you could choose hats and boas to wear. My mink Fascinator kept falling off my head.

I was very happy to be invited to come and celebrate, too. Doesn’t Wilma look fabulous at 95?

We all had a very nice time and enjoyed the savories and sweets on our three tiered servers. We are planning to return to this tearoom in the future. Thank you Wilma for inviting me along to enjoy your Royal Celebration. God bless you dearly.

Tea for Two

Katie invited me to Tea on Wednesday. She and Andrew were in Salt Lake City for Andrew’s sister’s college graduation on the weekend so they weren’t in town for Mother’s Day. We had a nice time at the Queen Mary Tea Room in Seattle very close to where Katie and Andrew live. We split a high tea tiered tray of goodies plus a breakfast scramble. It was a good combination and enough for both of us with a few leftovers. The tea room was not filled to the brim which was nice. When we were done with our tea time we took a nice stroll at a cemetery in close proximity to the tea room. I’ll share the photos from the cemetery soon.

It did not rain from sunrise on Wednesday which was a nice relief. The sun had a hard time shining through. Maybe on Thursday we’ll get some clear and bright sunshine for a few hours.

Tea at Lovella’s

To get to this lovely setting and presentation it takes lots of planning ahead and sometimes it takes many hands.

All the Mennonite Girls from British Columbia and me, the U.S.A. cousin, hadn’t been together since December. It was high tea time for us to get together again and Lovella graciously offered her home knowing that it is easier for me to get there from the U.S.A.

Can you take enough photos to document all the planning, baking and creating of these beautiful delicacies?

Anneliese baked, mixed and put together this tiered platter of gluten free tea bites for Julie and all of us. They were so tasty and she’ll share the recipe sometime in the future on our blog.

There were eight of us around the table on this day and we sorely missed our two Mennonite Girls from Manitoba. Lovella made these beautiful cookies for each of us and they served as place cards letting us know where to sit.

Some close ups of what we enjoyed.

Kathy made this fruit salad with a nice dressing that she will share soon.

And here is a little glimpse in how it all came together just before we sat down at Lovella’s table.

Lovella worked ahead of time to make the tea come together making pastry puff cones to stuff with an egg salad mixture and other tea treats.

Judy put together a lovely Earl Grey punch that she’ll be sharing soon on the blog.

Bev made some wonderful tarts with basil and other yummy ingredients, bottom right. Lovella also made mini croissants from scratch, rhubarb scones, and plain scones. Lovella provided lemon curd, blackberry preserves and creme fraiche to go with the scones.

When we ate enough of the savory treats Lovella brought out these delicacies that she had also prepared ahead of time for us. Melt in your mouth pavlova goodness!

We had a great time of catching up and taking care of some business for some upcoming events.

I’m very thankful for my Mennonite Girl friends and all I’ve learned and enjoyed since God plopped me into this community. Thank you Lovella for such a lovely time that you thought out and brought together for all of us. Thanks to all the other girls for their contributions to our wonderful time of feasting and of fellowship. It was a sacred time.

 

Cherry Varenya ~ Russian Tea Sweetener

This was one of my most visited posts in 2016. I first posted this in 2008. I’m adding a photo to the top of the post. If you look carefully you’ll see a glass bowl of Varenya on the table next to the tea cups in front of my paternal grandfather (dzedushka) and grandmother (babushka).

img578The Russian immigrants I grew up around would make and enjoy this Cherry Syrup made with whole pie cherries in their hot tea. They used this syrup in place of sugar to sweeten their tea. I called my mother this week (April 2008) to get the following recipe from her to share for The-Sweet-and-Savory-of-Yummy.

This is a very simple recipe for Cherry Varenya. This is a syrup made with Cherries to sweeten hot tea with.


Cherry Varenya

1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Whole Sour Cherries (Pie Cherries)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

You would increase the proportions of this recipe according to how many cherries you have on hand that you want to make into Varenya.

Boil the water and sugar to make a clear simple syrup. When the liquid is clear add your cherries and let it boil for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how hard the cherries were to begin with) At the end of the boiling add 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to help preserve the brightness of the syrup.

You may want to can it at this point. (I don’t know how to can anything so you are on your own here!)🙂

You can do this process with sliced lemons, too, to make a Lemon Varenya.


Lemon Varenya

When I was young our family would go to a Cherry Orchard somewhere near Lancaster, California in July when the pie cherries were ready to harvest. It might have been in the Leona Valley. We would pick cherries all day and take home upwards of 40 pounds of cherries. That’s a lot of Varenya. When we picked this much my parents would give about half of the cherries away to other relatives and friends who couldn’t make the trek out to the Cherry Farm. Then it was a full day of preparing the cherries for Varenya. Washing, cooking and canning.

The photos are quite dark in this post and I’ve learned a few things since 2008 about taking photos of food and brightening them up before posting them. The photo of my grandparents is an old film photo scanned.

Hope the end of the year 2016 is going well for you. Maybe a cup of tea will help to brighten your day. Blessings…

There and Back Again…

Yesterday I put a dress on (gasp!) and grabbed my passport and headed to Chilliwack B.C. to attend a tea planned in honor of our own dear Kathy of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Kathy’s Mother-in-law Eileen invited us all to her lovely home and treated us to a very special time. What a wonderful example to all of us girls Eileen is as she chose to bless her daughter-in-law in this special way!

We missed our Manitoba girls, Betty and Charlotte!

Every detail was well thought out and chosen. Beautiful china, silver and 100 year old crystal goblets graced the beautiful table.

After we gathered Eileen shared some thoughts about Kathy using the letters of her name to describe some of Kathy’s attributes. Kind, active, thoughtful, honest, and youthful were just some of the words to describe Kathy. We raised our beautiful glasses to toast our dear friend.

Have you ever seen or enjoyed one of these sandwich loaves? This was my first and I was in awe!

I set aside my de-fluffing regiment on this day because it truly was a day for feasting not fasting!

We found our spots at the table and Eileen offered a blessing on our food and time together. Before we filled our plates for our main course Kathy’s father-in-law, who was our gracious butler for the afternoon, served us our soup course which was a lovely cold Raspberry soup…delicious and refreshing. After we filled our plates and enjoyed our main course there was a light and fluffy Pavlova with strawberries for dessert. Did I mention feasting not fasting?

Kathy is in the center of the collage and her mother-in-law Eileen is above her. Lovella, Eileen, Anneliese, Judy, Kathy, Bev, Marg, Ellen and Julie.

We all reflected on how nice it was to be served in such a special way. It was a wonderful time of catching up with each other. A great time of witnessing Bill and Eileen working together as a couple to help and honor each other and to be a great example of hospitality in action. We were all blessed and our cups were filled to overflowing.

I wanted to share this post before I’m in full swing wedding mode! Prayers appreciated for the blessed event coming up!