2023 An Invitation to Tea - Eight Nights of Hanukkah
Welcome to An Invitation to Tea and the Eight Nights of Hanukkah! We’re thrilled that you’re joining us for tea and an excursion through colorful yarn, tasty goodies and a little learning along the way!
Join us this morning, and every morning of Hanukkah as we'll do our LIVE! opening over on our YouTube channel located here. We'll be there LIVE! at 9:30 am est, but you can watch anytime after!
Each day, check here for your interactive content to accompany your gift. Each of the eight days, new interactive content will appear here, along with content from the previous day.
Additionally, right now, while the openings are occurring, you can snag another gift for yourself! We’re offering early bird pricing on our A Tropical Hanukkah boxes for 2024! Click here to purchase today at early bird pricing!
Now, let’s begin and dig in to day 1!
One cannot contemplate tea from a Jewish perspective without encountering a samovar. While a samovar is not expected equipment present at an afternoon tea say, at a fancy tea house in England, it’s an item known to many Jewish families and even passed down in some fortunate ones.
Click below to read a bit about the revered samovar and then check out the link for a recipe sure to enliven your tastebuds as you consider your Day 1 treat!
A brief “history” of the Samovar:
Today is a study in contrasts, as it relates to tea. We’ll learn about some accoutrements for afternoon tea, some history, and view it from two different perspectives. Plus, we see two very different ways to imbibe.
Next, learn one method for making a luxury staple that almost always accompanies a quintessential afternoon tea in the UK!
Hint: The English location we visit virtually today was the site of our Yarny Ewes afternoon tea when the group visited London and Scotland last year! Our upcoming trip offers a similarly indulgent experience in the heart of Scotland: Edinburgh! Let us know if you’d like to go along!
Click this first link to learn about a British Afternoon Tea and visit Fortnum & Mason in London:
Now, let’s take a look at another view of tea and how to drink it “old style!”
Learn to make an indulgent treat!
As we move to the treats of Day 3, we have something a bit special for you! Tea is both a pleasure and an art, inasmuch as that applies to the preparation and tasting alike. Download the handy guide below to learn more about tea and to assist in your palette cultivation:
Next, how about a recipe for Cucumber Canapés?
And now, let’s learn another way to make Cucumber Canapés:
It's hard to imagine we're halfway through our Eight Nights after today's treats!
Now that we've learned a bit about tea, learned to make a few tasty treats, and are well-immersed in all things tea and goodies, today we are going to abandon those heady treats and move back to the basics.
Have you ever bitten into a wonderfully sweet cookie, then taken a sip of carefully-prepared tea only to be bitten by the unexpected bitterness created by the melding of the two flavors? Well, so have we and clearly, so have others throughout history. The acid and tannins in tea that help to create the bitterness with tame with sugar creates the perfect storm for this phenomenon to occur.
So then, what IS the perfect crispy treat to enjoy with tea? Well, shortbread, of course! And what is the most quintessential British teapot? The Brown Betty!
Learn about the Brown Betty:
Learn about the history of shortbread:
Learn to make the best shortbread:
Delve into some of the best "biscuits" that go well with tea:
As we continue our journey through the Eight Nights of Hanukkah, and our "tea party," we suggest taking a look at the following.
The first is Tea Time with Rabbi Esther and she has some wonderful downloads!
Next up is a fabulous description of Flaming Tea Ceremony for Hanukkah:
And as we look toward the light of the Menorah, let's learn to light it!
We tend to think of a "fool" as a bad thing, but in the case of a sweet, fluffy dessert, it's mighty nice!
Check out this recipe:
And then a video for a "classic English Fool"...
How is it possible that already, we're only ONE day before the final day/night of Hanukkah?!? As astonishing as that may seem, here we are! Today, we shall explore the delights of a Cream Tea. Cream Tea is one of those experiences that you engage in when either you are only the tiniest bit peckish and need a quick pick-me-up (any excuse for cream and scones, yes?) or perhaps you're running a bit short on time, but need a delightful route to quieting your belly!
At any rate, whether you're dashing about or have found a quiet moment in a quaint tea shop, or at your own kitchen counter for that matter, Cream Tea is a delight!
So what IS the difference between Afternoon Tea, High Tea and Cream Tea? Let's find out!
And what IS it about hearing High Tea vs. Low Tea? Let's dive a little further into the matter.
While you're at it, and learning about the intricacies of the various forms of "tea," check out this tutorial:
Obviously, to have a Cream Tea, you must first have a scone:
How about a little scone fun now? A scone puzzle for the brain!
Now, you know that one of the raging controversies about scones and the accompaniments is whether to place the cream or jam on the delight first; but did you know there's yet another controversy of enormous proportions? Well, "enormous" is all relative in the world of scones...
So there you have it: scones - their delights and controversies!
We'll see you back here tomorrow for the final reveal!
Having now meandered through the first seven days/nights of Hanukkah, we now find ourselves on the eighth and final day. Are we ready for the big reveal? We think you’ll love it!
We’ve learned a bit about tea, been exposed to some tea rituals and information through the lens of Judaism, and more. Today, we’ll wrap it up with a few fine details.
Tea in Art:
Music for Tea Time:
Finally, a bit about Afternoon Tea etiquette:
It is our hope that you’ve enjoyed your Invitation to Tea! We are grateful for your support and hope you have the happiest and warmest of holidays!
**In an effort to allow everyone to be delighted with their daily gifts at a pace that works for them, please refrain from posting each day's treasure until the day following the day for which it was intended.**
If you've not done so already, we invite you to join our Yarny Ewes Facebook group! It's a dynamic, fun group and boasts of being both drama and politics free. This supportive group is a wonderful oasis on the internet.
Often, people ask, "What can I knit/crochet with the contents of the box?" The answer is, well, anything you can dream up! To help you get started with project ideas, we've done a search on Ravelry for project that use mini skeins. Please keep in mind that not all of the patterns listed are appropriate for the box contents, but you may find one that's perfect, or at least get some inspiration.
We'd love to see what you create!
Thank you again and Chag urim sameach!
** Please note that the interactive content here is meant to inform and delight. We are not Jewish and do not wish to appropriate or adopt the culture or diminish in any way its value. Further, please note that recipes shared here have not been vetted as kosher.