An Invitation to Tea - Twelve Days of Christmas
Welcome to An Invitation to Tea and the Twelve Days of Christmas! 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! It's finally time to dig into those tiny packages and some fun online! Have you brewed your cuppa yet today?
Join us this morning, and every morning of Christmas 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 twelve 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 Christmas AND 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 without understanding a bit about its history, traditions, and lore. Let's dive right in to learn a bit about the history of tea and test our knowledge a bit!
A bit about the history...
A Tea Trivia Quiz to test your knowledge! Perhaps print it and invite your friend 'round to a cuppa and a test of THEIR knowledge...
As we continue our travel through all things tea, little is more controversial than how to brew the perfect cup! It's all about timing, not to mention the addition of milk, if you choose to add it for your perfect brew.
So let's dive in and get one view on the way to brew the ideal cuppa:
And here's another, straight from Britain:
When one contemplates an afternoon tea, often it's not sugarplum dancing through one's head, but rather, yummy scones with clotted cream and jam!
Clotted cream is not typically found in the US, unless you snag a jar of that awful, bottled variety. Which well...just isn't the same.
But you can make your own yummy clotted cream, two ways!
And then, it's on to making traditional scones:
All this talk of tea makes me ready for a fancy High Tea, how about you? Or....is it really "High Tea" I'm after? Let's find out!
And well, how did afternoon tea get to be a thing anyway?
So now, which tea is it we are craving, hmmm? :-)
So now that we know the difference between the various tea experiences, we ought to brush up on our tea etiquette! Best to know how to take tea properly, like a brit!
And while we're drinking ALL the tea, how about a downloadable Tea Tasting Journal to jot our notes and learn what we really love...
When we contemplate "Afternoon Tea," often, fancy and frilly comes to mind. And what is the height of fancy? Perhaps royalty!
Let's take a look today at some of the history of royal recipes for Afternoon Tea:
And well, you can't have a full on tea experience without understanding how to set, or "lay up" the table. Here, we learn from a royal butler:
And just in case all this talk of tea has you hankering to create your own experience at home, we found a treasure trove of recipes to delight your tea-craving senses:
Wow! We're halfway through our Twelve Days of Christmas now! Have you begun to use some of your goodies? Have you been enjoying tea? Or maybe, just maybe, you're starting to consider creating your own Afternoon Tea at home! We have a useful video for you today, along with a fun song about tea and another download!
An ode to tea that's a bit cheeky:
If you felt like the first tea journal was a bit involved, try this simpler version:
And finally, a fabulous instructional video on how to make tea sandwiches and Victoria Sponge. Settle in with a good cuppa for this one:
Almost as popular as clotted cream, lemon curd is a bit of a given with Afternoon Tea. You'll find it in tiny tarts, trolley cakes, and even as just a simple, but oh-so-bursting-with-flavor spread. It's siren call cannot be denied. Sure, you can find lemon curd in jars (it's especially wonderful from Fortum & Mason in London,) but making your own is a fairly straightforward process and means you can delight in its wonders anytime you wish!
Let's learn a bit about the history of lemon curd:
And now, a recipe:
Here's a video to give another perspective:
While we're considering how to make this delight, let's look at all the different ways:
And since you'll now be "curding" all over the place, it's great to know all the wonderful ways you can use it:
Gluten-free? Here's a recipe for a delightful cake just for you:
And finally, lemon curd is a wonderful gift. Print out these gift tags to attach to your jars as you delight family and friends:
To be fair, we might have gone a tad bit overboard today with all the lemon curd, but that's just a testament to how much we love this beautiful yellow spread. We hope you love it just as much!
Who among us knew the "good stuff" was coming out anytime our mother/grandmother/neighbor/friend mentioned she was getting out the bone china? Afternoon Tea is often served using a variety of serving pieces and cups made of this sought-after material. But...do we really know much about it or its production? Let's take a deeper dive today to learn about it!
Let's read a brief primer on what bone china actually and a bit of its history:
A few more details about "what's in my cup:"
Perhaps you collect tea cups or are considering doing so. Here's a few things to look out for:
And finally, let's watch some fine china being created in England:
So, are you turned off? Bone china has indeed been the standard in a lot of homes and many people use it without knowing the history or origin. Now...you know! :-)
We've rounded the corner on our Twelve Days of Christmas with Day 12 clearly in sight. We've explored what Afternoon Tea actually is, learned about some of the delightful recipes often found during the course of a proper "tea" experience, found out how Brits often take their tea, and explored some of the accoutrements. But let's get down to the real business of tea, shall we? I mean, which TEA is the best? And how about a cheeky commercial to brighten our day?
This fellow explores a load of teas in a blind taste test so we don't have to! Please excuse some of his more "colorful" language as he muddles his way through a cuppa brown joy:
And let's see what "expensive" vs "cheap" tea is like:
And just for fun, how about a PG Tips commercial:
As we take off today with Day 12 and the "big kahuna" in sight, we decided to revisit a sweet colorway that appeared earlier in this journey: Blueberry Jam. There is much to be said about the humble blueberry. We know that it's full of antioxidants and boasts myriad benefits for health. Did you know that this is even more true of wild blueberries? Indeed, it is! But today, our gaze shall fall upon some of the more...hmm...how shall we say, "less-healthy, more-tasty" bits of blueberry. That is...the jam!
Let's begin by learning how to make said jam:
And how about royal scones and jam and that age-old tussle re: jam and cream:
This fun tradition appears to be a take on the Russian way to drink tea and is worth a try:
And if you have five minutes of your life you'd like to spend and never get back again, try this goofy song to put a smile on your face:
And so, our journey together for "An Invitation to Tea" closes today with the big reveal on Day 12. Are you well steeped in all things tea (pun SO intended lol) or perhaps your appetite has just been whet (pun only mildly less intended...)to learn more. Where will your love of tea, patisserie and an afternoon snack take you?
To be fair, we're not quite done with the learning.
Where did cream puffs begin?
And how can you make them?
And yet another take:
Let's close today with a review of Afternoon Tea in London comparing least expensive to most expensive. Ready to book a trip?
We so hope you've enjoyed your Invitation to Tea. We've certainly enjoyed being with you each morning during our LIVE! openings! Feel free to post pics of any and all of your goodies and share the love! Only a short time remains to purchase our Eight Nights of Hanukkah and Twelve Days of Christmas 2024 at early bird pricing. The theme is A Tropical Hanukkah and A Tropical Christmas! We'll have LIVE! openings and additional content for 2024 as well! We can't wait and hope you'll journey along with us.
Happy Christmas to EWE!
**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!