Archive for the ‘Domestic Bliss’ Category
Us dames are quite partial to a wee bit of afternoon tea, so naturally we were delighted to be invited to a rather scrumptious High Tea over the Easter Weekend. There were baked treats a plenty, plates and plates of delicious dainty finger sandwhiches and cup after cup of lovely piping hot tea. Suffice to say, we were rather happily stuffed by the end of it and treated ourselves further to a well earned nap once we had rolled on home. What better way to spend Easter Sunday? I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
Left: Darling little easter themed mini carrot cupcakes. Right: The cutest tea cosy you ever did see (you can buy one just like it here).
Lolly coloured macarons made by Miss Paula. Flavours included Vanilla and Rose, Lime and Jasmine Tea, Passionfruit and Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate and Cranberry.
Left: Tasty little Lime Meringue Pie morsels. Right: Strawberry and Cream Sponge Friands… these were to die for!
These retro little beauties are known as Sponge Lillies.
Whilst perusing the Penguin Markets during The Dames’ recent trip to Tasmania I came across a quaint little stall selling vintage clothing, patterns, material and other vintage goodies. Whilst scrounging through a table of old magazines I stumbled across a few editions of the Australian Home Journal from the 1950′s and early 1960′s. I was immediately attracted to the covers of the magazines which are beautifully decorated with illustrations of lovely ladies dressed in the latest fashion outfits of the time. More fashion designs are illustrated inside, which back in the day, readers could get patterns of via mail order. The rest of the magazine features recipes, knitting and crochet patterns, fashion-related DIY and handy hints, short stories, advice columns, and plenty of ads for powders and potions to keep you regular, make you slim, and get rid of your freckles. With every issue, a paper tissue pattern was included with instructions on how to make them. A couple of the copies I picked up still had some patterns intact which I was happy to discover.
Left: The cover of the April Edition 1958 Australian Home Journal. Right: Designs for mail order patterns.
Left: The cover of the July Edition 1960 Australian Home Journal. Right: Designs for mail order patterns.
Along with the journals, I also picked up some cute spotty Bias Binding and floral fabrics.
There is nothing quite like a piping hot cup of tea, it soothes the soul and warms the cockles of your heart.
Picture me upon your knee
Just tea for two
And two for tea
Just me for you
And you for me alone
Some of my fondest memories have taken place whilst sharing tea. Lovely tea parties with friends, long talks with mum over a cup of earl grey, an invigorating cup after a hard days work in the garden, sharing a fruity, fragrant cuppa and a tasty treat with my sister after work and experiencing the delights of High Tea at different restaurants on my travels.
One of my most favourite ‘tea’ memories is having Devonshire Tea at the Berry Farm cafe in Margaret River. Whilst the family and I munched away happily on our delicious freshly baked scones we were visited by some very brave fat little birdies who LOVED jam. I was in pure heaven! I had fairy wrens hop-hopping around my feet, silver eyes perched nearby and honey eaters eating jam off my finger. This delightful little memory inspired me to create the ‘Tea for Two’ print for the Food for Thought Exhibition. Yay for tea and fat little birds!
I recently celebrated my 27th birthday, and what a lovely birthday it was! I shared a gorgeous afternoon tea with my fabulous family and friends. There were plenty of tasty homemade goodies to be had… my sister cooked scrumptious Blueberry Sponge Cakes and Lemon Tarts, Paula baked some heavenly Strawberry Custard Tarts and my Mam and Aunties prepared some very retro but very delicious finger tea sandwiches complete with (cellophane tipped toothpicks). After a near baking disaster I managed to pull together some tasty Chocolate Raspberry Cakes.
Left: Blueberry Spongecakes, Lemon Tarts
Right: Choc Raspberry Cakes, Strawberry Custard Tarts.
I have a real passion for baking and Tea Party’s are always a welcome opportunity to really ‘go to town’ and bake up a storm. I love sharing food with my family and friends, and I I love the way food brings people together. There is a real pleasure in making people happy by giving them something delicious to eat, I adore this sharing of nourishment and companionship.
Don’t you think a tea party is just the loveliest way to spend bright morning or lazy afternoon with friends? I love how this gentle social art is becoming so fashionable again. Sweet treats, delectable little finger sandwiches and fragrant, hot tea served in cute tea sets. What’s not to love?
When I first moved out of home, dizzy with the new-found novelty of of domestic bliss, I was oh-so-keen to host wonderful dinner parties with all the trimmings. But after two attempts… and my famished guests waiting until VERY late in the pm to have their main meal… I have finally turned up my snubby nose at dinner parties. Tea parties are so much more superior– You pre-make practically all the refreshments and then all you have to do is boil the kettle when your guests arrive. PERFECT!
There’s something very comforting and almost romantic about a lovely hot cup of tea- it’s a simple pleasure that everyone can relate to! It was pretty cool to see in the vast array of works produced for the Food for Thought exhibition, that quite a few artists had created their own rendition on the Tea theme. (Including Carly and I of course!). This piece above entitled “Tea Party” is an ode to the many cups of pink tea shared with my ex housemate Olivia in our drafty crooked blue house. We nicknamed Leaf’ Mt Lawley’s Island Groove blend “pink tea” as it brewed up to the most gorgeous raspberry colour. You can see in the background of this artwork though, that the tea, when used as a colourwash, has much more of a blueish grey tinge! The fabulous teaset featured was a flawless set that Olivia found in a local op-shop… An absolute treasure made in Spain in the 1960′s-70′s! What a gorgeous gift.
Another obsession of mine is the Parisian style Macaron. Oh, my! The colours and flavours (or “parfums” as they say in french) absolutely appeal to my design sensibilities and of course my appetite! During a trip to Paris in 2008, I made it my mission to seek out the best Macarons in Paris… the winner is the celebrated Parisian pastry chef, Pierre Hermé. His flavour combinations are inspired, and the macarons are little bites of perfection that melt in your mouth. Trailing behind at second place is the famous tea house Ladurée, who catered the sugary confections seen in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette film. The macarons are of lower quality imho, but the adorable packaging is enough to seduce the packaging-whore in me!
On my return from Paris I was determined to recreate the wondrous pastry in my own kitchen, and after a couple of failed attempts, I scoured the internet for the best macaron tips and recipes. The pistachio and grapefruit macarons in the photo above to this day are my favourite flavour, which I made using a recipe by the very talented Aran of Canelle et Vanille. The most comprehensive advice on baking macarons that I have found is on the Australian Syrup and Tang blog. Baking macarons is an adventure fraught with danger, and beginners will almost always produce ugly (but nonetheless delicious) results, so proceed with caution!