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(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

The French call this recipe ‘Salmon en croute’ but it is basically fresh salmon coated with cream cheese, is desired, cooked inside pastry and it is delicious.  It does not take long to make, especially if you use ready made pastry  and it only takes 20 minutes to cook.

I used ready rolled puff pastry from the supermarket and some lovely fresh salmon and parsley from the market.  I like cream cheese so I used that too.  First, I cooked my salmon for 30 minutes in the oven with the parsley until it was almost cooked through but I could still handle it.  Then I cut my pastry into squares, placed a piece of salmon on the pastry then spread cream cheese on the top of the salmon and folded my pastry over and crimped the edges.  Brushed the whole thing with an egg wash and sliced the top to let the air out, then placed it on a baking tray.​

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(c) Julia Briggs- English Tea Store

Bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven 180C until nice and brown.

Take out of the oven but leave on the tray so it does not loose the heat.  I baked some potatoes in a cream cheese sauce whilst the oven was on and served this with peas and carrots.  I also made a fish sauce with a fish stock cube, water, cream and balsamic vinegar.  I had only clean plates afterwards so it must have been good.​

 

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(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

The other day my very friendly Market stall holder gave me some fruit for jam making and amongst the pile was some very nice juicy lemons.  Now I am a big fan of lemons and just love Lemon curd or Lemon Cheese spread as it is sometimes know.  It is very simple to make, tastes good and you can use it to sandwich a cake together as I did or just on some nice crusty bread.  So after I had made the lemon curd I bought some clotted cream and proceeded to make a celebration cake for my friend who needed a ‘pick me up’

For the lemon curd I used:  the rind of 3 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 8 oz jam sugar, 4 oz butter and 2 eggs.

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(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Grate the rind carefully not allowing any of the white pith in as this tends to make the curd bitter.  Roll the lemons on a hard surface to soften first before squeezing the juice out.  Put the rind, sugar, butter  and lemon juice into either a double boiler or a jam pan and allow the sugar to dissolve and the butter to melt.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the well beaten eggs. If you add the eggs too soon you get scrambled egg!!  Back on the heat cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, usually about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.   Pour into warm jars and seal immediately with a a circle of grease proof paper.  The next day you can use it.

Make one deep  or two shallow Victoria sandwich cakes (or buy two) and slice each one across and remove the top sliver from both cakes.  Place the base of one layer on a board and put lemon curd on then add another layer and spoon the clotted cream on top and then repeat by adding another layer of cake on top of the clotted cream and put lemon curd on this one then add the top layer of cake upside down and dust with icing sugar and decorate with any fruit you may have. (I only had strawberries left!)  Enjoy a slice with our ETS Brand Tea!

One looks at that title and thinks a cake that you boil? No not a cake that you boil but a boiled fruit, cake.  We boil the fruit first then bake it in the oven, it is a very good cake for keeping as it does not go dry very quickly.  Also an added bonus for you with egg problems it does not contain any!  If it is still too hot over there for cooking you may need to save this recipe for Winter.

Oven gas mark 4/5, 350/375 F 180 C

greased 8 inch cake tin

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(c) Julia Briggs -English Tea Store

1/2 pint water or cold tea if you have any

3 oz fat (dripping, lard, marg, cooking fat  or butter)

3 oz Sugar, brown if you have it

3-6 oz dried fruit (any combination you have)

10 oz Self Raising Flour

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.

Boil the liquid, fat, sugar and fruit together in a pan for 2 to 3 minutes.  Whilst this is cooling sieve together your dry ingredients, flour, spice and bicarb.  Combine the liquid with the dry ingredients and beat thoroughly.  Pour into the tin and bake for 40 to 50 mins depending on your own oven.  If it is burning on top then turn your oven down and leave it in longer or cover with tinfoil.  I used the whole 6 oz of fruit in mine and it was cooked in 50 mins.  It is really good when sliced and buttered with a nice cup of tea.

A little bit of French today because we are making ham and cheese pastries and as you probably know a chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese is called Chicken Cordon Bleu!

They are very simple to make ifIMG_4742 you can buy the ready-made puff pastry, you will also need some nice cooked ham and some very strong cheese.  We have made cheese pasties before and they are similar but the ham just adds that little bit extra taste and also they can be used as a main course if you make them big enough.

Roll out your pastry and place a slice of ham on, then some thick slices of a nice strong Cheddar cheese on top of the ham.  Fold the whole thing up and crimp the edges with a fork and brush with beaten egg.

Bake in a very hot oven for 20 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.  Serve straight from the oven as a main course, I served mine with some oven roasted tomatoes, or if you want you can make smaller versions and allow to cool slightly before serving as a snack with a cup of your favorite English Tea Store tea!

July has arrived! It may seem like the past few months have been flying by, but we’re here to give you a little bit of tea encouragement. The teas listed below offer special pricing that will last all month long (no code needed.)

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(c) English Tea Store – Earl Grey Teabags

The first tea is our Regular Earl Grey Tea in Fine Loose Leaf or Teabags. The Earl Grey Tea blend from English Tea Store is a blend of Ceylon and Indian teas. The tea receives its unusual and unique flavor from oil of Bergamot – which is a small acidic orange. The Bergamot orange is a cross between the sweet or pear lemon (Citrus Limetta) and the Seville or sour orange (Citrus Aurantium). The sour orange is native to Southern Vietnam. The Earl Grey Fine Loose Tea is available in 4 different sizes: 4 ounces, 8 ounces, 15 ounces, or 80 ounces. The Earl Grey Teabags are available in a 25 pouch, 25 tin, 50 pouch, 100 bulk, or 500 bulk.

Curious about the benefits of drinking Earl Grey Tea?

  • Good for your teeth – That’s right! Tea contains very high levels of catechin, which is an antioxidant that fights oral infection. Flouride is a naturally occurring component in Earl Grey.
  • Promotes good digestion – Earl Grey can aid and relieve painful digestion, colic, and nausea.
  • Fights anxiety and depression – Unfortunately, in today’s world many people suffer from anxiety, depression, or both. Maybe you’re looking for other routes instead of medicine? The Bergamot in Earl Grey has a calming effect and has natural aromatherapy qualities.
  • Weight loss – Like most teas citrus teas, Earl Grey an induce weight loss. It is thought that calories are broken down into food for your muscles or released through the metabolic process. Try adding some extra citrus like lemon!
  • Hydration (It’s Key!) – Hydration is so important for your body…and it’s not just because tea is made with water. Earl Grey has a high potassium content so it keeps your fluids in check.
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(c) English Tea Store – Mim Estate Loose Leaf

Moving on to our next July tea – Mim Estate in Loose Leaf. The Mim Estate blend from the English Tea Store has a distinctive “Muscatel” character with a hint of currant. This tea is a 2nd flush Darjeeling and comes from the Mim Estate in Northern India. The genus of the Darjeeling tea bush is the Chinese Jat, which gives it the distinctive muscatel character. The fragrance and taste is a complex bouquet that travels right out of the cup. Some may describe the taste as nutty, black currant, or muscat grape-like.

The final tea of the month is actually multiple teas in a sampler (What more could you ask for?!) – The Fruit Kick – Loose Leaf Sampler. This is great if you’re looking to try something new and adventure out of your safe zone. Each sampler pack comes with 1 ounce of each of our favorite fruit flavored loose leaf teas: Apple Spice Black Tea, Blackcurrant Black Tea, Pomegranate Lemon Black Tea, Wild Blueberry Organic Tea, and Florida Orange Rooibos Tea. We recommend brewing in water, that has been brought to a boil, for 3-5 minutes.

Okay – I think we’ve given you a lot to think about. Tell us your favorite flavored tea!

When someone asked me to think back to when I first started drinking tea, I had to think. It was in my teen years, but I’m not sure what led me into drinking tea back then. Maybe it was my introduction to “white tea” and “green tea” that tantalized my taste buds. It took me a while to adapt to these, but I didn’t really explore tea until I got older.

tolsll_hblbbl_bingo-blueberry-herbal-loose-leaf-teaChildren in the United Kingdom are usually introduced to home-brewed tea at a young age. Cups of black tea are incorporated into everyday life and are later introduced to other types of teas like darjeeling and oolong. They learn to become little connoisseurs! American children do drink tea but not as much as their English counterparts. One thing they do have in common is the tea sets! Many children have tea sets and love to throw tea parties! They can invite friends or family to join them for tea time (I would have tea with my dolls and stuffed animals). Having tea together encourages play time, imagination, and social skills.

I live with my nine-year-old nephew and he has a budding interest in tea. When he learned I became a tea blogger and what I would be doing, he was very interested and tried a few brews with me. Now, I like to brew myself a cup of decaf tea at night to encourage sleep and my nephew will ask for a cup, which I will happily make for him. While he prefers his iced, he loves tea very much and we will drink together. Sometimes his oldeteatolp1000000819_-06_bella-coola-caffeine-free-tea-sampler-loose-herbal-teasr sister and younger brother will even join us! My nephew has even tasted PG Tips which he likes. While I have yet to teach him the winning combination of digestives and tea, he has expressed interest in not just trying teas alone but biscuits and cakes! I really enjoy teaching him about tea and English culture. I am so proud to be this young man’s aunt!

For the little tea drinker, a good fruit tea can be suitable for their young taste buds. A simply wonderful tea for children is our Bingo Blueberry. While it is good hot, it is refreshing as an iced tea. It is an herbal tea so it has no caffeine and has a strong blueberry flavor along with a dark purplish color. Another kid-approved tea is the Bella Coola, which has a citrusy pineapple flavor. The color for this one is a little bit orange-red. This one is good iced with a garnish of strawberry or pineapple. Since summer is almost here, another way to enjoy these teas is to make popsicles out of them (once they are sweetened to the child’s liking).

Warning: When brewing tea, make sure an adult is handling the hot water and enjoy under proper supervision.

If you know me, one of my favorite brands of tea to brew is PG Tips. It is usually my go-to tea for whenever I feel like I need a good pick-me-up or something to warm me up in the cold days of winter. It was one of the first British teas I tasted before I really began to dive into British food and culture and I introduced it to my young nephew, keeping the love for PG Tips well into the next generation.

teatpgt1000031917_-00_pg-tips-juicy-raspberry-green-tea-bags-20-count teatpgt1000032454_-00_pg-tips-red-bush-vanilla-herbal_1While plain black tea is what they started with, PG tips recently began to expand their tea line from beyond the standard black tea. While there is loose leaf and decaf, PG Tips has ventured into the world of green, herbal, and fruit teas. Five varieties of green tea have been produced by PG, Pure Green, Juicy Raspberry, Fragrant Jasmine, Vibrant Mandarin Orange, and Zesty Lemon. Each box of green tea has 20 bags and is a fine blend from Indonesia and Kenya. All but the Pure Green are infused with a floral or fruity flavor.

Perhaps you fancy a more lighter taste and less caffeine? That’s where the herbal teas come in. Delicate Camomile, Refreshing Peppermint, Smooth Redbush and Vanilla, and Aromatic Spices and Mint are all here to soothe you. Camomile is infused with delicate flowers, Peppermint is a clean and refreshing minty goodness, Redbush and Vanilla is a mixture of South African Rooibos, vanilla flavor, hibiscus flowers, and cranberry, and finally Spices and Mint is a combination of familiar spices like cinnamon, mint, and a bit of orange.

Still prefer black tea? There are some new varieties that PG tips has in store such as the Strong One and the Fresh One. The Strong One has a bright red color when brewed, a malty aroma, and a bold tea character. This tea is blended from teas grown in Kenya and other African nations. The Fresh One is also red when brewed, and this tea is a Breakfast Blend plus English Breakfast, all blended from tea grown in Kenya.

It is hard to choose from all these varieties! I like to expand my horizons and try new tea but if you’re a tea lover like myself, you might have a large cupboard full of tea! Have you tried any of these flavors? Let us know!

Quick Blurb: Sencha is Japan’s most popular type of tea.

Sencha is traditionally a Japanese green tea that is made from leaves of the Japanese tea bush. In recent years, Sencha teas have been known to be produced in China, South Korea, and other countries. In 1740, a Kyoto tea master named Soen Nagatani developed the method of steam processing green leaf resulting in a superb, fresh flavorful cup.

When Sencha is brewed it has a vibrant yellow color and light aroma. The taste can be described as both bitter and sweet – making this tea a very unique experience.

Health Benefits:

  • Fights against free radicals in the bodyTOLSLL_GRNSJP_-Sencha-Japanese-Green-Tea-loose-leaf-tea
  • Antioxidants can aid in preventing coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis
  • Absorbs extra cholesterol in the body
  • Can control blood sugar levels
  • Beneficial to the immune system
  • Helps aid osteoporosis
  • Burns calories and can help during weight loss
  • Helps retain youthful skin and reduce wrinkles by hydrating
  • Repairs damaged or inflamed skin
  • Natural relief for sore throat or cough
  • Tea extract can be used for aromatherapy

Caffeine Content: LOW

This tea contains natural caffeine found in the L.Camellia Sinensis family. A cup of green tea steeped in boiled water for 5 minutes will contain between 22-29 milligrams of caffeine. An equal sized cup of coffee will contains 80-100 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine quickly becomes soluble in very hot water. If you want to reduce the caffeine level in this tea, briefly rinse the tea leaves in extremely hot water. The caffeine content will reduce 25-50% – this may have a minor effect on the taste of the tea.

Antioxidant Content: 7.5 -9.99% polyphenols by dry weight. The longer you steep your tea the more polyphenols will be extracted. Polyphenol percentages may fluctuate with lot, grade of tea, testing method, temperature of water, and freshness of tea. More antioxidants are extracted from tea the longer it is brewed. The more that the tea is used the greater the antioxidant benefits.

During the month of June, try Sencha Japanese Green Tea at 15% off the original price! It’s available in loose leaf or bags.

Is it grey, or is it green? Our second Tea of the Month for May is both! Enjoy 15% off the forever favoriteTOLSLL_GRNEGR-16oz_-00_Earl-Grey-Green-Tea-Loose-Leaf-16oz made fresh with bergamot and green tea. Bergamot is a small citrus orange that blossoms in winter.

Tea was originally flavoured with bergamot to imitate the more expensive types of Chinese tea. This practice dates back to the 1820’s in the UK. In 1837 there is a record of a lawsuit against a tea maker who was found to have supplied tea “artificially scented, and, drugged with bergamot in this country.”

The Earl Grey blend, or “Earl Grey’s Mixture,” is assumed to be named after The 2nd Earl Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s and author of the Reform Bill of 1832. Lord Grey reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic perquisite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil. The English Tea Store is one of few who takes this original Earl Grey blend and surprises you with a base of green tea.

Editor’s note – I love the word perquisite – so much nicer than today’s “perk.”

We’re finally in the month of May, and we’re in the middle of Spring. This means more outings, more time outside, and more time spent with family, especially mothers. Mother’s Day is celebrated in May in the United States.

Mothers-Day-11For the US, mothers have been celebrated and thanked for about a hundred years. All mothers, young and old, are celebrated by their children everywhere. They are often taken on special breakfasts, meals (as long as they do not have to cook on their special holiday), given bouquets of flowers, cakes, cards, or their favorite personal gift. This was all made possible thanks to Anna Jarvis, who wanted to honor not just her own mother, but all mothers. In 1907 she began campaigning for a National Mother’s Day in the United States; she struggled for many years until 1914. It was that year when President Woodrow Wilson designated Mother’s Day as the second Sunday in May by signing a Joint Resolution.

Although Miss Jarvis is known as the Mother of all Mother’s Day, the idea of Mother’s Day was first noted by a poet by the name of Julia Ward Howe in 1872. She is also known for famously penning the Civil War song “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in 1870.

While Mother’s Day is considered a major holiday for many, for the British, Mother’s Day came and went much earlier. It is actually celebrated on the fourth Sunday during Lent. Since the days of Lent are different each year, this would make Mother’s Day in the UK fall on different dates, as well.

British Mother’s Day was originally known as Mothering Sunday as early as the 1600s. It was a time when people returned to the original church they went to or where they were baptized when they were younger. Young people who were working as servants were given the holiday off on Mothering Sunday, so they took the day to visit their mums and brought gifts to her. Girls baked Simnel Cakes, a light fruit cake covered in marzipan and another layer of marzipan baked into the cake along with 11 or 12 balls of marzipan on top. The balls of marzipan represent the disciples of Jesus Christ and sometimes Jesus Christ himself.  Today it is celebrated in the similar fashion of the United States in which children celebrate and give gifts to their mothers (or mums) with the addition of their mums being taken to high tea.

There are various ways of celebrating Mother’s Day with your mother. If your mother is a tea lover, tea always makes a perfect gift for her! A fruity tea like Lady Londonderry is wonderful iced. Flavorful hints of strawberry and lemon make it perfect for a good afternoon drink! Or is your mom a morning person? Maybe a good Irish Breakfast would suit her just well!

And to nibble on? Perhaps some basic Digestives plain or the added bonus of chocolate? Then there’s Tunnock’s Caramel biscuits in which you can’t go wrong. Only problem is that there’s only four in the pack! They are that tasty!

However you choose to celebrate, your mother is the most important person in your life. Give her the best or give her a call!

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