I have three passions in life: food, tea, and books. When all of these can be combined, I’m in seventh heaven. They often meet in the form of cookbooks, and when I find a new cookbook, sometimes I am hard pressed to resist. The cookbook shelf in our kitchen overflows, and still, I just can’t stop myself. My most recent purchase was for the recession-friendly price of sixty-nine cents at the local thrift store, so Mr. Tea Scoop couldn’t complain too much about that one. This slim volume by Ellen Easton goes beyond a few tea party recipes.
Nearly the first forty pages have little to nothing to do with tea. Instead they provide basic cooking information and an abundance of kitchen references. Although this information is duplicated in many of my other books, it might be nice for a novice cook. It did strike me as a bit of fluff to bring the book to a publishable length. The section on tea provides the same basic information on brewing as other volumes on the subject, as well as a quick glossary of tea grades. I did find the section on pairing tea and food quite useful, as well as a tea party checklist.
A tea party hostess (or host) could find many small details in this book to make the occasion more special, such as various techniques of napkin folding and a list of complete menus. The “travel” part of the title comes in for the recipes, many of which are from famous hotels. The recipes range from simple to gourmet, and are definitely the highlight of this little book. I was intrigued by the Green Tomato Jam & Reggiano Cheese Tea Sandwiches from The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, which include baby rosebuds. I would also like to try my hand at whipping up a batch of Tea Jelly, made with orange juice.
I should add that this book, being from the thrift store, is a bit out of date. The book was published fifteen years ago. While there is a lot of additional information to bulk up the book, the recipes definitely look like they are worth giving a try.
Don’t forget to check out Stephanie’s blog, The Tea Scoop!
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