Monday, February 6, 2017

A Nice Tea

"[Tea] is composed not merely of tea and cakes, but of bread and butter, of various relishes, and of fruits, either fresh or preserved."
Breakfast, Dinner, and Tea, Viewed Classically, Poetically, and Practically (1860) 
" Have in another tray, your biscuit spread, wafers, toast, cake, tongue, beef, or whatever is prepared to send, all neatly arranged, to take round as soon as you have served the tea..."
The Skillful Housewife's Book (1852)

I had the pleasure of hosting a small gathering of friends just before the snow set in, and took the opportunity to revisit some of my old Historic Food Fortnightly challenges.

Returning receipts included Victoria SandwichesTea Cakes, and my standby Dessert Biscuits (which have never actually been used for a HFF challenge). For a new challenge, I adapted Miss Beecher's Sally Lunn receipt (page 101) into buns, which were served with Miss Leslie's Whole Raspberries Preserved in Jelly (also not a HFF challenge, but made as a follow-up to the Pyramid of Tarts this last autumn).

1850s-1860s tea food
CW from top: tea cakes, more tea cakes, cherry jam,
preserved raspberries, Victoria sandwiches,
assorted dessert biscuits, Sally Lunn buns.

1855 Tea Cakes: caraway, orange peel, cinnamon
Tea cakes, from left to right: caraway seed, orange peel, cinnamon.
I didn't figure out what to do for savories this time around, but fortunately several of the guests thought to bring cheese and sandwiches, so we didn't get completely off balanced consuming sugary baked goods.

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