Posted by: Sarah | November 17, 2011

Thursday Tea Party: A Grandma and A Duchess

The Reading:

I’ve just ordered my next batch of books to get me through Thanksgiving. While I wait for those to arrive, I’m reading a sweet cookbook given to me by my friend Kristina McMorris. It’s an absolute treasure: a collection of her grandma’s family recipes aptly titled, Grandma Jean’s Rainy Day Recipes. As is my practice of reading cookbooks like novels, I’m flipping through this today and feel as if I’ve been welcomed into Grandma Jean’s kitchen and Kristina’s childhood.

Page one, the characters are introduced: “Recipes compiled by Irma Jean McPherren. Edited by Kristina Yoshida McMorris.” Right there, I feel the story beginning. The leading character is Irma Jean McPherren. The narrator is her loving granddaughter Kristina.

Page three: A gorgeous black and white photo of the Cordell family in Iowa on May 28, 1938. In case you didn’t know, I treasure old photographs. One instant plucked from time and my imagination starts spinning the story. In this image, Jean stands young and center and appears to be the only one directly meeting the camera’s gaze. 

Page four: The history of Grandma Jean followed by over 400 of the culinary creations that graced her table. I’m particularly fond of dishes with names like Shipwrecked Casserole (p. 8), Beula’s Brown Bread (p. 78), Tea Doughnuts (p. 98), Miss Daisy’s Pimiento Cheese (p. 126), Pride O’Pumpkin Cake (p. 149), Cherry Cha Cha (p.178), and Cooky Candies (p.215), to name a few.

So with Thanksgiving a week away, I’m flipping through Grandma Jean’s collection looking for some yummy inspiration–tried and true by generations of practice and all of Grandma Jean’s children and grandchildren who savored the mouthfuls.

The Tea:

I’m drinking Trader Joe’s Duchess Grey Tea, which I purchased while visiting Kristina in Portland, Oregon. It is a black tea infused with orange, lemon and bergamot. The sales pitch on the side of the box say, “… a delicate fragrant variation of Earl Grey Tea. Try a warm cup on a bright morning.” I can completely imagine drinking this on a sunny fall, winter, spring or summer day. It’s incredibly aromatic and absolutely scrumptious. The orange and lemon add a surprising and tasty twist to the usual Earl Grey. I’m a big fan of this Duchess brew. 

Sarah’s Sipping Summary:

Since I purchased this with my friend by my side, I think it’s a nice memory correlation to my reading fodder. If it weren’t for Kristina, I wouldn’t have the cookbook or the tea. So thank you, my dear!

Cheers, Sarah

P.S. Remember to visit Beth Fish Reads and Anastasia at their Thursday Teas.

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