Having been a regular blogger for some months now, I am learning that our blogging community is quite inspiring, helpful, encouraging and entertaining.

For instance, the title of today’s blog “Tea!”, was inspired by an address to a blog left as a comment on my Irish Soda Bread blog. Go here and check it out: Tea With Rebecca. It was written in California (I cannot tell you how it excites me how far reaching our internet goes) (and before you say, “But Cathy, you can read blogs from China if you like…” I reply by rolling my eyes and saying “I know”, but there isn’t a direct link from MY blog to a food blog in China. When I can make that connection, you just don’t KNOW how much I will celebrate). But I digress… It is 4:17 p.m. at this EXACT moment, and in our household, as with many across the globe, it is also Tea Time!

Everytime is Tea Time in the Walsh household, but scheduled tea’s are in the morning (although I drink coffee, that’s beside the point), between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. (when I do actually drink tea), and again between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. And with the afternoon and evening tea, we must have a “tea thing”. We do not have a proper English tea, meaning our supper, nor do we dig out a three tier tray to fill up with cucumber and watercress sandwiches, scones and jam, mini quiches, etc. We save that pomp for when we visit Victoria (“Ah ha!” you declare. “This is why they go to Victoria so often!”). At over a $100 bucks a visit (my teas usually involve a glass of wine), we limit our high teas to once per visit – alternating between The Dining Room Restaurant at the Butchart Gardens or the Empress Hotel. I digress again… let’s talk about tea things.

In our home, a tea thing could be either sweet or savoury: a wedge of cheese, a pastry, a piece of chocolate, a few cookies (bikkies as my hubby calls them), or a few wine gums. Whatever. It’s never a lot, just something to have with tea. My favourite is Irish Soda Bread, with butter and jam. Observe today’s tea (which has already been consumed and I’m already on cuppa number two):

I assure you, that that is in fact strawberry jam and not the guts of some poor animal. I am a writer, not a photographer (but I’m working on resolving that for the new year).

The tea, for you tea aficionado’s is called Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea. It has a story in itself. You can go here to read a version: The English Tea Store, but I would encourage you to visit Cally at Cally’s Teas at 8608 – 99 Street, Edmonton to learn about it and buy it. If you can’t wait, or don’t want to read “more words” as my Mom says, the short version is: The tea is a blend of Earl Grey and Jasmine grown in exotic lands, and is served at Buckingham Palace during an annual garden party in May (would be stupid if it was served at Balmoral Castle at Christmas with a name like that) but it tastes delicious any time of year, and that’s all that matters.

And a note about the Irish Soda Bread. Ours is all gone. If my husband is reading this, he would be wise to bake up another loaf, otherwise, I will do it myself. And if I do it myself, who knows what might happen… that recipe might get in the way of my camera, and then I might accidentally post it here.

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