Tuesday, June 29, 2010


These cookies may be my all time favorite. I make them about 1 inch wide, so they are a perfect bite of sweetness, with a lemon tang.

Tea parties are best if dishes can be made ahead, requiring as little last minute preparation as possible. These lemon cookies are perfect. The dough can be made up and kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days. The cookies can be baked and frozen for a month or so. After icing them, they will keep in airtight tin for a day or two.
Actually they are very good iced for a week or so, but I recommend icing them no earlier than a day ahead for a special occasion.

Lemon Melt Away Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Lemon Frosting, (see recipe below)
In a large bowl at low speed, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and mix until fluffy. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, beat well. Add flour and cornstarch into butter mixture, mix well until blended.
Divide dough in half and shape each half into 8"x1" roll. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 to 2 hours. (I found that this dough will keep for a few days. I haven't tried this, but I think you could probably freeze these rolls. That way you could bake one roll and save the other one for another day.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With a sharp knife, cut each roll into 1/4 inch slices. Place on cookies on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned, top should not brown. Remove from oven, carefully remove baking sheet and cool on wire racks. When cool spread top of cookies with Lemon Frosting.
Lemon Frosting
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
Combine butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and confectioner's sugar, stir until mixed.
Additional lemon juice may be needed to get frosting thin enough.
Yields 4 dozen cookies

Monday, June 28, 2010


The ladies that attended the tea are pictured below, hats and all.
It was a pleasure researching, testing and preparing the dishes for the tea. I included a picture of the blackboard that displayed the menu. Everyone followed along with the menu and even picked up on an item I failed to serve. I don't have a good handwriting, so I asked my friend Sally to do this for me.

The Menu is as follows:

May Wine



Cheese Biscuits

Chicken Salad

Olive Tea Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches


Current Scones

Lemon Curd

Strawberry Jam

Clotted Cream


Strawberry Tarts

High Tea Lemon cookies

Black Forrest Cookies

Scottish Petticoat Tails


My first experience with Cucumber Sandwiches was on a trip to London in the late 1960s, from our home in Bonn, Germany. We had a week in London and decided we had to see everything, since we might never get back. We toured everyday, many out of the city to places like Oxford and Strafford on Avon. At night we went to stage shows, arrived home around midnight and back on a tour early the next morning. On one of the tours we were starving, seems the tour didn't stop for lunch. My husband Dale darted into a tea room and bought two of the only kind of sandwiches they had, cucumber. They were like heaven, even though anything would of tasted great at that stage of our hunger, these sandwiches still are a favorite with Dale and me.

Cucumber Sandwiches

1/2 or desired amount of an English/hot house cucumber
1/2 cup of unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup coarsely chopped watercress if available, I used about 1/4 cup dill
1 loaf of white or whole wheat, or both, thinly sliced bread, Pepperidge Farm makes the thinnest sliced bread. The bread works best is frozen before making the sandwiches.
Salt to taste.

I prefer not to peel English cucumbers, but you may if you wish. Slice very thin.
spread the bread with butter, sprinkle with dill or watercress and salt if needed.

At this point you need to decide how you plan to cut the sandwiches. I used 2 inch biscuit cutter and placed the cucumber slices on a circle of bread. If you prefer to make sandwiches and slice in to triangles, remove the crust before spreading the bread with butter.

Sandwiches may be made several hours before serving. Place waxed paper between layers and cover and seal tightly with plastic wrap.

Makes about 8 whole sandwiches, 16 halves, 24 circles or 32 quarters.
If you are doing this for a party and have a bunch of stuff to do, invite a friend to help. I actually gave this job to my daughter Melissa and my friend Emily.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I'm sure most of you thought by now, I would never be back. I truly don't know where Spring went. Once the snow melted and things began to warm up, I went to the garden, my passion until the weather gets hot or cold. Now that it is hot, I can get back to recipes. I have some good ones for you to try now and next spring.

One of the things that took some of my time, was an English afternoon tea for 6 that I sold at a fund raiser for PEO. I did quite a lot of research and testing for this and I must say things turned out very well. All the time I was doing the preparation, my mind kept drifting back to the 2 years we lived at Pycard's Hall, Reed by Bury St. Edward, Suffolk, England, that was our actual address for receiving mail, no numbers at all. Reed was a village of about 100 people, one pub, The Plough and a Norman church that hadn't been active for at least 200 years. Some of you won't be interested in putting on a tea, but the recipes will work for many occasions and are certainly worth trying. I will put the tea recipes in a special category, Afternoon Tea, instead of desserts, sandwiches or bread, etc.. I hope you will enjoy them as much as the guests and my husband.

Thank you for your patience, I hope I can make up for this long delay.