Typhoo – One of Britain’s Finest

Although we’re southerners, born and raised, where Sunday dinner typically consists of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, soup beans, biscuits, cornbread, etc., we decided to go another route for our Sunday afternoon meal when our children were young. The reasons for doing this were two-fold. One, we wanted to give our children, who were involved in gymnastics and ballet, a better chance than we had of not growing up to be a fat kid, and two we wanted to teach them proper table manners, grace, and etiquette. So, on Sunday afternoon we sat down to tea with a tablecloth on the table and Blue Willow dishes from which to eat our sandwiches and scones. We played classical music in the background and talked about whatever topic came up. Needless to say, since our children were aged five, seven, and fifteen when we started this, give or take a year, the discussions usually centered around questions about something from a Sunday School lesson, or working out the logistics of an upcoming gymnastics meet when the younger two were older, or if it was November we discussed the Nutcracker a lot because all three children eventually danced in it as one or more characters.

During that timeframe, we were going to church in Huntsville which was a 50 minute drive one way, so during Nutcracker season the parts that our children were in usually held practice on Sunday afternoon. We tended to spend the whole day in Huntsville rather than make two round trips because not only did we go to the morning services we also attended the evening services. Those Sundays were really loooooong days for everyone. We enjoyed doing Nutcracker but were ever so glad to get back to our Sunday afternoons at home and continue the calming effect of afternoon tea.

Our children are all grown and gone now, but Rick and I still continue to have afternoon tea on Sunday in lieu of lunch and supper. Almost without fail I make a pot of Typhoo tea while Rick handles making lettuce wraps which are more Keto-friendly than the sandwiches of old. Don’t misunderstand me here and think that we are dyed-in-the-wool Keto folks like those we admire and are tying to emulate. We’re not, yet, but we’re working on it. We still enjoy a couple of Walkers shortbread cookies with our wraps and tea in the event that I’ve not gotten around to making a Keto cookie to enjoy instead. The impetus of this ritual isn’t so much eating for nourishment but enjoying the quietness of the moment. It gives us time to be still together, enjoy our tea and a light meal, and converse about the week that’s past or the one to come. And yes, we do still play classical music while we enjoy our afternoon together.

WP-Typhoo Box“Why Typhoo?” I hear you ask. “What happened to PG Tips?” Well, I’ll tell you. I can’t remember just when or why we started drinking Typhoo, but I’m pretty sure it’s because we ran out of PG Tips and teadog didn’t have that brand in stock at the time I went to order more but did have Typhoo. I think that at that time it was even offered in a tin, and you know me and tins. I still have and store my Typhoo in that rectangular red tin. It holds two foil bags, so I have one of regular Typhoo and one of decaf.

I really do enjoy Typhoo. It is a full-bodied blend with no bitterness, unless of course you let the teabags sit in the pot all day long (yes, I’ve done that) and then warm up that tea. Still, it only takes a bit more milk to tame this stronger cup of tea. I enjoy Typhoo with honey moreso than with Swerve, Stevia, or even monk fruit. Again, honey is not allowed on a Keto diet, but there are just some things I’m not willing to give up yet and my honey is one of them. I’ve given up many of the sugary and gluten rich foods that are not good for me, but honey will probably stick around for a while longer.

Since you’re sitting at the computer, take a few minutes and visit the Typhoo website. There’s a lot of good information there including the history of the brand. For example, I had no idea it began as a cure for indigestion. Amazing! When I visited the site before I started writing this post, I was surprised, and may I say thrilled, when I found that there are recipes for sweets to make and enjoy while drinking your tea. Needless to say, I’m going to have to try some of these. I’ll probably substitute Swerve for the sugar and almond flour for the flour. I think I’ll start with either the Honeyed Tea Cupcakes or the Tea Flavoured Shortbread. They all look quite yummy though, so I’m sure there’ll come a day when I can say I’ve tried them all. While I can drink tea by itself I really prefer to have WP-My Typhoosomething to go with it. Otherwise, it’s like eating a sandwich without potato chips. Also, take their quiz, share it on social media, and you could win a year’s supply of Typhoo tea. I took the quiz which ended up looking like this, but I haven’t figured out how to share it yet. I’m very behind the times and don’t have a clue as to how to use hashtags. Besides, while winning a year’s supply of Typhoo would be absolutely amazing, I’m even more interested in getting my hands on the little one-person teapot and cup that shows up in their home page banner. That would definitely make my day.

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. Links are given for reference and ease of use only.

Photo credit: teadog

Magazine Monday – The Farmhouse Movement

At the end of March, Rick and I went to Gatlinburg for a long weekend. We used to do this for “spring break” when the kids were given a week off from their dance and gymnastics classes. They’d go visit their grandparents while Rick and I would spend three or four days alone in a chalet. This go around our trip had nothing to do with anyone’s schedule but was made more out of habit. It seems we’d gotten used to being in Gatlinburg in March and something didn’t seem quite right without our annual trip there. While we’re pretty much couch potatoes once we get settled in, we do make at least one, and this trip two, visits to Books a Million (BAM) while there. BAM used to be one of our places to visit daily when the kids were in classes, so it’s just a natural place for us to go. Of course, I always have to have an Oreo Candy Blast and love the double chocolate chip cookies that they now offer even though they’re definitely not per diet. But I digress…
Mag-Farmhouse-Vol 1 Issue 2
At our first visit to the bookstore during this trip, I ran across a new-to-me magazine. It may be new to you as well since the March/April 2018 issue is only the second one. It’s The Farmhouse Movement magazine, and I hate that I missed the premiere issue. I was actually looking for the latest issue of The Magnolia Journal, which I found and bought, when one of the articles listed on the cover of this new-to-me magazine caught my eye. It’s been recommended that I change my eating habits and follow a ketogenic diet. To do this I have to change the type of flour that I use to bake with from our standard variety to coconut, and/or almond flour. Not an easy concept for someone my age to grasp (and we won’t even discuss the implementation thereof). So, when I saw a review of six different flours inside this issue, I knew I needed to check out that information as well as whatever else was hiding between the front and back covers.

I took a moment to look at the table of contents and saw that it included an article on starting a garden, basic sewing, and making some simple products to use in the home. Of course, there were a few other articles that caught my eye, but the ones that hit me first were enough to intrigue me into giving this new publication a whirl. Once we were back at our sweet little cabin, I sat down and started at the beginning since I needed to get a feel for the mind behind the magazine. That mind appears to belong to Jordan Schrandt. You may have heard of her, but as a quilty person, who tends to have blinders on where new names and faces outside the quilt world are concerned, I had not. You can learn more about her on her website though, as have I. She seems like a lovely young woman with a vision who has taken on the challenge to enable others to live a better quality of life.

Now, for my thoughts on the magazine… The magazine is very well done in terms of photos and layout. It has a nice matte finish and contains 99 pages. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that there wasn’t a single advertisement included in the page count. That means you’re truly getting your $8 worth out of this publication. I know advertisements are what help to keep the cost of publication down, but I have stopped subscribing to some magazines for this very reason.

The review of the six different types of flour was very helpful. I’m still a bit confused but figure if I read the page 100 times, like the TA in one of my computer classes recommended we do with new information (this was in 1992 by the way), I might be able to retain the nuances of the different flours and how to use them long enough to actually bake with them. Still, I’ll probably take a picture of the page with my phone (Victoria taught me this trick) so that I can use it as my “cheat sheet” when the time comes to start experimenting. Actually, we did bake a loaf of keto bread using both almond and coconut flour a few weeks ago. Can’t say as I was impressed with the result, but it was better than having no bread at all for making sandwiches. Hopefully, with this new information, on these new-to-me flour types, we’ll have a better outcome in future baking adventures.

The information shared on basic sewing was indeed very basic. It is definitely meant for a beginner who has very little to no experience using a needle and thread. Instructions on equipping a sewing box, threading a needle, hemming, sewing on buttons, and mending holes were given. It should get newbies started but some good tips were left out. For example, when hemming, be sure to take a back stitch every two to three inches so that the whole hem does not come out. That way you’ll only have to repair a few inches instead of re-hemming the whole section. Plus, tie off your thread when you’ve finished a seam before you cut the thread. I do a backstitch and run the needle through the resulting loop before pulling the thread tight to secure. Only then do I clip my threads. I wouldn’t recommend having stitches that were 1/2″ apart either. We’d call those toe-catchers. The mentioned 1/4″ apart would be better and even a bit smaller distance between stitches better still. I can hear my grandmother now telling me to always take small stitches.

While I enjoyed reading the information on gardening, making natural cleaning items, kitchen economics, and making a house look more farmhouse-like, I didn’t read the article on chickens, though I may go ahead and do that, eventually. No offense to anyone, but I greatly dislike chickens. I grew up having to tend to them and they’re just not my favorite critters. I learned at a very young age never to turn my back on roosters. Needless to say, I got very good at walking backwards.

There was a good article on forgiveness as well as articles on intentional parenting. It was nice to read about another family that homeschooled their children and to be reminded that no one is a perfect parent (something I guess I struggle with accepting if I were to be honest). I could totally relate to the article on foster parenting and adoption as Rick and I have done both. The articles were well written and brought back a lot of memories.

Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed the magazine and could relate to it well, even though much of it seemed to be geared to a younger audience than myself. The next issue is said to be coming out in May, so I will definitely keep an eye out for it. At the beginning of the magazine there is a page that explains the farmhouse movement. You can read that for yourself here. Given the direction our country seems to have been taken in, and its people have allowed themselves to go over the past several decades, I hope that the movement takes hold of young parents and enables them to nurture and train up the children who will become our future leaders. Our pastor in Albuquerque gave a sermon many years ago entitled “Give Me the Old Paths.” I couldn’t help but be reminded of that sermon, possibly from Jeremiah 6:16, and the need for families, for our country, to return to the values and morals that were once so common and expected. Under the name of the magazine are the words, “Timeless Truths of Healthy Homes.” Never before have we needed more truth and healthier homes than is needed now. Good work Miss Jordan! I look forward to enjoying your next issue.

Freebie Friday

In the aftermath of our Shop Hop, it has emerged that next to the discounts the thing our hoppers liked most about the hop was the freebies. Everyone seemed to be looking for the freebies. So, in my blog during the shop hop days in addition to sharing who won our door prizes I also shared several links to freebies that were available to you on the World Wide Web. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to check those out and are ready for a new freebie.

“What kind of freebie?” I hear you asking. How about a free magazine? How about two or three free magazines? It seems that e-magazines are popping up all over, and I even subscribed to the McCall’s Quilting online version myself. But, to be honest with you, I’d still rather have the old-fashioned paper version in my hands to flip through over and over (and over) again. That means that each time I visit one of the bookstores in Huntsville I look through a copy of McCall’s Quilting knowing full well that I have the same thing sitting on my computer at home…unopened. Yes, the file that I’m sent for each new issue sits unopened and waiting for when I feel like I have a few spare minutes that I want to sit in front of the computer and stare at it just a little while longer. The plus to having a hard copy is I can sit in my favorite easy chair with my feet up, have my tall glass of ice water and my favorite Dove chocolates by my side. Much, much, much more relaxing I think than sitting in front of the computer screen. So, when my online subscription runs out it is very unlikely that I will re-subscribe. I’ll go back to getting my hard copy through the mail and hope that it doesn’t sustain too much damage as it travels to my mailbox.

OK…enough of that. You’ve shown so much patience in waiting for me to get off my soapbox and share the links to those free magazines I mentioned earlier. Here they are! The first is for Kona Bay’s Asian Fabric magazine that was originally available only in print. Issues 26 and 27 are now free for viewing online. When I first started reading the magazine online I didn’t realize that you could make the type larger but you can in the event that your eyesight is failing like mine. There are several patterns in each issue that you’ll want to look over as well as several interesting articles that will take you to places many of us will never get to see in person. At the end of the publication there are some delicious looking recipes, several of which I bet you’ll want to try. If nothing else, learning to make carrot flowers and cucumber barrels will help to make your next entertaining effort special, not to mention unique.

The second online magazine that I wish to share with you is an Australian one whose name just happens to be Online Quilt Magazine. Between these two online magazines you’ll be well traveled once you’ve read through them. The September issue has an interesting mystery quilt article beginning on page 15 which has you cutting whole blocks into two pieces and sewing them back together again into a different block all together. I can see myself making different blocks than the ones shown, cutting them into two parts, and sewing them back together again just to see what I get. I’m more than a bit intrigued by this idea I’m afraid.

Here’s the August issue for you to enjoy as well. That should help keep you busy for a while. I’d so hate for you to run out of things to do.

Now, how’s that for being frugal!? All you need to spend here is a little of your time. You just never know what you might end up with once you’ve spent a little time with a good magazine.

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