Category Archives: Tea

I’m a Little Teapot…, by Beverly Hicks Burch

I’m a Little Teapot…

By Beverly Hicks Burch

I might have mentioned it before, but I have a shared “affliction” with my little Momma…one she actually passed on to me. That affliction is a love of dishes and a desire to “collect” dishes. As Daddy says we have a lot of plunder in that department, but boy can we lay a spread!

I have my everyday dishes and I have my everyday Christmas dishes we start using Thanksgiving. It’s a rule these dishes must be used every day until after my birthday which is shortly after the first of the New Year. Then there’s the good china…and the Christmas china.

And, then there are the teapots…another “affliction” acquired from Momma twofold and if I’m not mistaken shared with my middle sister. Twofold because it seems we all like hot tea…my favorite is a rooibos tea…yum yum…

Well, when Tall & Handsome and I married I added another “collection” to my burgeoning dish cupboard. Being the southwestern guy that he is, T & H had a few pieces of Fiestaware. The pieces in his collection were all white and being the lover of color, I couldn’t help but start adding a few colored pieces here and there. Of course the collection grew…and the surprising thing is the Fiestaware mixes and matches really well with my every day dishes.

A couple of weeks ago Momma called me after she and Daddy had taken a trip up to Boaz, AL. Now in its day Boaz was a thriving outlet town, but many of the outlets have moved out…a real shame especially for the local economy. In some of the empty retail spaces vendors have set up collectible businesses. One this particular trip Momma couldn’t resist browsing one such shop…and she came away with a goodie for me…a Fiestaware teapot in one of the colors I had been adding to our collection. I got to bring the little treasure home after a recent visit to my folks…and it’s a real cutie! I’d never seen one like it.

The other day when I was taking pictures of the Fiestaware T & H said, “Honey, you’ve done a good job a building up the Fiestaware.” Well, I’ll have to say…I had a little help…thanks, Momma…

Fiestaware teapot

Fiestaware Teapot from my little Momma

Teapot lid deatil

Detail – Teapot Lid…very cute…

Fiestaware pitcher & teapot

Fiestaware Water Pitcher and Teapot

Fiestaware salt & pepper

Fiestaware Large Salt & Pepper Shakers

Fiestaware rimmed soup bowl

Fiestaware Rimmed Soup Bowl

Fiestaware collection

The Fiestaware Collection

Teapots

My Teapots – The one of the far right is a reproduction of a Chinese hobnail (I’m not sure if they still make it in the black); the small blue teapot has a white version available currently

© 2009 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Collections, Daddy, Dishes, Fiestaware, Mothers, Mountains, Photography, Tall & Handsome, Tea

Bee Sweet, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Bee Sweet

By Beverly Hicks Burch

There is a great mystery going on right under our noses…one worthy of Agatha Christie and the Great Sleuth himself…Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, this mystery is real and not fiction. The world’s honeybees are vanishing and it is stumping the scientists around the globe.

The situation is so serious that it has been given a designation…Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In 2007 alone some estimate 25% of the honeybee population vanished! Although there have been variances in the populations of the honeybees before…it would even seem that our little friends have pulled these disappearing acts as far back as 1880. The problem this time is the large numbers and the mystifying cause. Is it disease…pesticides…malnutrition…Jupiter & Mars…little green men (just joking on the last two of course)? One thing does seem sure…if the little fellows continue to disappear at the current rate they will be extinct by the year 2035!

Why should this concern us? Well, other than the fact that I HAVE to have honey for my hot tea?! (Republic of Tea Safari Sunset is my absolute favorite…a nice African red tea.) And who can imagine not having a big homemade buttermilk biscuit with butter and honey? There ARE some very serious implications.

Many of our plants are pollinated by our little friends. That includes between 90 – 100 of the world’s edible crops. Think apples, almonds, blueberries, carrots, avocados, broccoli, kiwi, peaches, cherries, strawberries and asparagus to name just a small few. Now, I can’t imagine life without honey not to mention some of the delicious treats above…no juicy, fresh peaches! Heaven forbid!

Is there anything we can do to help out our little winged friends?

Well, as a horticulture loving person my first response is to tell you if you garden keep these little food producer and industrious critters in mind. Before I became chronically ill, I tried to garden to draw bird, butterflies and bees to my garden…now my mind does the design and Tall & Handsome does the labor. We have a saying…we are an”I’m the brains and he’s the brawn” gardening duo. Spring is a good time to consider adding a few plants that will add and draw honeybees to your garden. Some to consider: Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), Lavender (Lavandula), Clover (Trifolium), Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), and a beautiful and fragrant Butterfly bush (Buddleia).

There are also a couple of other fun things you can do. Burt’s Bees has a website and a mobile tour that will visit 35 cities between now and September 2008. Check out the website and the tour if it comes to a city close to you.

Finally, just in time for hot weather…enjoy a pint of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee Ice Cream ($4.20). Haagen-Dazs donates a portion of the sale of each pint of this ice cream to universities that study CCD and programs related to honeybees and pollination research.

These all seem like simple, small and even fun efforts but, if we all pitch in we are sure to get sweet rewards…

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Colony Collapse Disorder, food, Gardening, Honey, Honeybees, Tall & Handsome, Tea

Safari Time, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Safari Time

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Grab your khakis and let’s go on a safari. Don’t worry…no animals will be hurt in the process…except maybe the two that are fighting at the foot of my bed…and that darn rooster next door that was crowing way too early this morning…(which begs the question once again, who keeps a rooster within the city limits of a city?!)… Anyway, back to the safari…

If you haven’t already noticed, this is one Southern gal that absolutely detests hot weather. Hot weather is right up there with that waxing thing I talked about the other day. So, I was giddy when I got up this morning, let Scoot out for his morning constitution and discovered that, Hallelujah, it was gloriously cool…cool enough to have a cup of hot tea.

Partaking of a cup of hot tea is a habit I picked up from my little Momma. She collects teas like some people collect wines. As a result, I have my own little collection of teas.

One of my favorites and also the one I enjoyed this morning was The Republic of Tea’s Safari Sunset. This tea is caffeine-free African Rooibos, also known as an African red tea. Most teas, even the blacks, are appreciated for their health benefits, but the Rooibos is considered right up there among the best for health benefits. It’s low in tannins and high in antioxidants. As a two time non-smoking lung cancer survivor, and some one with chronic health problems…I appreciate the chance to let something healthy and good tasting pass the ol’ taste buds. It beats cod liver oil…

Safari Sunset is seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and citrus…it reminds me of Russian Tea. As with all teas, you’ll want to sweeten it with honey…that is unless you’re allergic to honey. This morning I used a Florida Tupelo honey. Tupelo honey is one of those honeys that don’t crystallize the longer it sits on the shelf and it has a wonderful different taste from the traditional honeys. Tea is always better sweetened with honey instead of sugar and if you lighten it, use milk not cream.

I think I’ll continue my safari…maybe even take along a gunpowder mint tea…now, there’s a tea that packs a punch…

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Chickens, food, Life, Tea