Thursday, June 9, 2011

First Tea on the Porch

 {Seth Tudor carries the picnic basket to the tea table on the back porch for the first tea of the year on June 7, 2011. Update 6/15: This basket belongs to Marjorie Tudor and is one of her favorites due to the beautifully carved handle.)

Tuesday brought our first official afternoon tea (lemonade) on Granny's porch! We were all so excited! This tradition is full of happy memories, and this occasion was no exception. Marjorie brought out our favorite picnic basket and juiced all of the lemons, Amy and Ellie picked some mint, and Seth carried the basket of goodies through the garden to the porch.

{a jar of simple syrup waits to be stirred into the lemonade}

 {Ellie plays in Tasha's garden while we set up tea}

The spread looked so delicious that little Ellie could hardly wait...

{so adorable!}

We made Tasha's receipts for blueberry muffins (adapted to be gluten-free) and homemade lemonade. Both recipes are in Tasha Tudor's Cookbook, available here. The tempting combination of cinnamon, sugar, and blueberries made Seth proclaim, "These are very good!" Of course, I told him it was his mother's receipt :-)

As usual, tea time is a time to share the stories of the day....the triumphs and foibles. Conversation centered on the new trellis Seth built to replace the old one on the middle terrace, and how poor Marjorie had stubbed her toe in the garden.

Winslow took in the conversation while eating two (three?) muffins. "If they're there for the eating..." he said when I handed him the second or third. Indeed, they were. And we all looked out over the garden, content and reluctant to leave, as the 4 o'clock sun decided it might offer us a bit of shade for the rest of the afternoon.


  1. oh how happy I was to find this blog,, I love Tasha Tudor, her art , her spirit, her love of corgis and her strength, this is such a treat visiting this blog,, just makes my heart smile,

  2. Dear Natalie,
    I have a copy of Tasha's cookbook and the Butt'ry Almanac and the Butt'ry Cookbook that she illustrated. They are three of my favorite reciept books, but I have recently had to convert to gluten free and am in the process of having to retest and reformulate. Did you sub a gluten free flour blend straight across for the regular flour in the recipe?

  3. Oh, Natalie...I can just smell those blueberry muffins!! and such a beautiful old basket...a TrEASURE I am sure!
    And to see the hands that crafted my beloved Art Stands...
    Miss Eliza Dormouse is using hers to display a thank you card from Millie Mousekin from The Butt'ry and Book'ry..
    You must come for a visit at Grammy's House...Post entitled Xavier's Adventures at Grammys Franklin House:)

    Your photos are lovely, dear girl!

  4. Tasha spirited picnic for certain.
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  5. Dear little Ellie! Tasha would be delighted with her. The muffins look so good, and, I can just feel the gentle Vermont breezes drifting in a relaxing way as you enjoy your tea time. Thank you for sharing tea with us. I miss Tasha and value her family as you continue to carry on her memory by the interesting newletters. Thank You.

  6. How wonderful it is to visit this blog and feel the spirit of Tasha Tudor! I have so many of her books. I love Marjorie's basket!

  7. how did you adapt these yummy looking muffins to be gluten free?

    1. Hi GiGi, I used a cup-for-cup substitution with Hodgson Mill's gluten-free flour. Happy baking!

  8. GoodMorning Natalie
    What a lovely post & wonderful tradition ♥ The blueberry muffins look delicious.

  9. We miss Tasha too, but enjoy keeping up with the family and hearing your family happenings. We've been eating gluten free for twelve years and so I started a gluten free blog to help others: . The blueberry muffins look wonderful!

  10. I have the cookbook. I'm going to look for the recipe. Thx

  11. Tea Time is meant to be a special time to catch up with all the family's goings and comings, and it keeps family close!!! We love our tea times, and we buy all our tea from you!!! Love it...
    Prim Dolls of Calico