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What goodies would you like to see


K8memphis
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OOh Crumpets! With Marmite, or Gentleman's Relish. Excellent, hot with butter, but only from October to May. If you have hot crumpets, then no sandwiches. Hot toasted spiced buns, maybe. Mince pies at Christmas.

NOT chicken apple walnut salad - entirely alien. You'll be serving hot dogs or even bridge rolls next.

If clotted cream is difficult, just use whipped cream or chantilly. Not cream cheese - you don't want the  sour note.

Chicken salad alien? In the U.S., at least in the South, if your restaurant serves chicken salad people will call it a tea room. Most of said tea rooms do not even serve afternoon tea, they are open for lunch.

I looked up recipes for bridge rolls. It seems to be what we would call dinner rolls here, although we would use more sugar. Do they have a connotation as a workingman's lunch, like a sandwich? Our dinner rolls are too small to make a sandwich, although may be served at finger food buffets as a "ham roll".

Marmite? er, no, not here.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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sorry i've been away from the thread for so long - work (or the imminent threat thereof)has interfered.. but i'm glad to see i'm not the only tea purist here with finicky rules about eating what/when.

firstly - scone nomenclature. what i will call a scone has to be round, rolled and cut with a metal cutter (or empty vegemite jar! - although I've heard that cutting scones with jars causes the edges to stick as you don't get the 'clean cut' that a proper scone cutter would provide you with and there are problems with them rising as well).

The US scone imposter creation that I mocked and disdained in an earlier post looks like this . I'm sure it's nice - but that to me looks like a rock cake. It's ok for tea - but not to be served with jam and cream as a proper scone should.

I've had a flip through all my tea/cake books. Two are Australian - the Maryborough Cookery Book and Housewife's Companion (fourth edition) from 1927. It was published by the local methodist church and had a heavy temperance society influence... so great cakes and scones to go with all the tea and coffee they were allowed to drink. Also the Dimboola District Hospital Cookery Book from 1963. Both these books offer recipes for scones using self raising flour, milk, butter, a tiny amount of sugar, egg, rolled and cut and baked in a really hot oven for 7 minutes.

The UK book - Good Housekeepings Basic Cookery from 1958 has a fruiter scone - plain flour leavened with bicarb and cream of tartar with sultanas and egg to glaze. Same cooking method - 450f for 7 -10 minutes.

In Australia these would be served with jam and thick, thick cream. That would be a 'devonshire tea'. In the UK, the same thing is referred to as a cream tea - and served with clotted cream rather than pure cream. My mother in law is from Wiltshire and spent time when first married living on a dairy farm in Honiton Clyst in Devon. She made her own clotted cream which still amazes me - but they'd get the milk fresh from the cows as a perk of my father-in-laws employment and then just heat it very very gently for ages til it turned into clotted cream. I only found out recently that there is a school of thought in Cornwall that asserts that the Phoenicians bought the skill of making clotted cream to the UK when they were trading with the locals in tin.

I'm rambling! And I had so much to add... but i've got to get the bus to Marlborough today where i'm meeting friends for.. TEA! at the Polly. So I'll report back...

Good luck with your venture.. it must be so exciting to open something like that.

Oh - and I second the poster who mentioned how gross it was to be enjoying something sweet and delicate and be overpowered by the smell of fried food.. blllaaach......

And - the pumpkin scone thing. In Australia I think it developed from the fact that most houses in the country and suburbs had a big old pumpkin vine growing in the back corner and there is only so much roast pumpkin, pumpkin soup or mashed pumpkin an aussie can eat. So they created the scone.. we (were) a frugal people and would have frowned on the addition of something as poncy as pumpkin pie spice - even if it would have made it tastier! So in my experience, the pumpkin scone was only served plain with butter.....

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jackal10 -- you're right! i had totally forgotten about the china/porcelain issue...ironic, since i had just been reading the book "the epicurian collector," which has a chapter on everything from menus to cookbooks to dishware (it does a little historical review on each).

porcelain was so highly prized at one point that it was called "white gold" and the manufacturing process was a state secret.

cheers --

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re putting the milk in first or second...

Dr Julia King, head of the Institute of Physics, said the secret was to keep the water temperature at 98ºC.

Putting the milk in first was a cultural quirk that "has nothing to do with taste", she said. "It is a habit we have retained from the times when only the rich could afford porcelain which, because it isn't as porous as china, could withstand the hot tea being poured in directly.

"Those of us with cheap china had to put the milk in first to cool the tea slightly to prevent our cups cracking."

jackal10 -- you're right! i had totally forgotten about the china/porcelain issue...ironic, since i had just been reading the book "the epicurian collector," which has a chapter on everything from menus to cookbooks to dishware (it does a little historical review on each).

porcelain was so highly prized at one point that it was called "white gold" and the manufacturing process was a state secret.

cheers --

That makes sense..kinda sorta... :biggrin:

Butterfly cake, is a cupcake any flavor, but you take a small cone shaped piece of cake out of the center, put in filling cut the cone in half, place back on top of the cake in the shape of wings, just the way brits serve cup cakes.

Glad you figured out the cream tea, when you grew up with something you never think about how odd it might sound!

I very much appreciate everyone's patience while I got it figured out too. Thank you!

OOh Crumpets! With Marmite, or Gentleman's Relish. Excellent, hot with butter, but only from October to May. If you have hot crumpets, then no sandwiches. Hot toasted spiced buns, maybe. Mince pies at Christmas.

NOT chicken apple walnut salad - entirely alien. You'll be serving hot dogs or even bridge rolls next.

If clotted cream is difficult, just use whipped cream or chantilly. Not cream cheese - you don't want the sour note.

Hot dogs??? Puh lease--I'd only serve cocktail weenies wrapped wtih bacon...and er maybe jsuta couple pigs in a blanket--cheese stuffed hotdog* wrapped with a refrigerator crescent rolls (comes in the can & you hit it on the counter to open :laugh: ) They are soooo good!!! Great for parties. But only just a very few :raz: All round of course :laugh: *Oscar Meyer Only!

We have a place here called 'Crumpets' so I'll defer to them. Besides, the fire marshall came this week to press charges against the former proprietor for not complying with fire codes. Hello???? News to me! So I have to rethink my menu a bit. Now Helen and Portia will be able to sit in my tea room all day & not have any olfactory offense from frying foods or anything cooked on top of the stove. I will be able to comply with fire codes by using electric appliances. I will be able to bake. The former cafes that ran out of this same space were never in compliance.

The fire marshall was real nice and he will work with me, but it was stressful and difficult. Kicked up my fibromyalgia, the stress did. But I'm better today. Umm, if I want to continue cooking on the top of the stove, I would have to put in a hood and pressure system which would be thousands of dollars, which is not impossible but not totally necessary either especially if I keep Helen and Portia in mind while I plan :wink:

My biggest problem is that I used cooked icings for my cakes which after all this place is a legal 'front' for my cake addiction. So I'm gonna figure out how to do swiss meringue buttercream in a roaster pot thingy--that's why I was stressed out though--not about the tea room--about my icing. But it will all work out.

So many rules for a midday snack. I'm trying to think of one single American rule for snacking..........

:laugh:

I've added my pumpkin scone recipe to recipe gullet . http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r1639.html

This is not the same as the one I posted above but one I use more often.

I have to agree with the "scone additions" rule : plain scone = jam/preserves + cream fruit/flavoured scone = plain butter

Jam, cream, butter etc should always be on the side of the plate or more correctly in little pots for people to place on the plate themselves.

And yes, scones should be soft and light and fluffy.

Edited to add that my scone cutter has a fluted edge - they look nicer imho :smile:

I so appreciate your attention to detail for me -- And thanks for the recipe. Soft, not crisp on the outside too??

So many rules for a midday snack.  I'm trying to think of one single American rule for snacking..........

Open up bag of potato chips. Eat just one. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Hey, hey, pinkie up pinkie up! :rolleyes::laugh::raz:

OOh Crumpets! With Marmite, or Gentleman's Relish. Excellent, hot with butter, but only from October to May. If you have hot crumpets, then no sandwiches. Hot toasted spiced buns, maybe. Mince pies at Christmas.

NOT chicken apple walnut salad - entirely alien. You'll be serving hot dogs or even bridge rolls next.

If clotted cream is difficult, just use whipped cream or chantilly. Not cream cheese - you don't want the  sour note.

Chicken salad alien? In the U.S., at least in the South, if your restaurant serves chicken salad people will call it a tea room. Most of said tea rooms do not even serve afternoon tea, they are open for lunch.

I looked up recipes for bridge rolls. It seems to be what we would call dinner rolls here, although we would use more sugar. Do they have a connotation as a workingman's lunch, like a sandwich? Our dinner rolls are too small to make a sandwich, although may be served at finger food buffets as a "ham roll".

Marmite? er, no, not here.

What is marmite??? Yeah, Jackal, umm, chicken apple walnut salad is very post-Boston' over here. :biggrin: We aliens eat it regularly. :smile:

sorry i've been away from the thread for so long - work (or the imminent threat thereof)has interfered.. but i'm glad to see i'm not the only tea purist here with finicky rules about eating what/when.

firstly - scone nomenclature. what i will call a scone has to be round, rolled and cut with a metal cutter (or empty vegemite jar! - although I've heard that cutting scones with jars causes the edges to stick as you don't get the 'clean cut' that a proper scone cutter would provide you with and there are problems with them rising as well).

The US scone imposter creation that I mocked and disdained in an earlier post looks like this . I'm sure it's nice - but that to me looks like a rock cake. It's ok for tea - but not to be served with jam and cream as a proper scone should.

I've had a flip through all my tea/cake books. Two are Australian - the Maryborough Cookery Book and Housewife's Companion (fourth edition) from 1927. It was published by the local methodist church and had a heavy temperance society influence... so great cakes and scones to go with all the tea and coffee they were allowed to drink. Also the Dimboola District Hospital Cookery Book from 1963. Both these books offer recipes for scones using self raising flour, milk, butter, a tiny amount of sugar, egg, rolled and cut and baked in a really hot oven for 7 minutes.

The UK book - Good Housekeepings Basic Cookery from 1958 has a fruiter scone - plain flour leavened with bicarb and cream of tartar with sultanas and egg to glaze. Same cooking method - 450f for 7 -10 minutes.

In Australia these would be served with jam and thick, thick cream. That would be a 'devonshire tea'. In the UK, the same thing is referred to as a cream tea - and served with clotted cream rather than pure cream. My mother in law is from Wiltshire and spent time when first married living on a dairy farm in Honiton Clyst in Devon. She made her own clotted cream which still amazes me - but they'd get the milk fresh from the cows as a perk of my father-in-laws employment and then just heat it very very gently for ages til it turned into clotted cream. I only found out recently that there is a school of thought in Cornwall that asserts that the Phoenicians bought the skill of making clotted cream to the UK when they were trading with the locals in tin.

I'm rambling! And I had so much to add... but i've got to get the bus to Marlborough today where i'm meeting friends for.. TEA! at the Polly. So I'll report back...

Good luck with your venture.. it must be so exciting to open something like that.

Oh - and I second the poster who mentioned how gross it was to be enjoying something sweet and delicate and be overpowered by the smell of fried food.. blllaaach......

And - the pumpkin scone thing. In Australia I think it developed from the fact that most houses in the country and suburbs had a big old pumpkin vine growing in the back corner and there is only so much roast pumpkin, pumpkin soup or mashed pumpkin an aussie can eat. So they created the scone.. we (were) a frugal people and would have frowned on the addition of something as poncy as pumpkin pie spice - even if it would have made it tastier! So in my experience, the pumpkin scone was only served plain with butter.....

Thank you for rambling! The devil is in the details and I'm learning a lot. I'm glad to see the egg you mentioned because I just always thought scones had egg. So I've been very surprised to see so many recipes without egg. How crisp is the outside of the scone supposed to be???

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Marmite; I hope all the Brits (including the one I am married to) will forgive me, but.....

It is a brewers yeast extract and it tastes terrrible, blech, yuck, phooey. But, it is rich in vitamin B. :rolleyes:

Here is a site about Marmite.

I think you have to start eating this at a young age to appreciate it.

I believe Vegemite is the same thing as Marmite. Only, it was invented by an Aussie.

Marmite gets its name from a French casserole because it was originally sold in an earthenware pot that resembled the French casserole dish called a Marmite.

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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I eat marmite, but dont ever attempt to feed it to people that where not raised on either marmite or vegemite gross is the response you will get.

From a food cost you might want to consider using whipped cream, either plain or chantilly for the scones, those little jars are expensive. As I mentioned earlier most tearooms I have been in the UK dont serve clotted cream for the same reason. The scones are just as tasty :smile: and alot less expensive. I second that cream cheese will not work as a sub.

Re the fire inspector, can you use a electric hotplate for cooking sugar? there are some really good commercial ones out there. I am presuming you cant use the burners because they are gas.

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If clotted cream is difficult, just use whipped cream or chantilly. Not cream cheese - you don't want the  sour note.

It is a shame regarding the high price of clotted cream, especially in the US, because that is an item I would really look for and enjoy in a tea room. Alligande's and Jackal10's comments reminded me of something though that perhaps would be a nice substitute, in addition to whipped cream.

It's called "Cold Cream Sauce" which I've seen in some of Damon Lee Fowler's cookbooks on classical Southern cuisine. He describes the texture as being similar to clotted cream.

For 2 cups:

1 pint heavy cream (minimum 36% milkfat)

1/2 cup sugar

1 lemon (zest of whole lemon and juice of half)

freshly grated nutmeg

Dissolve sugar in cream without heating. Grate in lemon zest of 1/2-1 whole lemon and add in juice of half the lemon. Stir mixture until it begins to clot and season with some freshly grated nutmeg. Refrigerate until fully thickened; at least 3 hours and serve cold.

This *is* sweetend, but it is very tasty and the consistency is lovely. As I remember it (from last summer when I was eating it with berries and other fresh fruit all the time) it does not have a particularly tangy flavor. The nutmeg should be added sparingly so that it adds to the flavor but is way short of being identified as nutmeg in the final cream. I haven't experimented with decreasing the sugar, but that may be one avenue to explore.

Try it and see if you like it!

I was amazed when I tasted this that it wasn't a more widely known recipe. It is so simple and is very delicious.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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...

It is a shame regarding the high price of clotted cream, especially in the US, because that is an item I would really look for and enjoy in a tea room.  Alligande's and Jackal10's comments reminded me of something though that perhaps would be a nice substitute, in addition to whipped cream.

It's called "Cold Cream Sauce" which I've seen in some of Damon Lee Fowler's cookbooks on classical Southern cuisine.  He describes the texture as being similar to clotted cream.

...

Due to popular demand, (ok, two requests) I put this recipe into RecipeGullet.

For the application we're discussing here, I can't remember exactly how thick this sauce is. One option to thicken it up, if necessary, may be to fold some unsweetened whipped cream into the mix. The sauce itself is stable for at least a few days. So far it hasn't lasted long enough for me to test the expiration date. :smile:

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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If I were to give anyone who is opening a tea room advice, I would say wash your dishes carefully! Tea stains tea cups and pots very easily and it's not easy to get off. Someone mentioned Tea and Sympathy here in New York City. A place that I don't care for, for a variety of reasons which include gross teaware.

Ditto for sugar pots. Some poeple put a used teaspoon into a sugar pot and make the sugar stained and clumped. Which is why food rules are nice, they make for a nicer world, and we could use more of that in America. Freedom for us too often means freedom to ignore someone else's feelings or a valid sense of esthetics.

I would have to agree with everyone who recommended loose tea steeped for an appropriate time. Cream will clot in tea, which is why milk is used, and it should be whole milk.

Regarding the mania for Earl Grey infused foods -- I can't imagine why this is a good idea since the tea itself seems to be the point, but I once had an Earl Grey infused creme brulee, and it was delicious.

I am in agreement that the sandwiches should be cold, and delicately flavored. There are some nice recipes for tea sandwiches in the Two Fat Ladies' cookbooks.

But to the point that truly interests me: what sweets to serve. I agree with the scone purists. There is a dandy recipe for scones in Joy of Cooking that is perfect. A Victoria Sandwich is always a good idea. With a nice lemon or lime curd, preferably homemade. I like a selection of not-too-flavorful cookies. Shortbread, sugar cookies, and the like. And something with a lot of cream to it. A cake, or a cream puff or a cream-filled merengue. The fresh clean taste and creamy texture is a good foil for tea.

But my opinions are based on what is a good companion for a cup of tea, as I am a tea lover. For many people, tea is a pleasant experience that may have very little to do with tea itself. The important thing for me is that tea is a refreshing respite.

The best tea I ever had was about seven courses, all you can eat, and the final course started with the question, "Would you care for dessert?" The tea itself included very interesting offerings in the courses, one of which was candied ginger slices. When I plan a tea myself, I try to include surprising extras like that. The atmosphere was also very nice, dark and quiet and sedate. One could easily imagine a man in the setting, whereas in most tea settings, one can't.

Here's a recipe for clotted cream.

20 ounces heavy whipping cream

2 quarts or more of milk

Choose a wide-mouthed bowl or stainless steel bowl with sloping sides.

Fill it with milk, leaving a deep enough rim free to avoid spillage.

Add 20 oz double cream.

Leave in the refrigerator for at least several hours, and preferably overnight.

Set the bowl over a pan of water kept at 82C (180F)

and leave until the top of the milk is crusted with a nubbly yellowish-cream

surface. This will take at least 1 1/2 hours, but it is prudent to allow much

longer. Take the bowl from the pan and cool it rapidly in a bowl of ice

water, then store in the refrigerator until very cold. Take the crust off

with a skimmer, and put it into another bowl with a certain amount of the

creamy liquid underneath; it is surprising how much the clotted part firms

up--it needs the liquid. You can now put the milk back over the heat for a

second crust to form, and add that in its turn to the first one. The milk

left over makes the most delicious rice pudding, or can be used in baking,

especially of yeast buns.

Preferably extra-rich milk, if you can get it in your area.

Makes 8 servings.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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How crisp is the outside of the scone supposed to be???

The outside of a scone is firm (knock on the base of a scone to test for "doneness" as for bread) but not hard. I usually place a clean teatowel over my scones as they come out of the oven. The steam helps the crust soften a little rather than dry out.

My plain scones are simply 2 cups SR flour, 2 t butter cut in, 1 cup milk 7-10 mins at 230C.

Simple, filling food for hungry farmers when there's not much in the house.

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I think Trink's Tea will win out.

I think that's a great name, K8! When you decide on the name and have most of the kinks worked out of the menu, don't forget to send out a press release to all of your local papers and magazines, both big and small.

Here are some things I'd like to have if there were a tea room near my home:

Light and tender scones with good jam and whipped cream and lemon curd

Small wedges of great fruit pies, or small fruit tarts in buttery crusts

Mini eclairs and cream puffs

Delicious finger sandwiches made with whole grain breads

Mini savory tarts: chicken or beef, flavored with interesting herbs, served with a small salad

Excellent cookies - lots of wonderful small cookies! Lemon wafers, shortbread, financiers, cherry oatmeal, coconut, madeleines, walnut macaroons, ginger, etc., etc., etc.

Good luck! And be sure to get some sleep every now and then.

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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Marmite; I hope all the Brits (including the one I am married to) will forgive me, but.....

It is a brewers yeast extract and it tastes terrrible, blech, yuck, phooey. But, it is rich in vitamin B. :rolleyes:

Here is a site about Marmite.

I think you have to start eating this at a young age to appreciate it.

I believe Vegemite is the same thing as Marmite. Only, it was invented by an Aussie.

Marmite gets its name from a French casserole because it was originally sold in an earthenware pot that resembled the French casserole dish called a Marmite.

I eat marmite, but dont ever attempt to feed it to people that where not raised on either marmite or vegemite gross is the response you will get.

From a food cost you might want to consider using whipped cream, either plain or chantilly for the scones, those little jars are expensive. As I mentioned earlier most tearooms I have been in the UK dont serve clotted cream for the same reason. The scones are just as tasty :smile: and alot less expensive. I second that cream cheese will not work as a sub.

Re the fire inspector, can you use a electric hotplate for cooking sugar? there are some really good commercial ones out there. I am presuming you cant use the burners because they are gas.

Yeah, the guys that own the antique mall are also checking into the f marshall issue. It will work out. There's a great grey area where the antique mall holds the business license for the tearoom. So the whole grandfather clause will probably resolve that no cooking thing. I hope. Ironically, a friend of mine got clipped for baking (without a sprinkler & vent system) whereas I can bake but not cook--go figure. Different states :rolleyes:

I got an order for scones last week--I really haven't done any afternoon teas yet. I freaked out a bit, but did up some chantilly cream real quick & heated 'em up real hot & it worked out great.

No worries on the marmite--I scare easy :laugh: Thanks for the heads up, Swisskaese & Alligande!!!

If clotted cream is difficult, just use whipped cream or chantilly. Not cream cheese - you don't want the  sour note.

It is a shame regarding the high price of clotted cream, especially in the US, because that is an item I would really look for and enjoy in a tea room. Alligande's and Jackal10's comments reminded me of something though that perhaps would be a nice substitute, in addition to whipped cream.

It's called "Cold Cream Sauce" which I've seen in some of Damon Lee Fowler's cookbooks on classical Southern cuisine. He describes the texture as being similar to clotted cream.

For 2 cups:

1 pint heavy cream (minimum 36% milkfat)

1/2 cup sugar

1 lemon (zest of whole lemon and juice of half)

freshly grated nutmeg

Dissolve sugar in cream without heating. Grate in lemon zest of 1/2-1 whole lemon and add in juice of half the lemon. Stir mixture until it begins to clot and season with some freshly grated nutmeg. Refrigerate until fully thickened; at least 3 hours and serve cold.

This *is* sweetend, but it is very tasty and the consistency is lovely. As I remember it (from last summer when I was eating it with berries and other fresh fruit all the time) it does not have a particularly tangy flavor. The nutmeg should be added sparingly so that it adds to the flavor but is way short of being identified as nutmeg in the final cream. I haven't experimented with decreasing the sugar, but that may be one avenue to explore.

Try it and see if you like it!

I was amazed when I tasted this that it wasn't a more widely known recipe. It is so simple and is very delicious.

Oooh, that looks very interesting. There's no way I'd try to make real clotted cream to sell. But that recipe sounds very interesting. So when I get my stuff from British Delights, I'll try this recipe & compare. Thank you so much.

...

It is a shame regarding the high price of clotted cream, especially in the US, because that is an item I would really look for and enjoy in a tea room.  Alligande's and Jackal10's comments reminded me of something though that perhaps would be a nice substitute, in addition to whipped cream.

It's called "Cold Cream Sauce" which I've seen in some of Damon Lee Fowler's cookbooks on classical Southern cuisine.  He describes the texture as being similar to clotted cream.

...

Due to popular demand, (ok, two requests) I put this recipe into RecipeGullet.

For the application we're discussing here, I can't remember exactly how thick this sauce is. One option to thicken it up, if necessary, may be to fold some unsweetened whipped cream into the mix. The sauce itself is stable for at least a few days. So far it hasn't lasted long enough for me to test the expiration date. :smile:

"Hasn't lasted long enough..." that's a great recommendation, Ludja!!

If I were to give anyone who is opening a tea room advice, I would say wash your dishes carefully! Tea stains tea cups and pots very easily and it's not easy to get off. Someone mentioned Tea and Sympathy here in New York City. A place that I don't care for, for a variety of reasons which include gross teaware.

Ditto for sugar pots. Some poeple put a used teaspoon into a sugar pot and make the sugar stained and clumped. Which is why food rules are nice, they make for a nicer world, and we could use more of that in America. Freedom for us too often means freedom to ignore someone else's feelings or a valid sense of esthetics.

I would have to agree with everyone who recommended loose tea steeped for an appropriate time. Cream will clot in tea, which is why milk is used, and it should be whole milk.

Regarding the mania for Earl Grey infused foods -- I can't imagine why this is a good idea since the tea itself seems to be the point, but I once had an Earl Grey infused creme brulee, and it was delicious.

I am in agreement that the sandwiches should be cold, and delicately flavored. There are some nice recipes for tea sandwiches in the Two Fat Ladies' cookbooks.

But to the point that truly interests me: what sweets to serve. I agree with the scone purists. There is a dandy recipe for scones in Joy of Cooking that is perfect. A Victoria Sandwich is always a good idea. With a nice lemon or lime curd, preferably homemade. I like a selection of not-too-flavorful cookies. Shortbread, sugar cookies, and the like. And something with a lot of cream to it. A cake, or a cream puff or a cream-filled merengue. The fresh clean taste and creamy texture is a good foil for tea.

But my opinions are based on what is a good companion for a cup of tea, as I am a tea lover. For many people, tea is a pleasant experience that may have very little to do with tea itself. The important thing for me is that tea is a refreshing respite.

The best tea I ever had was about seven courses, all you can eat, and the final course started with the question, "Would you care for dessert?" The tea itself included very interesting offerings in the courses, one of which was candied ginger slices. When I plan a tea myself, I try to include surprising extras like that. The atmosphere was also very nice, dark and quiet and sedate. One could easily imagine a man in the setting, whereas in most tea settings, one can't.

Here's a recipe for clotted cream.

20 ounces heavy whipping cream

2 quarts or more of milk

Choose a wide-mouthed bowl or stainless steel bowl with sloping sides.

Fill it with milk, leaving a deep enough rim free to avoid spillage.

Add 20 oz double cream.

Leave in the refrigerator for at least several hours, and preferably overnight.

Set the bowl over a pan of water kept at 82C (180F)

and leave until the top of the milk is crusted with a nubbly yellowish-cream

surface. This will take at least 1 1/2 hours, but it is prudent to allow much

longer. Take the bowl from the pan and cool it rapidly in a bowl of ice

water, then store in the refrigerator until very cold. Take the crust off

with a skimmer, and put it into another bowl with a certain amount of the

creamy liquid underneath; it is surprising how much the clotted part firms

up--it needs the liquid. You can now put the milk back over the heat for a

second crust to form, and add that in its turn to the first one. The milk

left over makes the most delicious rice pudding, or can be used in baking,

especially of yeast buns.

Preferably extra-rich milk, if you can get it in your area.

Makes 8 servings.

Yeah, I'm a freak about stuff being clean. I ordered all white tea pots & stuff & then kicked myself for not being more colorful but I like white. I can get colorful with the tea cozies. White pots will show me where to clean too.

I have really been pondering the desserts thing too. Luckily, I read recently that Tea rooms should reflect the owners tastes. So that's what I've been running with. I'm glad you brought up the dessert selections you woud llike. Sounds like what I wanted to offer.

I would be scared to make my own clotted cream though. I'm sure I'd kill everyone with some rampant nuclear bacteria strain from hades that woudl mutate into the booger that eats Memphis or something with my luck. (I once won a book I'd already read--not to mention the ice storm that thoroughly chilled my Grand opening :rolleyes::laugh: ) I'm gonna try British Delights for clotted cream 1 oz jars :smile:

I'm thinking about making some grapefruit curd too --yum!

Thank you, Lindacakes!!

i'd also keep soy milk or soy creamer on hand, for those with dietary preferences and/or dietary allergies.

they come in small cartons, so the cost would be small (silk is the best-tasking brand, imo).

cheers --

That's a great idea, thanks. I like the Silk brand too.

How crisp is the outside of the scone supposed to be???

The outside of a scone is firm (knock on the base of a scone to test for "doneness" as for bread) but not hard. I usually place a clean teatowel over my scones as they come out of the oven. The steam helps the crust soften a little rather than dry out.

My plain scones are simply 2 cups SR flour, 2 t butter cut in, 1 cup milk 7-10 mins at 230C.

Simple, filling food for hungry farmers when there's not much in the house.

Two teaspoons or two tablespoons of butter??? We put a lot more fat in our biscuits than y'all do in your scones. (Well, they are mine now too) Yeah, like I said I had an order for scones this week --I think I passed :biggrin:

I think Trink's Tea will win out.

I think that's a great name, K8! When you decide on the name and have most of the kinks worked out of the menu, don't forget to send out a press release to all of your local papers and magazines, both big and small.

Here are some things I'd like to have if there were a tea room near my home:

Light and tender scones with good jam and whipped cream and lemon curd

Small wedges of great fruit pies, or small fruit tarts in buttery crusts

Mini eclairs and cream puffs

Delicious finger sandwiches made with whole grain breads

Mini savory tarts: chicken or beef, flavored with interesting herbs, served with a small salad

Excellent cookies - lots of wonderful small cookies! Lemon wafers, shortbread, financiers, cherry oatmeal, coconut, madeleines, walnut macaroons, ginger, etc., etc., etc.

Good luck! And be sure to get some sleep every now and then.

Eileen

Thank you , Eileen!!! I've gone from being open 6 days a week to 5 days, so I may not be resting too much extra but I will have a little more time to plan at least. And get my oil changed. :smile:

Hmm, press release, never thought of that. I have an ad going into six local papers starting this week--I should have my permanent (outdoor) sign up by mid-week :rolleyes:

Yeah, I'm with you on the cookies too. I never thought of savory mini tarts though. Great idea. I saw some of those silicone mini muffin pans at TJMaxx today. Why do the professional ones cost four times as much??? Those would be great for mini tarts.

Everybody, Thanks for all the great ideas!!! Don't be shy!!!

:biggrin: It's not too late to live happily ever after. :biggrin:

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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"it's not too late to live happily ever after"

I hope that's on your menu and in your ads and on your sign and your apron and and and

I can't think of a more perfect "slogan" for a tea room

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"it's not too late to live happily ever after"

I hope that's on your menu and in your ads and on your sign and your apron and and and

I can't think of a more perfect "slogan" for a tea room

Cool!!! :biggrin: Thanks!! Great Idea!!

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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2 teaspoons butter for plain scones. For sweet scones (if you want to add sultanas or dates etc) add 1 tablespoon sugar and an egg.

I'm glad your scones passed muster. Congratulations on all your efforts and good luck.

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Hello

I went for afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols (slick UK department store with restaurant, this branch in Manchester)) at the weekend and thought you might like to know what's being served there at the moment.

Afternoon tea for two is £16 including tea or coffee (Champagne tea is £30 for two) and is served on a three-tier cake stand. The bottom tier was 6 finger sandwiches (about an inchwide and cut lengthwise from pre-sliced white/wholemeal bread): cucumber, egg, ham, smoked salmon and poached chicken with an overpowering tomato chutney. The sandwich on the outside was dry, suggesting it had been sitting around 'in formation' for a while.

The next tier held two little scones (with dried fruit in them, a mistake I think) served with a mini pot of their own strawberry jam and a quenelle of clotted cream. You spread your own and cream always goes on first!

Then 4 cakes/biscuit - there were four of us so we had 8 to choose from. These included: a triangle of shortbread, small square of sponge iced white and decorated with little chocolate and red jam cherries, small slice coffee cake, small slice (flavourless) chocolate fudge cake, rocky road covered in chocolate, little lavender curpcake (lavender on top and baked into sponge, too herbal by far for me), cherry bakewell, and I can't remember the eighth one for the life of me.

Drinks offered are loads of different teas, plus cappucino, filter coffee, espresso, latte, hot chocolare and mocha...and of course champagne. So the tea takes a back seat!

Hope this helps - good luck!

Emma

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So maybe they are akin to our dropped biscuits??? Not rolled out just plopped or dropped onto the baking sheet?? I had cinnamon toast on the menu for a while.

Not plopped or dropped. the dough is patted into a flat round (maybe 2.5cm?) and then cut. The whole wedge scone thing is beyond foreign to me.

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2 teaspoons butter for plain scones.  For sweet scones (if you want to add sultanas or dates etc) add 1 tablespoon sugar and an egg.

I'm glad your scones passed muster.  Congratulations on all your efforts and good luck.

Thank you, Cadbury!!

Hello

I went for afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols (slick UK department store with restaurant, this branch in Manchester)) at the weekend and thought you might like to know what's being served there at the moment.

Afternoon tea for two is £16 including tea or coffee (Champagne tea is £30 for two) and is served on a three-tier cake stand. The bottom tier was 6 finger sandwiches (about an inchwide and cut lengthwise from pre-sliced white/wholemeal bread): cucumber, egg, ham, smoked salmon and poached chicken with an overpowering tomato chutney. The sandwich on the outside was dry, suggesting it had been sitting around 'in formation' for a while.

The next tier held two little scones (with dried fruit in them, a mistake I think) served with a mini pot of their own strawberry jam and a quenelle of clotted cream. You spread your own and cream always goes on first!

Then 4 cakes/biscuit - there were four of us so we had 8 to choose from. These included: a triangle of shortbread, small square of sponge iced white and decorated with little chocolate and red jam cherries, small slice coffee cake, small slice (flavourless) chocolate fudge cake, rocky road covered in chocolate, little lavender curpcake (lavender on top and baked into sponge, too herbal by far for me), cherry bakewell, and I can't remember the eighth one for the life of me.

Drinks offered are loads of different teas, plus cappucino, filter coffee, espresso, latte, hot chocolare and mocha...and of course champagne. So the tea takes a back seat!

Hope this helps - good luck!

Emma

Emma, yes it helps wonderfully!! Now was that the amount of stuff for tea for two or the design to serve one???? Yeah, I'm definitely going with plain scones. For one they are awesome with all the cream and jam. And for two, I put out a teensy basket of hot buttered mini fruit muffins after they order lunch--to give them something to do while I get their food ready.

Oh I'm so glad to hear you say 'quenelle' I've been totally stressing about how much cream to serve and how. I can't find anything in the stores small enough to still look ok, y'know? I mean I don't want to put a quenelle in a huge little container. I hate to use an amount that will be wasted just to make it look good in the container. So I've been thinking about going to the 'make your pottery' store and making little divided dishes--one side for the jam one side for the chantilly or clotted cream.

Oh hey, I just thought of something though. Chef-boy (my son) served us quenelles of various things in those little ceramic chinese soup spoons--they are kinda fat and flat but little spoons. Hmm, maybe that would work too.

Thank you, Emma!!

So maybe they are akin to our dropped biscuits??? Not rolled out just plopped or dropped onto the baking sheet?? I had cinnamon toast on the menu for a while.

Not plopped or dropped. the dough is patted into a flat round (maybe 2.5cm?) and then cut. The whole wedge scone thing is beyond foreign to me.

Y'know you can get those wedge shaped 'scone' pans everywhere. Like this one (click) or here's a mini one! (click) Wonder how this all started??!! Just some great marketing thing like Happy Brother-in-law's Day??!! Where we're all supposed to go out & buy cards & stuff...send scones :laugh: ??!!

Thank you, Syrah.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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Well, I know what kind of teas I'm going to get, I mean the loose teas. But then there's that ethereal dimension of mine where I don't know how to ask questions about what I don't know. I mean I'm gonna get Assam, Darjeeling, Green like a silver something, jasmine, rooibos, and a couple green fruity ones plus a mint to start off. So if there's something I need to know in the meantime, flag me down.

I mean I do not like oolong teas nor Earl Grey myself. I have those in bags currently anyway. Going forward, I'll get the loose--but maybe I don't like them because I did not brew them correctly. Ah heh, just learning all this get the oxygen in the water blahblahblah :biggrin:

So here is one qustion though, umm, what do tearooms generally heat their tea water in --just a flotilla of tea kettles??? So it is freshly oxygenated and boiling when you pour?????

I need to get those tea strainers too--with the little cups that go underneath. Lot of flotsom and jetsom to this tea thing, huh?? :rolleyes::biggrin:

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For me a Tea Room is not just a place where you go to have some tea and eat some pastry/savory items. It's one whole experience.

As important as the items themselves - bot liquids and solids I mean - the room and the atmosphere play a major part in the whole experience. You can have awesome scones with an awesomely brewed Mariage Fréres tea but if you feel like in a kitchen or like in an ordinary café, all the experience will be ruined. I don't mean that you have to create a traditional british tea room atmosphere, as if you were at the Dorchester or similar. But you have to keep it cosy - low lights, incandescent bulbs (forget fluorescent types and the "energy saving" ones, those are for the kitchen). Nice and warm colours, textures and fabrics. Make it as close as it can get to a living room to where you invite friends for tea. If you start feeling like you're at home, you're in the right track.

Edited by filipe (log)

Filipe A S

pastry student, food lover & food blogger

there's allways room for some more weight

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Before that booger eats Memphis, I want some grapefruit curd. Pink grapefruit curd, that sounds delicious.

K8, you are going to do just fine. Smart to do so much market research.

For your little bowls, how about the mis en place bowls that come rather small? Little glass ones? I've seen them at Williams Sonoma, six for something. Of course, you don't want to buy them from WS, you'll pay more, but that's what I mean.

Ginger tea is a popular one. Yorkshire Gold.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Y'know you can get those wedge shaped 'scone' pans everywhere. Like this one (click) or here's a mini one! (click) Wonder how this all started??!! Just some great marketing thing like Happy Brother-in-law's Day??!! Where we're all supposed to go out & buy cards & stuff...send scones laugh.gif ??!!

I did mean to say cut into rounds using a cutter, but I'm sure you got my meaning.

Re the wedge shaped scones, as far as I can tell this is an entirely American fabrication.

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