Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mugs and Muffins :: Elevenses or Tea at Eleven - Guest Post by Shirley Ann Vels, and GIVEAWAY! {now CLOSED!}

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Welcome Back!  Thanks for popping your nose back here on Treasured Up and Pondered and seeing what this Mugs and Muffins thing is all about.  After all, with the exception of the past couple of Friday's, I am the one who has taken a bit of a blogging break and well...here I am.

Here we are!  

Happy rainy Monday Morning and it sure is good to be with you here today!!  Thank you for reading...

Pull up a chair and take a seat.  We're in for a real treat today.   We're having a true-blue Tea Party!!  This Tea Time should start at eleven... ;) but I couldn't wait to get started here today.  It's okay to come early and stay late...

 You may want to grab something nice and hot awhile... obviously, preferably tea!  Or, whatever it is you wish...I just want you to enjoy!   A plate of yumminess will be passed around shortly...

hang tight.

Today, we have a dear friend from across the pond, sharing with us today.  She'll be sharing a sweet moment that she gets to enjoy every day - with her family.  Mostly, due to culture but more than likely it's a desire of her heart.

Make welcome...  Shirley Ann Vels.  Shirley blogs daily at Under an English Sky.

:: Guest Post :: 
Tea at Eleven (or Elevenses)

Tea is big stuff here in England! Honestly, a cuppa can cure the worst of things. It’s almost a mantra to live by. Having a bad day? Have a cuppa. Feeling a big down in the dumps? Have a cuppa. Got caught out by one of our many rain showers? Have a cuppa. It cures ALL!

There’s even a special set aside time in the morning for a tea break, I’m sure you must have heard of it – ‘Elevenses’. Yip, at eleven o’clock each morning it is time for a date with the kettle and your favourite brew. Since living in England we have completely embraced this little bit of English culture. They definitely have something there – tea does seem to cure ALLOT of things ;)

To tell you the truth, I have a bit of a thing for all things ‘tea-time’. It’s such a lovely way to bring a bit of elegance and old fashioned grace to the day. I love and collect tea pots and tea cosies. Why not make tea-time as pretty as you can I say!

There is something quite calming about filling up a tea pot, allowing it to brew and keep warm while topped with the prettiest of cosies and then slowly pouring out the golden liquid into a pretty tea cup – saucer and all!

 I use a lovely antique sugar spoon to scoop the sugar into the tea cup – just to my taste. Of course no tea time is ever complete without a lovely English scone accompanied by lashings of strawberry jam cream! This cannot be a daily occurrence naturally. Imagine the size I would be! 

So a scone tea, (Yip – you guessed it. There is even a name for tea if accompanied by traditional English scones), is the exception rather than the rule. You could pop scones into your trolley for such an occasion, but let’s be honest, homemade is best! 

((go ahead, pass the plate around.  Take one if you please...  they look so scrumptious!))

((Shirley continues...))

Here is my own scone recipe, on days when I’m feeling a bit adventurous I add a handful of cranberries, or perhaps sultanas, maybe even some chocolate Chips for the children. Go wild – experiment with the basic recipe (variations below) and enjoy a very adventurous tea time.

 Who knows – perhaps Mary Poppins might be inclined to drop in on such a happy English affair!

:: RECIPE ::

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Pre-Heat Oven to 220 decrees Celsius
Ingredients for about 24 scones

125g butter
500g self-raising flour
1ml (¼ teaspoon) salt
2 eggs
125-150ml milk

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture looks like bread-crumbs. Add the salt. Mix in the beaten eggs and the milk to make a soft dough, adding more milk if necessary.
Pat or toll out the dough lightly until it is about 1.5 cm thick, and cut into 4 cm rounds with a pastry cutter. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 – 15 minutes.

Variations: Use whole wheat flour or a mixture of whole-wheat and cake flour, adding 10ml baking powder.  Make cheese scones by mixing in 50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated, and 1 ml dry mustard before the eggs and milk. Serve hot and buttered. 
You can sweeten plain scones by adding 15 ml sugar to the basic mixture before the milk. To make fruit scones add 50g sugar and 100g sultanas or cranberries to the mixture.

Wow!!  I love this.
What a great tradition to have be part of the home!!  A consistent time to just "be", drink tea and enjoy a moment of true rest and relaxation.

I asked Shirley if I might be able to ask a few questions, just to get to know her a bit better and with that, wanted her to "explain" a few things more in depth. She was more than agreeable...

Here is our time of Q & A now...

-You said, "since living here in England"... makes me wonder of assume that you may have recently moved here...?  If so, can you tell why or how that came about?
We are a South African family who immigrated to the UK in 2011. We have English roots, Trevor's mum is English, she left England after the 2nd World War. My roots are English on my mothers side and  Scandinavian and Scottish on my fathers side - a real mix we are :) We left South Africa as we felt that the crime rate was just not what we wanted for our children. England is safer and affords them more opportunity than they would have if we remained in South Africa. Having lived in England before, both of us really loved the country and felt that it was were we wanted to be. So we did it! We packed up our lives in Cape Town and set up in England. I have to say that we have seen God's hand upon us from before we even left South African shores. He has opened doors and provided for us on many levels. 

-Adjusting to English Culture... any other "surprises" or treats besides Tea Time?

 When living in South Africa I thought that we were quite 'English' in our ways and culture. But actually we are not. England has it's own quirks and ways that you wouldn't really know about without living here. I struggled initially with how 'proper' they are. It's takes a fair amount of living in one place to truly form bonds of friendship. They are hard people to 'crack'. They are completely pleasant and friendly of course, but those deeper bonds are hard to come by. I have to say though that once you have an English persons friendship it is genuine and loyal.

-You have so many "coined phrases" - it always makes me smile to read them.  They leave me wondering... ie; What is a trolley?, What are Sultanas?, Lashings...?  These are all things you mentioned in your "post" here today..
 :) Oh my goodness, I think our 'coined phrases' are definitely an English thing and was one 'thing' I didn't have to get used to when we moved to England. I was brought up on 'coined phrases' that are all decidedly English - must be my English heritage coming through. 'Lashings' is very 'Enid Blyton' (popular children's author from the 1930's and 40's, think 'Secret Seven and Magic Faraway Tree here - my childhood fodder). Lashings means to be very generous with, heaps of. So lashings of cream would mean loads of cream :). 'Trolley' is what you would call a shopping cart, ours are 'shopping trolley's' and 'Sultanas' are like a raisin. Raisins are dried white grapes, sultana's are also dried white grapes but of the seedless varieties. They are golden in colour and tend to be plumper, sweeter and juicier than raisins. I think they are referred to as 'Golden Raisins' in the U.S

What is one of your favorite pastimes - besides, sipping tea? :)
 Apart from sipping tea ;), I have so many things that I love doing. I knit, sew and cross stitch quite allot (although never as much as I would like to). I'm a homeschooling mama so most of my time is taken up with educating our girls, a 'job' which a relish and love. I am also very involved with our parish church. I sing in the Choir and generally get involved in all the lovely activities that go on in our lovely little Parish Church. My faith and the church is a bit part of my life. 

I know you have an etsy shop... what are some of the things you feature there?
 I've actually closed my Etsy shop down as I was not having much success with being 'noticed' on that forum. I've had huge success on Ebay though which is exciting. So, Ebay it is for me for the moment. I sell bunting (another very English 'thing'). I pretty much have bunting for just about any occasion in our home and if I don't have it I make it! My recent selling success has been autumn themed bunting. I have to say that being quite busy with educating my daughters I am unable to keep my 'shop' as stocked as I would like. It's a bit 'as and when' with me on that front. I intend for it to become allot more serious once the girls have 'graduated' home school and are off to college.

Would you allow questions from my readers?

I would love to answer any questions from readers :) Sounds like fun.

There you have it.  It sounds like Shirley would enjoy hearing from you, too!!  Feel free to ask any questions or share your own teatime stories.  Perhaps you could share your favorite brew and delicacy to go alongside...

:: Giveaway::
Today's giveaway is pretty nice ... if I can say so myself.  I hope you like it.  

However, I want to take a moment to explain two of the main giveaway items...if you don't mind.

First off...I am very excited to introduce to you another dear blogging friend of mine.  Her name is Pam Phelps.  

Pam blogs daily at Where Your Treasure Is.  I am so glad I discovered her blog.  Her recipes and photos are simply amazing...

I was reading Pam's lovely, lovely blog one day - and, on this particular day, she was sharing a tutorial (a great one, by the way!) on how to make Tea Cozies.  An idea was born (yeah!) and I garnered up nerve to ask her if she would be interested in donating a cozie for a future giveaway.  

She was elated!!  She also let me borrow a few photos for today. :)

The Tea Cozy that is part of today's Giveaway - looks very, very similar to the one in the photo.  I can't be sure if it is exact, exact.  But, it's a close, look-a-like and equally as beautiful!  (It's still wrapped up very pretty from Pam herself... well, I did manage to sneak a  peek at it.  I will tell you...It's hard to give it up!! ;)  Pam sends along her love to the blessed recipient...

The second part of the giveaway that I would like to highlight is this cookbook.   Homemade Goodness!

Homemade Goodness is a cookbook that has my sister's name written all over it.  Literally.  She was  part duo of a team that gathered recipes from former cooks to the camp where my sister, Gladys, is now head cook of.  Actually, to keep the facts straight -- She has been the head cook at this Bald Eagle Wilderness Boy's Camp for going on eight, nearly nine years.

She is one of the best cooks I know!

And, I am happy to be able to support her and the ministry, by selling off a few of these cookbooks, if  I can.

Obviously, I'm giving one a way today!

But, if you don't win and would like to have one of these GREAT cookbooks as part of your kitchen library - then let me know and I can get you all the details for making a purchase or two for yourself.
(Homemade Goodness, $16,95 plus s/h)

Thirdly, the package of Autumn Blessing Napkins are yours as well; part of this giveaway!

You never know.  They may come in handy for your own up and coming tea party, yes?

FOR (multiple) ENTRIES in THE GIVEAWAY, we'll try to keep this as simple as possible!!

Like mentioned earlier - perhaps you have a question for Shirley?  She would love to hear from you...
Maybe you have your own tea time story; a favorite tea or side to share about.  Each comment counts...as an entry...including facebook comments!   I love having the comment section be a place for interaction.   Imagine as if you're gathered around the table set for tea and this is what we do... We gab!  We interact.  We get to know one another.... 

Tell all your friends!  The more the merrier!

Maybe you're new here; this is your first time here at Treasured Up and Pondered!  If you sign up to follow my blog - I'd like that, and... it counts for second entry. Or, perhaps you've decided to begin following Shirley or Pam's blog.  Just let me know if you've become a follower... remember it counts as another entry.

This Giveaway is short lived, so act fast!
It will end on Wednesday evening, the 19th, at 10:00pm, EST.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced sometime on Friday...

UPDATE: this Giveaway is NOW CLOSED!! Thank you, all,  for visiting...the winner will be announced sometime on Friday!

That's it for today, Lovely Ladies!
I really hope you enjoyed your time of tea with me!

Until, next time...
Which, most likely, will be -- Friday!!


  1. Good Morning, what a wonderful read today... Even though I am not a Tea Girl, I did enjoy this post... I am sure the lucky winner will enjoy all of these wonderful things... I choose to OPT OUT of this giveaway, so I wish everyone luck... Blessings to each of you on this Cold, Rainy turning to Snowy Monday here in Kentucky... Glad to read your blog Bevy... Hope all is feeling better...

    1. Oh Connie - thanks for coming by and friend, you know you don't have to opt out - I wonder if it's because you just recently won something from here? Well... whatever you'd like to do. Just so you know you'd be fine to "join in" on this one. As far as us feeling better. We are. To a degree. I'm still coughing. You know that residual cough that can linger. Yup! that's me.

      While I love rainy days - I've had to go out in it a couple of times today and that certainly has added to "not getting over being sick"... feeling. I'm just cold today. Perhaps it's time to put on another kettle. :)

      Thanks again, for coming by today!

    2. Oh Thank you Bevy... but I choose to Opt out because I am not a Tea Girl... tried and tried but still can't drink it, I don't like coffee either... I know WHAT...... cant get past the smell... anyway, I hope someone else will win all these lovelies... Good luck to all... and I know what you mean about the COUGH... horrible... because I have that lingering thing as well... Hope ya feel better and stay warm..... Cold and snowy here in Ky...

  2. Thanks Bev for your blog.. Enjoying reading it this morning, before my afternoon at school begins.. Congrats to your sister, Gladys on her part in the cookbook.. I may have to get back to you about that. :-) Enjoy your day.. Chris (sorry if I posted something twice.. not sure if it posted after I logged in.

    1. Nope~ it only came through once.
      Thanks for coming by here today - Chris Ann. Always good to have you here for a visit. As you know our family... my sister is amazing. She did a great job in and with this cookbook.

      Enjoy your rainy day - stay dry and warm!! :)

  3. Love reading about how us Brits appear to others. Teatime is usually afternoon tea and elevenies is a coffee break. A trolley can also mean trays on wheels that you would use to move the teatime things from kitchen to sitting room where you would consume your teatime treats. It is the most civilized of meals.

    1. Oh Hello!! I take it your a friend/reader of Shirley's blog? I guess I can ask you as well as Shirley...

      I am curious now... the more I read and reread Shirley's post... if you have tea at 11:00 or later in the afternoon - what time do you hold lunchtime and or what do you opt to eat for lunch? Does that push back a later evening meal, then, as well?

    2. Oh Bevy - mealtime is a whole different conversation and one I have struggled to get my head around here in England. Here's a short lesson as I understand it:

      In South Africa I grew up with:

      Breakfast - the morning meal
      Lunch - midday meal (often light)
      Tea - can happen any time of the day and is a cup of tea or coffee with or without treats
      Supper or Dinner is the main meal of the day

      In England...

      Breakfast - morning meal
      Elevenses - coffee or cup of tea break
      Dinner - Midday cooked meal
      Tea - what we would know as supper
      Supper - a late evening snack before bed (something like toast I guess)

      I made the mistake once of asking a friend to tea (South African version - cup of tea and a slice of cake perhaps) and wondered why she was not leaving around supper time (6 pm-ish in our home). It suddenly dawned on me that she thought she had been invited for supper ('Tea' in England) - oh my goodness, how embarrassing! Fortunately our 'lost in translation' episode only cemented our friendship :) lol

      X Shirley

  4. i enjoy cookbooks, would love to have this one, does it have some really good dutch oven recipes in? Mary Ann MAst

    1. Hello Mary Ann. Welcome! You know... I was thumbing through this cookbook and I'm not seeing a section per say for Dutch Oven recipes, like that of the previous cookbook they put out.
      All I know - it is chock full of delicious sounding recipes... ;)

      Thank you for coming by here today!

  5. This was fun! I didn't know so much about elevensies before now! And that tea cozy is beautiful! Bevy, you know I'm a coffee loving gal, but in the cool autumn evenings, I crave a good cup of tea!! Going to go blog hop now to these other ladies!

  6. This looks like very fun stuff to win and try out! I love teacups and teaparties.

  7. Being English, tea has always been my thing. In recent years there has been a resurgence in afternoon tea parties. I have held a few for girlfriends and a really special Strawberry tea for Breast Cancer Care. My favourite tea was during my daughter's hen weekend. We had a short belly dancing lesson (my daughter trained in ballet for years) followed by a pink themed tea party for the hens, with pink champagne, choice of teas and dainty nibbles.
    I really enjoyed this post, whether your choice is Breakfast tea in a mug or Earl Grey in a vintage china teacup. Thanks for hosting a giveaway, it has given me a chance to read a new blog

    1. You're welcome - Catherine!! Nice to have you come by...
      I see your second comment here about following... so, do you read Shirley's blog regularly, too?

      I have to ask. What is a hen party/hen weekend?

  8. I subscribed to your blog too via Bloglovin

  9. Oh my, reading all this brings back memories of my mother-in-law
    who was born and raised in England and also came here to the USA after
    WW2. She was a beautiful Christian woman and very much an influence to me.
    She was very quiet and reserved when I first met her, but as we spent time together
    she became literally my very best friend. I ALWAYS loved having tea with her and only
    she could make such a delicious and warming pot of tea. I never quite knew what it
    was she did that made it so good, but she had a way and I think it was the English in her.
    She would always heat up the pot before putting the tea in. She would usually get the tap
    water running very hot and pour it in the teapot and then empty it a few times to get the pot hot
    before putting in the tea bags or loose tea and then the boiling water and she knew just how much to
    boil the water to make it perfect every time! I miss her soooooooo much! She could also knit with her
    eyes closed and her knitting was glorious to say the least. The other thing was my husband called her Mum instead of Mom. I don't know if they still do that there today or not. She was also a great
    listener and many of the conversations we had over tea really got me through many a hard place in
    my life. I still love her dearly and still wish she were here and we were still getting together for tea, but she has passed to glory and I am privileged for the time I had with her! Thank you for your post
    it really brought back cherished memories!

    1. Hey Corrine - Good Morning!! Good to hear from you... and I love your sharing here. What great memories...

      All over a cuppa tea!! :) l love it.

    2. Hi Corinne,

      Yes - 'Mum' is still used here :) I'm so glad that this post brought back treasured memories for you.


  10. Hi Bevy, thank you for a beautiful post and giveaway! Being a tea drinker my whole life this post was quite enjoyable. I never did like coffee...just never acquired a taste for it...have always loved tea!! I loved having tea with my grammy...my mom loves a good cup of tea...and my DIL and I have had many good conversations over a cup of hot tea. I have had tea parties with my niece when she has visited and I look forward to having tea parties with my little granddaughter. It is definitely a time to relax and just be in the moment. Thank you also for sharing two new blogs to enjoy reading. BTW no baby news yet. We are still waiting for our grandson to be born. Any day now!!!!!!!!! Melanie P.

    1. I've been wondering about this new little one - if s/he was here yet?

      I have a funny to share.

      First off... I'll be honest I'm a coffee drinker all the way. NO foo-foo - just black. And, every now and then a cup of tea. In fact, yesterday I had two mugs of tea (along with several of coffee) --- I know, I was trying to keep warm! -- anyway, this morning I went to reheat a mug of coffee while making a new pot. (btw: I'm not a coffee snob - we will reheat!) and incidentally I forgot that I had had tea in the mug- Peach Tea! - and well... spitting and sputtering tea, especially flavored fruity tea - and coffee DO NOT MIX!!!!!!!!!!! I think I ended up pouring that one out. refilling the coffee mug with coffee but I still tasted the tea and so I ended up pouring that one out and just starting over with a brand new mug...


      and now, my Coffee is cold! Time to freshen it up... :)

    2. Oh my goodness...you have me laughing with picturing you spitting and sputtering that yucky tea and coffee mixture. That is not a way to start off a morning. I hope you have enjoyed a good cup of coffee by now. My husband is the coffee drinker and I sure do enjoy smelling it but don't enjoy drinking it. Hope you have a good day and stay warm. It sure is cold out there!!!!!! BRRRRR!!!!!!!!!! Melanie P.

  11. Oh so glad I stopped by!
    Question for Shirley... Do you plan on staying in England and making it home sweet home ?
    God's hand is strong and ever so gentle. Glad He showed it to you before you left. God is good!

    Bevy, that tea cozy is darling. Be sure to tell Pam, the colors are so charming.

    Great post my friend, Glad I stopped by!

    1. Hello Christine,

      Absolutely! We love England very much and have no desire to live anywhere else. I am so grateful that God opened doors for us to come here and also placed a deep love for England in our hearts.


  12. Oh my goodness! We love to look a Mrs.Pam's blog...she always has something lovely to share!
    The tea cozy is perfect for this time of year! :)
    Thank you for sharing!

  13. Hey Bevy! What an interesting read today! You asked about all the words I was curious about except one. Is "cuppa" what they always call a cup of tea? Do they just say "I'm going to have a cuppa." and everyone knows what they mean, or do they add "tea" after it? I know, it's kind of a silly question, buy it just kind of intrigued me! I'm also going to remember "lashing" - what a fun word! Thanks again- I love hearing about other cultures! Love ya, Bevy! Gail R,

    1. Hi Gail R :)

      A 'Cuppa' is understood to be a cup of tea in England. Of course if you prefer coffee that's fine too :) but we are generally a tea drinking nation, in fact, I was chatting to an English friend of mine on Friday and she was saying that if you are being invited over for a cup of tea you generally say, 'come over for a cuppa' or 'come over for coffee' even though coffee is not often drunk but rather tea - lol.

  14. Oh yeah, I checked out both of their blogs, now need to figure out how to "follow"! Usually I just bookmark them (like yours), is that what following is, or is there something else I have to do? Sorry, I have a blogless brain! -- Gail

    1. Hey Gail!! Thanks for stopping by. This is so fun, isn't it? Maybe you and I should get together (again!) for a cuppa of cups. lol! It's been awhile.

      To answer your second question... since you don't have your own blog. You can bookmark them... like you have mine, marked. That'll count. Just let me know.

    2. I bookmarked them the day I read them! Thanks for letting me know I did the right thing!

  15. Hi Bevy, went to both Pam and Shirley's blogs and my what goodness
    is there! I have bookmarked them both, adding them to my daily
    blog list!
    Thank you for sharing them! I am always on the lookout for new
    blog friends!

  16. I have just discovered Pam's delightful blog and now yours as well! What a wonderful giveaway, the tea cozy is beautiful and I am an avid cookbook collector. Fingers crossed to win but if not I will certainly contact you about purchasing a cookbook. It's time for tea and a cinnamon scone, have a great day!

  17. I would be so happy to win the beautiful tea cozy. My girls and I love having tea together. We love cookbooks too. Thanks for the chance to win.

  18. I just became a follower of your blog.

  19. I have been reading Pam's blog for awhile and became a follower.

  20. I would love to win! I love anything to do with tea and cookbooks too.:)


Thanks for coming by, today! You're visits always mean so much...

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