My Afternoon Tea: November 2015

Take an afternoon tea break and enjoy
baking tips and techniques and
fresh ideas for afternoon tea presentation.

Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire on a misty day in Autumn. 

I'm feeling so nostalgic!

It always rains in November here in the Kootenays. It's like Yorkshire! Only different. I want to snuggle up by a fire and eat Yorkshire treats and drink Yorkshire tea. I'd prefer to do it after a bracing walk across the gentle moorland that I love so much. But I'll settle for pine forests and wildly beautiful mountains.... :-)

Nostalgia. Being away from Yorkshire makes me more conscious of my roots, my home and my heritage. I want to share some of my heritage with you this month. Some real old-fashioned and traditional North country baking, and a little fun about Yorkshire tea.

My Perfect Yorkshire Afternoon Tea

When we thought about recipes that brought back memories of Yorkshire, and in particular of rainy cold days in November, we all agreed that parkin had to be up there! It's an original Yorkshire cake, and this is my grandma's recipe.

When I was young, we always made parkin at the beginning of November. We had it on Bonfire Night. Another very British tradition. 

Parkin slices

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
gunpowder treason and plot!

Black and white wedding photograph with cup of tea in antique cup, antique bowl and traditional Yorkshire afternoon tea treats - Yorkshire curd tart, parkin and pikelets.

And Yorkshire Curd Tart! How I love it! We've tried to make it like the delicious one from Betty's. I think we got there. This is a delicious truly old-fashioned and traditional recipe. I'm very pleased with it!

That's Stephen and me, 20 odd years ago. It was not an official photo - just one snapped by a friend. But it's my favourite. :-)

And hot buttered pikelets. Oh my! So, so good! And lots of fun to make too. You can make them in advance, freeze them and just toast them lightly at the last minute.

Pikelets are thin crumpets and it seems that most people out of Yorkshire have never heard of them!

Try them, try them,
you may like them!

Plate of pikelets with melting butter.
Finger sandwiches with Wensleydale cheese and green tomato relish and ham sandwiches with Dijon mustard on sourdough.

For sandwiches, we went with ham. I would have liked Yorkshire ham, of course.  Anyone who lives in the UK who wants truly delicious ham should try ordering from Lishmans butcher who is based in Ilkley, my home town. He delivers anywhere in the UK, and I miss his roast ham and his pork pies.... 

And of course Wensleydale cheese sandwiches. Wensleydale cheese is still made in Hawes, up in North Yorkshire by the original creamery. It is also made in Lancashire by a larger company. So if you can, you should buy Wensleydale from Wensleydale Creamery. So delicious when served with a fruit chutney. We served it with a green tomato chutney made by one of my friends. Thank you Allison! It's a perfect combination.

And finally, Yorkshire Tea. Most definitely. We used Yorkshire Gold tea leaves for a perfect strong brew. 

Although this is quite a large spread (we had no trouble feeding 7 kids and 4 adults with this lot - and with some left over) it's easy to manage as it can be made in advance. Parkin is best after 2 days, pikelets can be frozen, and the tart case can be made in advance and frozen.

Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire Tea!

Yorkshire tea from Betty's tearoom is a truly wonderful blended black tea. It uses teas from Kenya, Assam and Sri Lanka and is apparently the third most popular tea in the UK. You can actually buy it here in the small mountain community of Nelson in the Kootenays!

It's still a family owned company though - and I love that. In fact, Taylor's Yorkshire Tea is part of the Betty's group. And I think most people realise by now that Betty's is the whole reason for this website.... 

Yorkshire Gold tea is strong! We used to call it "trucker's tea". I love it, but I never drink more than one cup in the afternoon, being of faint-heart where caffeine is concerned....

One of the things I love about English people (in a general sense) is our ability to laugh at ourselves, whilst still feeling deep pride in who we are and where we come from. When I was looking at Yorkshire Tea online, I found these adverts for Yorkshire Tea that really made me smile. 

A cup of tea does, after all, solve most things. :-) And look at that scenery on the Brewtopia video! That's what I miss. That's where I come from....

And I couldn't resist sharing this video called The Tea Song too! So funny! So British! 

"Been sectioned for insanity? More British than the Jubilee..."

And while we're on the subject (kind of).....

Did you know that Patrick Stewart's favourite tea is actually Yorkshire Gold? Oh yes!

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. NOT!

Yes! As shocking as this may be, Patrick Stewart's favourite tea is actually Yorkshire Gold. I found this quote on Reddit:

One of the few MUST-ASK questions for an Englishman. What is your favorite Tea? 

Sir Pat Stew:
Easy. Yorkshire Gold. Any other kind of tea bag needs two bags. By the way, did you know that I am the man who introduced the concept of the double tea bag to the United States. Don't you think that deserves some recognition...A Medal of Honor? And invitation to the White House? Or my own seat on the next space shuttle?

Patrick Stewart comes from Yorkshire. I love this clip of him speaking in his regional dialect! As he says - it's poetry. 

And Finally....

I do hope you enjoyed My Afternoon Tea newsletter. I'm keen to make it something that you look forward to. So if you have any suggestions or requests for things you'd like to see more of - or less of - then I welcome your comments.

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