That's what we call the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday -- Easter week. It's a week full of traditions revolving around the church.
But I still keep my tea time!!! For not only do I not give up tea for Lent -- I would never give up a tea treat either!
A favorite blog (and Friend of Linderhof) is The English Kitchen and she has wonderful recipes and I've tried several. But just before Easter when she posted a recipe for carrot and poppyseed tea cake, I had to try it!!!
Carrots and poppy seeds together! It's an easy tea cake (tea cake in Brit Speak is really tea bread, you know!).
So I made a loaf . . . and shortly after it came out of the oven, Carol came calling. It was afternoon, so I put the kettle on.
Got out favorite tea cups and plates (Aynsley Pembroke -- not the newer cups and saucers and plates but old ones dating to the 1890s), put the bread on a plate and got some softened cream cheese out of the fridge.
The carrot and poppyseed cake/bread is very good. Moist and I love the hint of orange in it. It really brightens the flavor. It's good as is, but . . .
|A pearl handled tea knife -- perfect for the cream cheese|
It's really better slathered with cream cheese. (For I always felt that carrot anything (i.e. cake, bread, muffins) was just a vehicle for cream cheese icing!)
We enjoyed watching the antics of the birds as we sipped and munched the oh, so appropriate carrot bread. (I love carrot foods at Easter -- think bunnies -- think carrots! When I was young, Mother would always make carrot muffins for breakfast during Easter week. My brother and I gobbled them up, oblivious to the fact that they had carrots in them!)
The reason for Carol's visit -- a present!!!
A hand knitted tea cozy. It's sweet and so thoughtful of Carol. It's like a little dress for the teapot and I simply adore the color!
She pronounced the bread/cake delicious and all too soon she had to run -- it's was Easter Week and there are church services to attend and chocolates to buy and cookies to bake!
The carrot poppyseed tea bread includes the English "mixed spice" -- Marie included a recipe for it as well. After spending last Spring in England, a jar of it is always in the larder.
CARROT AND POPPY SEED TEA CAKE
5 ounces vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark -- whatever you have on hand)
6 medium size carrots, peeled and grated (I used the food processor)
1 T. poppyseeds
1 3/4 c. self rising flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. mixed spice (recipe below)
For the topping:
zest of 1 orange, finely greed
juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 c. powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter regular size loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper and butter that as well.
Bet together the oil, eggs and brown sugar. Stir in the carrots and poppy seeds. Sift the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice together. Stir this into the wet mixture, stirring to mix well.
Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour or 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then carefully tip out of tin and place right side up on rack.
For the topping: Whisk together the orange zest, juice and powdered sugar and then spoon slowly over hot cake so that it soaks in. Allow to cool completely before cutting into slices to eat with or without butter.
Note: (From Marie: If you're feeling hedonistic, you can put a cream cheese icing on as well. "Scrummy"!) I prefer just a slather of softened cream cheese.
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground allspice
Mix well and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.