Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, April 9, 2012

An Easter Week Tea

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.


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.

It's Tuesday and I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday and Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.


On Crooked Creek said...

I love your tea cozy...'a little dress for the tea pot'...too cute! A perfect gift from your friend Carol for her "Tea Friend"!

Beth said...

Martha, That looks delicious! I always enjoy my visits to Linderhof. You are the consummate hostess.
Hugs, Beth

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Sounds yummy and what a cute tea cozy!

relevanttealeaf said...

I enjoy my visits to Linderhof too! Love the knitted tea cozy "dress". How thoughtful of your friend, but I have a feeling you've done many thoughtful deeds for her too.
The carrot, poppyseed tea bread looks wonderful.

Pondside said...

Every tea pot should have a cosy - so glad to see that yours is such a sweet one!

podso said...

I was just thinking about how tea, especially with a friend, allows us to slow down in the afternoon. Your tea cozy is just so cute! I do love the color. I always enjoy a look in your dining room...even the secretary (below post) as that's the dining room furniture I grew up with. :-)

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

One of the things I love about blogging, besides the friendship is the gathering of tried and yummy recipes.
I'll have to add yours to my tea bread collection, and it is growing nicely.
Your friend made you a pretty tea cozy and sharing tea together is much better than alone.
I had a friend call me up for a spur of the moment afternoon tea together yesterday, it was wonderful to spend an hour chatting and sipping.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Good morning Martha,
I love carrot cake and I have to agree with you about the cream cheese! One must have cream cheese for carrot cake, bread, muffins etc! Yum! Your china is very pretty and a real treasure. So happy you shared your tea with us. It is lovely! Have a wonderful day.


Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Oh, I meant to comment on the little dress for your teapot; very cute!

Snap said...

Sharing tea with a friend is such a delight! And, sitting and looking out on the gardens and birds ... perfect. I love tea cozies ... what a nice gift! Thanks for the recipe. Happy Tea Day!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

a little cooler here today...I think you put me in the mood to bake!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

It's awfully hard to be on a low carb diet and read your blog, Martha! The tea bread looks wonderful! And I love the tea cozy!

La Tea Dah said...

Such a lovely tea table --- and a charming tea cosy! Your pictures make me wish to be there for tea this morning!

megan said...

Martha, what a coincidence. Yesterday I found the English Kitchen site from your link and was amazed at the volume of her recipes.
Coming from England there were lots of old time dishes for me and I did notice the carrot bread. Thank you for that.
I am now a follower of hers too.
I love that you stop for tea and what I call *goodies* in the afternoon, I do the same thing.
We are hoping to go home next Spring, cannot wait.

Johanna Gehrlein said...

Hi Martha,
that was a perfect friends tea time with pretty china, yummy tea cake and a wonderful tea cozy. I am very fond of tea cozies as they are helpful and a nice way to decorate. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.
Best greetings, Johanna

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely tea and the cozy is just soooooooo pretty. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, marty

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Wonderful post, wonderful tea and wonderful recipe!

Thank you so much!

Happy Tea Tuesday!

Lily said...

Sounds yummy and what a cute tea cozy!