Category Archives: Tea

Cozy Reading

100_8353Brenda over at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me is asking her blog readers to submit their favorite books and movies that are in the Cozy category. She defines them as ones that make her feel all warm and cozy in the winter weather. Partly because we live in the south, my definition would be a little different – books and movies that me feel contented. There’s more to it than that, but when I start trying to nail it down, it gets elusive.

For instance, Agatha Christie mysteries are considered cozies, but they almost always involve murder. No gory details or horrible unpleasantness – but murder, none the less. I struggle with my affection for her books. Surely a Christian shouldn’t be so fascinated with sin. If I’m wanting to rationalize, I could say that it’s actually the intricacies of logic and justice that intrigue me.

Cozy books of all types make up a good deal of my reading. I also read a lot of challenging non-fiction: political, Alzheimer’s tales, biographies, but I find that after a few of these books, I need to read something that calms me down a bit. Because, even though I believe those topics to be necessary and important to my life, they can be a bit stressful.

Anyway, here’s some of my list. It isn’t complete because I’m sure that I’ll remember an omitted favorite this afternoon.

I’ve used Brenda’s format, to help me compare my list to hers.

AUTHORS
M.C. Beaton -mostly mysteries: Edwardian, Scotland, Cotswolds
Elizabeth Caddell – light mid-20th century novels of England
Agatha Christie – mysteries
Emily Kimbrough – reminiscences of very early and mid-20th century
L.M. Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables series
Miss Read – very light and pleasant novels of an English village school
D.E. Stevenson – light English romances
Gladys Taber – journal-like books about living in New England
Laura Ingalls Wilder – Little House books

FICTION
+Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
*Absolutely any of the Miss Read books
*Mrs. Miniver, Jan Struther (disclaimer: there is a chapter on fortune telling which I skipped. I don’t think witchcraft/occult is harmless fun.)
*The Gown of Glory, Agnes Sligh Turnbull (one of the reader reviews on Amazon compared it to Our Town.)
*The Nightingale, Agnes Sligh Turnbull (same town as The Gown of Glory, different people)
*Half Crown House, Helen Ashton (post WWII England)
*Owl’s Castle Farm, Primrose Cumming (mid-WWII English farm life)
*Now That April’s There, Daisy Neumann (English children returning home from America 1945)
SERIES
*Fairacre series by Miss Read
*Thrush Green series by Miss Read
*Some of the Mitford books by Jan Karon
*Reminisce Magazine books – collections of short personal stories from very early to mid-20th century

NON-FICTION – HOME ARTS
*A Thousand Ways to Please Your Husband with Bettina’s Best Recipes, Louise Bennett Weaver & Helen Cowles LeCron (either 1917 or 1932 edition)
*The Little House Cookbook, Barbara M. Walker
*If Teacups Could Talk, Emilie Barnes
*The Charms of Tea, by Victoria Magazine
*Beautiful Home on a Budget, Emilie Barnes & Yoli Brogger
*Timeless Treasures, Emilie Barnes
*Sew Pretty Homestyle, Tone Finnanger
*Crafting Vintage Style, Christina Strutt
*Creating Vintage Style, Lucinda Ganderton

BIOGRAPHIES & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
*Farewell, Horton Foote
*In My Father’s House: the Years Before the Hiding Place, Corie ten Boom
*Agatha Christie: an Autobiography, Agatha Christie
*A Fortunate Grandchild, Miss Read
*Time Remembered, Miss Read

FASHION

*20th Century Fashion, John Peacock
*Fashion Accessories, John Peacock
*The Costume Collector’s Companion 1890-1990, Rosemary Hawthorne Air

6 Comments

Filed under Books, Cooking, Cozy, Faith, Fiction, History, Tea

Sour Cream Pound Cake with Chocolate Marble

Five O'Clock Tea, by Mary Cassatt

Five O'Clock Tea, by Mary Cassatt


My friend Merrily gave me this recipe over 35 years ago. It’s absolutely wonderful and would be perfect with either tea or coffee. My husband thinks that an icy glass of milk is the only suitable drink for cake, pie or cookies.
( Posted below this one is the half recipe which is just right for a loaf pan.)

Sour Cream Pound Cake with Chocolate Marble
(Full recipe – fits tube pan or bundt pan)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack to center.
2 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
~
3 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. soda
~
1 c. sour cream
~
1/3 c. cocoa powder (not the drink mix)

1. Pour sugar into mixer.
2. Soften the butter, but do not melt. Add.
3. Break the eggs, 1 at a time into a separate bowl, then add to the mixture. It’s just too difficult to try to get chips of eggshell out of the mixer.
100_8260 Sour Cream Pound Cake
4. Cream together until light and fluffy.
5. Add vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
6. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and soda.
7. Add about a c. of flour mixture to batter, beat until well mixed.
8. Add about 1/3 c. of sour cream, mixing well.
9. Keep alternating until all the ingredients (except cocoa) have been added.
100_8264100_8266
10. Set aside 1 c. of batter into a small mixing bowl. Add cocoa & mix thoroughly.
11. Oil or Pam baking pan.
12. Spoon about 1/2 of batter into baking pan.
13. Spoon chocolate mixture on top.
14. Add remaining batter.
15. To marble, use a table knife and drag once around the batter.
16. Bake at 350 on middle rack. (This one took 1 1/2 hours.) Keep checking after 1 hour. Use toothpick test when it looks done.
100_8271
17. Let cool slightly and turn over onto serving plate. Absolutely needs no icing.
100_8272

Half Recipe
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
~
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. soda
~
1/4 c. cocoa powder (not drink mix)

Directions same as above. Use loaf pan.

*updated January 18, 2012

Linked to:
Food on Fridays at annkroeker
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace

9 Comments

Filed under Baking, Cooking, Recipes, Tea