Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Custard Creams and our new Teatime


As most of you know, tea is a regular occurrence in our home.  For over 30 years, Sir Knight and I have had tea in the morning before starting our day and come together again in the evening for another cuppa.  

Our lifestyle has changed so drastically in the last few years that we've had to come up with a new rhythm for our daily lives.  We still begin our day with tea (now in the snug) and come together for tea in the evening, however, our evening tea has now taken the place of "dinner".  When the children were small, Sir Knight and I needed a few moments of quiet, without kids, to reconnect at the end of the day.  Now, as our lives have changed so have our needs.  Our quiet start to the day, teacups in hand, has become our cherished time together, and our evening tea has become a family affair.

Our evening "tea" has truly become tea in the best sense of the word.  Our teatime now includes a full dinner, followed by cups of tea, conversation and a sweet end to a savory meal.  Every evening, after a full day at the butcher shop, we gather around a gracefully set kitchen table,  and enjoy a family meal together.  While we eat, the kettle boils away with water to heat the pot and then again with freshly boiled water for our evening tea.  As soon as our meal is finished, we whisk the dishes away and replace them with teacups, a full teapot and our evening nibble - the best part of the day!

Although three of our children are grown, tea time seems to call them home.  More often than not our table is full and the kitchen is alive with good food and better conversation.  Although changed, the ritual of teatime has grown with our family and remains ingrained in our very fabric.

One lightly perfect tea time treat that often graces our after-dinner tea table is Custard Creams.  Custard Creams are a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread sandwich cookie that comes together quickly and is a delightful tea accompaniment.  These cookies do require an ingredient not commonly found in American kitchens, however it is readily available online - custard powder.  My favorite is Bird's, which can be ordered from a number of online sources, it's fairly inexpensive and worth keeping on the kitchen shelf.

Custard Creams


2 2/3 C Flour

1 C Custard Flour

1 1/2 C Butter

1 C Powdered Sugar

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda


1/2 C Butter

1 C Powdered Sugar

1/2 tsp. Vanilla


For the cookie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Sift the flour, custard powder and baking soda into a bowl.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes in a stand mixer.

Add the sifted flour, custard powder and baking soda to the butter mixture and mix well.

Roll the dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thick.  Cut with round or square cookie cutter.

Bake in center of oven for 8 - 11 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges.

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

Mix the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy (it will be very stiff).  Sandwich the buttercream between two cookies.  Repeat until all of the cookies have been used.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week (if they last that long).

Our best life is lived around the table, with cups of tea in our hands and laughter on our lips.  May you too, live your best life.....

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Miss Serenity.....

 Today, Miss Serenity turns 22.  Her life has been a blessing and an adventure.  She is all go, no stop.  She expects everything out of herself, yet loves and accepts her people with an unmatched fierceness.  She is strength and she is vulnerability all wrapped up together.  

Serenity has a remarkable, seemingly incongruent, combination of personality traits.  She is strong and tough - doing jobs that many men would struggle with, yet melts with one glance at a newborn baby.  Children flock to her like she's the Pied Piper while grown men are intimidated by her very nature.  She can (and does) do anything that God puts in front of her to do, but willingly and respectfully relinquishes those jobs should a more capable or experienced person step in to relieve her.  She is careful to listen and slow to take command, but always is the first to volunteer for the jobs that nobody else wants to do.  She works hard and plays hard and is loyal to a fault.

Serenity is a great favorite among her siblings.  What's her's is theirs, including not only her things but also her time.  She's the fun and adventurous one, always up for a road trip or a hike or a swim in the creek.  She brings life to whatever room she walks into.

For all her outward frivolity, Serenity wades into the deep end of the waters of life.  She searches for truth and thinks deeply about her purpose and about how God can and will use her.  She thinks about how her actions will affect those around her and how they will affect her future.  She poses intelligent questions and then spends time engaged in rousing discussions, first forming conclusions and then acting according to the dictate of these conclusions.  Serenity is true, both in thought and in action.

Sir Knight and I have been blessed and honored to be Serenity's parents.  We praise God for the great gift He gave us in her......