The World in Your Teacup: Celebrating Tea Traditions, Near and Far

The World in Your Teacup: Celebrating Tea Traditions, Near and Far

By: Lisa Boalt Richardson 
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication Date: January 2010
ISBN: 978-0736925808
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: July 2010

Come join author Lisa Boalt Richardson, a tea specialist, as she takes readers on a journey where you will first learn about the different types of tea, from White to Puerh. Next, readers will enjoy wandering through the countries of China, England, Kenya, Russia, Iran, France, Morocco, and finally the USA, where each country's tea traditions, cultural tips, and ceremonies from past to present are thoroughly discussed. Included in this impressive book are stunning, mouth-watering food photographs presented by Lauren Rubinstein, and yummy recipes the author has collected over the years from some of her fellow tea loving friends. Here you will learn what foods are indigenous to each country, and what type of tea to accompany the meal, such as the Sohan Asali, a sweet honey and almond treat from Iran, coupled with a black, Ceylon Earl Grey tea.

Ms. Richardson surely knows her tea, and thanks to her charming book that is packed full of proper tea etiquette and recipes for the best tea party, anyone can be a tea connoisseur, and host wonderfully proper teas from suggestions all over the world. As a person who enjoys a good cup of tea, and is curious about the customs in other countries, I quickly found this book to be an enjoyable read, not to mention the recipes are excellent and easy to follow. I was particularly drawn to the country of France and found myself wanting to try out the spinach and mushroom quiche. Although I did not make my crust from scratch (there's a recipe included in the book for homemade crust too) I was able to create the delicious recipe as follows:

4 eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 10oz package chopped frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and liquid squeezed out
1/4 cup Swiss cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust (may substitute ready-made refrigerated or frozen pie crust)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, mayonnaise, milk, mustard, and flour until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate while preparing other ingredients. Set a medium-sized saute pan on a burner turned onto medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons canola oil to the pan and watch for the “waves” in the oil, which means that the oil is hot. Add the mushrooms to the pan. Saute until the mushrooms begin to caramelize and turn brown. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook mushrooms for 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl. Return the pan to the burner and turn the heat on to high. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Heat the oil, and then add the yellow onions. Saute the onions on high heat, stirring for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Continue cooking the onions for approximately 10 minutes, allowing them to slowly caramelize. Add garlic and allow to cook 2 minutes. When done, cool slightly. Remove the quiche mix from the refrigerator and add the drained spinach, mushrooms, cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add slightly cool onions and stir well. Pour the quiche mixture into the uncooked deep-dish pie crust (homemade or frozen purchased variety). Place the quiche on a cookie sheet and then into the preheated oven. Cook for one hour, rotating the quiche halfway through the cooking time (30 minutes). Remove from oven and allow the quiche to stand for 15 minutes before serving. Slice with a serrated knife. Makes 8 luncheon-sized servings or 6 dinner sized servings.

The World in Your Teacup makes what is usually thought as stuffy and formal tea traditions from around the world seem not only exotic but easily accessible to anyone who has a sense of adventure and is willing to take the time to explore. Finally, this book includes a bibliography for further reading and an extensive Resource Guide filled with websites categorized by country and other various tea related information such as tea ware, and tea tours.

Quill says: Hold onto your teacups, as you take an extensive fact-filled journey across the world where you'll find interesting tea history and wonderful recipes. This is a must-have book for all tea enthusiasts.

Feathered Quill

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