Wherever you are, and whatever is happening in your world, Kia ora koutou katoa (Greetings. Hello to you all).
I’m glad you could join me for this virtual afternoon tea, in a week where I’m even more glad of your company than usual.
As you probably know; my home city, Auckland has gone into another Covid 19 lock-down after four (now five) cases of the virus were found that can’t be linked back to travel, border control or quarantine facilities. So it seems we have community transmission and need to do what is necessary to stem it.
For the Big T and I, the immediate impact is relatively small — though we probably won’t be hosting the “posh” dinner party we had planned for the weekend. For our son, who’s recently returned to university after putting his course on hold due to the last lock-down, it’s a much bigger deal and it’s hard for me not to worry.
But as before, I am incredibly grateful for a warm home, a loving family and a (reasonably) full pantry. I have taken the planned scones off our menu today though; flour supplies were disrupted last time so I’m in conservation mode.
Instead we’ve got some sourdough rye and fennel crackers — which pair really well with crisp Granny Smith apples, mint and ricotta.
Apparently people were queuing outside supermarkets even before our PM had finished making her Covid announcement, so in anticipation of grocery shopping being a less than wonderful experience, I am determined to just work with the ingredients I have to hand.
And that’s the genesis of these little tartlets containing roasted beetroot (my new favourite food), feta, spinach and a handful of pinenuts. I guess the mixture would work with other pastry too, but I had some leftover fillo, and I love the way it folds around the filling. I found the recipe at Bec’s Table, and while I altered the filling a little, I totally
stole embraced her wonderful folding technique.
Though it looks like our dinner party is on hold, T and I have been sampling my test dishes for a few days. I don’t normally get (quite) so meticulous with the food I serve guests, but we’re planning to share our table with some people who make my culinary obsession look lightweight (oh, and one of them is a chef).
They’re old friends, so it’s not like I’m trying to impress the boss or potential in-laws, but I know from experience that I’m happier when the food I serve is tasty and interesting (and properly cooked). And more importantly, that the dishes I make don’t have me slaving in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying themselves.
So …. the point of this is that I’ve been testing a dessert of panna cotta and fruit. And you get to try it too.
Both T and I find cow’s milk hard to digest these days, so I’ve used coconut milk instead, and infused it with lemongrass. The topping is chopped pineapple with light ginger syrup, mint and pineapple sage flowers. Ginger snaps on the side provide some crunch and extra sweetness.
It’s my first attempt at panna cotta and I have to say, it’s incredibly easy and worked well with coconut milk.
But enough explanation. There’s tea in the pot (or coffee if you prefer), and food on the table. Pull up a chair and tell me what’s happening in your world.
Why a virtual tea party?
When Del (at CurlsnSkirls) and I started talking about a virtual tea party, we saw it as a fun way to share our love of food and conversation. It is that of course, but for me at least, it’s also an affirmation of how important you — my blogging whanau — are to me. Over the years you’ve shared your thoughts, stories, advice and support and I really would like to invite you all round to mine and cook for you.
But since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, I hope this will do instead.
I’d love to hear from you. What are you doing/reading/making? Your thoughts on the food, the drinks, and whatever I’m rambling about. What’s making you happy or pissing you off? Your comments make blogging so much more interesting.
And if you’d like to contribute a post of your own — even better. Maybe a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it. A recipe if you like.
I’ll update each of my posts with a ping-back to everyone’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.
#virtualteaparty2020 for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)
Amanda at Surprising Lives has joined us today, and brought some delicious raisin and blackcurrant cookies and refreshing lemon ginger tea. Yum!
My dear friend Sarah at Art Expedition has baked pastels de nata — the most delicious-looking Portuguese custard tarts. I am salivating just thinking about them, so pop over to Sarah’s and enjoy one.
Irene at My Slice of Mexico has paired a homemade Mexican basil tisane, with some fabulous Mexican Garibaldis. Pop over to her post to find out more about Mexican basil and the garibaldis.
Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind has managed to deal with electrical switchboard problems and still bake a chocolate cake. She says one side is a bit burned; I say it looks more caramelised than the other side and bring it on.
Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful has baked some yummy cheddar and scallion scones. Delicious! And she has shared the recipe.
My co-host Del, at Curls N Skirls has made her grandmother’s Foundation Cake, and shared some stories from her granny’s life. Understanding our forebears, and the origins of the foods we love, is so important.