Virtual afternoon tea; let’s sit outside in the sun

Coffee and a catch-up in the back garden. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Wherever you are, and whatever is happening in your world, Kia ora koutou katoa  (Greetings. Hello to you all). 

I thought we’d take our tea outside this month. In the last 24 hours, the wind has dropped and the sun has come out. And while my back garden is very much a work in progress (yeah, ignore the wheelbarrow full of mulch), there is plenty of space for us to spread out and share a cuppa.

Last month I joked I might resort to serving shop-bought gingernuts with our tea. This month, without the excuse of surgery, my energy levels seem to have dropped even further, and I haven’t felt much like baking.

So I am actually serving gingernuts.

But they are home-made.

And crunchy.

And they hold together quite well when dunked.

Who else is a dunker? Image; Su Leslie 2020

And I found a pretty plate to serve them off.

Op-shop find. My new favourite serving plate. Image; Su Leslie 2020

I’m not entirely sure why I feel so meh. I know it’s been a crap year, but I also know that the impacts of Covid-19 are rather less in New Zealand than in many parts of the world. And we’re heading into summer, while many of you are facing rising infection rates and the approach of winter.

I suspect that a major source of my anxiety is that we’re in the midst of a general election, and I am genuinely concerned about the outcome. Our current Labour-led coalition government is far from perfect, but the prospect of the right-leaning National party regaining power horrifies me.

Election day is this Saturday.

In the meantime, I continue to plant seedlings, shovel mulch and direct the Big T’s splendid efforts in constructing new raised beds.

And when my hands aren’t covered in dirt, I’m baking bread.

… cos biscuits are not all that filling. Fresh sourdough bread, cheese and home-made plum jam. Image: Su Leslie 2020

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 kai and korero. 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.

The invitation

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?)


Yvette at Priorhouse blog brings us oolong tea (or coffee) and cashews

Jo from Restless Jo always brings such yummy cakes. I’m a lemon meringue pie fan, but pop over to Jo’s post to see what else is on offer.

Ladyleemanila is enjoying some jaffa cakes with her cuppa — and a fab-looking jigsaw puzzle.

Irene at My Slice of Mexico has made some delicious-looking finger sandwiches with fresh herbs from her garden, cream cheese and home-made bread. Heaven! Oh and there are some Garibaldi biscuits too.

My friend Sarah at Art Expedition has a wonderful way with flavours. Who can resist toasted banana bread with walnuts and goji berries — topped with Nutella. Yum.

Sheree at View from the Back has an absolute feast of afternoon tea treats.

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind has made a delicious apple and ricotta cake. Excuse me while I go make a coffee to drink with it!!

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful has not only brought delicious-looking gingerbread cheesecake bars, but shared the recipe too.

And Amanda at A Home by the Sea has used another of Ju-Lyn’s recipes to make some fantastic cinnamon rolls.


73 thoughts on “Virtual afternoon tea; let’s sit outside in the sun

  1. Pingback: October Virtual Tea Party, Trent’s Weekly Smile, & #kindasquare Day 15 too – priorhouse blog

  2. Su Leslie; I LOVE your tea parties, which, in my imagination, have been running also under the cover name ‘apéro, snack-times in good company, party now, get fat later’ and a view others. I am more the cheese, charcuterie (cold cuts), dips & veggies – all with a glass of wine of course – girl, but I still have an opinion on your offerings to your tea gatherings (of course!).
    I’m NOT a dunker and when I started seeing that I was horrified. So, that’s out of the way – but I love everything else on your plates and in your cups this time.
    I had my birthday yesterday (day before y’day? – anyway, Oct. 14th) and I could feed an army with the desserts and cakes that were brought to me and still will be brought. One sis of mine, although very ill, baked a rich choco cake and her hubby brought it over by car, another sis baked hazelnut mini croissants 2 weeks ago, a whole box full of them and about 1 zillion calories a piece – but so worth it! Another friend whom I invited today for a raclette (know that?) will also bring a cake…. I offered to my yesterday’s guests a Swiss walnut tart, unimaginably good and rich and heavy!!! Will that do for now? I also baked for ‘general apéro/starters’ a large Quiche Lorraine ‘ma façon’ (my way….) with lots of pre-roasted red onions, garlic, lardon cubes and – to make it lighter (ha ha), I chopped a red bell pepper into this mix, then the cheese mix, eggs, greek joghurt, a little milk, grated nutmeg, pepper. A shop bought organic wonderful spelt flour pastry, 30′ in the oven and voilà. That much for now! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I always thought that NZ was THE most peaceful and advanced country (right after Switzerland, of course, that goes without saying) and now I’m shocked to read that in your area too you are afraid of how the right-wings gain ground rapidly. Surely you must have followed Stephen Colbert’s ‘love story’ with NZ – he painted and underlined a beautiful and peaceful picture of your fab woman leader, a picture which I had in my mind too, forever and a day – it really makes me sad to learn these news. The world IS in a terrible turmoil and we must do every little and tiniest thing to stay positive and upbeat. I do wish you well and send you streams of good thoughts and vibes!

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Who doesn’t dunk? Especially when you have gingernuts, just be careful not to make them too soggy. Sounds like you need a road trip Su. Any chance? Things getting worse here (well not here in Cornwall) so we will just carry on staying close to home.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I slightly over-baked so they’d cope with dunking. My boys prefer slightly chewy biscuits so I’ll get more than my fair share of these 👍
      You are right; I do need a road trip, and I’m trying to organise something.
      I get so stressed reading UK news; I have so many family members and friends there and I feel so helpless


      • I think most of us older folk are keeping ourselves safe. We can do without visiting restaurants for now, though to be fair they are the places that can operate safely. My son has gone back into lockdown as he is vulnerable and his friends are mingling with other people. Luckily I am virtually a recluse anyway so it doesn’t bother me, but I know some people are suffering. I hope your family keep safe, and try not to worry about it, your health is also very important.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks Jude. I hope your son is ok. I am very happy with my own company, and am really lucky that the boy-child lives nearby and even in the “big” lockdown I could see and talk to him from the end of his driveway as I was delivering their groceries.


  6. As I’m sitting here with my early morning coffee, I’m thinking that a slice of your delicious looking bread with plum jam would be perfect. I love that pretty little spoon serving the jam 🙂

    I guess I’m so far behind in catching up with the blogging world. You had surgery?! I hope you are well and now recovered.

    I am not a fan of right-leaning governments and it seems to me that last thing the world needs right now is another right-leaning government. I will keep my fingers crossed for your elections on Saturday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Joanne. The surgery was mainly exploratory, and I’ve had the (clear) biopsy results now so am feeling much more relaxed. I think my worry about a lurch to the right here is not just about the policies they would pursue, but that their leadership espouses the sort of cruel, mud-slinging, fake news political behaviour that drags us all down.


  7. It’s totally okay to feel meh, Su, I’m feeling just the same! 😁 And it’s much better to have company to feel meh with, especially when it’s such excellent company as yours (and I’m not talking about your delicious offerings here, although they’re always welcome and much appreciated 😊).
    That plate does look so lovely with the gingernuts – can you believe it, I never had any before. Dunking or no-dunking – it’s all the same for me as long as it’s yummy. 😀 I love dunking almond biscotti however because they’re usually a tad too hard to chew on. Btw I’ll try to bake those for next time, as for today – I might have to use store-bought stuff today!! Lol! And I hope the light will still be good when I get around to make the shot! I’m really pretty lazy these days. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think feeling meh is a normal thing now. Such a sad comment, isn’t it? But it’s true. Cookies that dunk–how I love that! I make biscotti and can never wait to dunk them in my coffee. My Italian grandfather used to dunk thick slices of peaches in his glass of red wine, so I come from a long line of dunkers! You do have wonderful parties, Su. I am going to sample a slice of that cheese….

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Virtual afternoon tea: still (just) sitting in the sunshine – View from the Back

  10. Pingback: Virtual afternoon tea – Ladyleemanila

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  13. Su, it is raining and rather cool out today so I would be delighted to sit out in the sun with you and share a cup of tea. The cookies look delicious. I’m waiting for a visit from our younger son. Everyone is so busy even with the shut down.
    Leslie xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kia ora! Ginger nuts dunked into a cup of tea…wonderful! I was travelling this week for work and haven’t made a thing….and I am a bit late…but will pick up something good from a local bakery to bring along.
    I know what you mean about the election…….

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: October’s Virtual Tea Party | Curls n Skirls

  16. So lovely to virtually fly down for your bright sunshine, tea and a natter, Su! Thank you so very much for inviting me! My contribution is here:
    Must say I’ve not been immune to similar feelings to yours. With 3 weeks still to go before our official election day, it seems like we’ve been in this state for years 🙀 but are lacking a majority with your country’s common sense and ability to appreciate science, amongst other things…
    Oh, I do love your sourdough wholemeal bread, Su, and that cheese! I am in heaven!!! Your gingernuts are sooo good! Someday would you post the recipe?
    Thank you again for hosting us every month, and being such a beautiful virtual friend. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Haven’t had a ginger nut (or dunked one!) for a long time. Sorry to hear you’re not too bright. I hope the election result cheered you. It certainly did me, although I’m on the other side of the world. I’m very blah at the moment, but working hard to pull myself up a little … Have a lovely Sunday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I don’t think I realised how anxious I was about the election until yesterday. Now if I can only stop worrying about all my friends and family overseas 😬 I might be able to get some work done in the garden.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars for our Virtual Tea Party – All things bright and beautiful

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