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Simple Pleasures of Tea    by Susannah Seton order for
Simple Pleasures of Tea
by Susannah Seton
Order:  USA  Can
Conari Press, 2005 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is one of those little books that make delightful gifts - just make yourself a cup of tea and settle down to leaf through colorful pages, full of recipes for herbal and black teas, as well as baked treats to serve at your next tea party, or nibble on your own. And there are a few unusual applications of tea in here too, to surprise you.

Tea recipes begin with Sun Tea (I can almost taste the peach variation), and continue through herbal teas to spicy winter Cranberry and Honey-Sage Tea. The book lists common herbs to grow for tea (with instructions on how to do it), from Blueberry Leaves and Dandelion Root to Nettle. Pouring boiling water over fresh Gingerroot is also suggested, for ginger tea. And a Tropical Bacchus Brew fortifies tea with vodka and rum.

As you sip from a cuppa, get baking. How about Stuffed Baked Peaches (I love baked pears, but this recipe has me salivating too) or Surefire Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp? Start making Lemon Tea Bread by growing the lemon balm. I've always enjoyed Chinese Almond Cookies, and Buttermilk Biscuits or Raisin Scones would both go well with jam. There's Pumpkin Bread for the Fall (yummm!) and Gingerbread at Christmas.

This little book is full of tea treats, including quotes, like this one from Okakura Kakuzo, 'There is a subtle charm in the taste of tea ... It has not the arrogance of wine, the self-consciousness of coffee, nor the simpering innocence of cocoa.' Enjoy the subtle charm of Simple Pleasures of Tea.

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