lördag 2 maj 2009

Afternoon tea with Gutenberg

ady Channice was waiting for her son to come in from the garden. The afternoon was growing late, but she had not sat down to the table, though tea was ready and the kettle sent out a narrow banner of steam. Walking up and down the long room she paused now and then to look at the bowls and vases of roses placed about it, now and then to look out of the windows, and finally at the last window she stopped to watch Augustine advancing over the lawn towards the house. It was a grey stone house, low and solid, its bareness unalleviated by any grace of ornament or structure, and its two long rows of windows gazed out resignedly at a tame prospect.
_ _ _
She had gone to the tea-table while she spoke and was pouring the boiling water into the teapot. Her voice had pretty, flute-like ups and downs in it and a questioning, upward cadence at the end of sentences. Her upper lip, her smile, the run of her speech, all would have made one think her humorous, were it not for the strain of nervousness that one felt in her very volubility.

From "Amabel Channice" (1908) by Anne Douglas Sedgwick

Amabel Channice was one of today’s finds – I’m not so sure that I manage to read the whole book but I’ll take a look at it.

Last week I promised to return to “The Peanut Plant – Its Cultivation And Uses” from 1902 by B. W. Jones. You can not only learn everything you need to know to start growing peanuts – there is also a chapter of how you can use the peanuts. The book doesn’t say that you can make peanut tea – but peanut coffee so I decided to take peanut coffee today.

Picture from the English Tea Store
Peanut Coffee.—Here again the Peanut fills a useful end, especially in times of scarcity, or high prices for coffee. Taken alone, and without any addition whatever of the pure berry, the Peanut makes a quite good and palatable beverage. It closely resembles chocolate in flavor, is milder and less stimulating than pure coffee, and considerably cheaper than Rio or Java. If mixed, half and half, with pure coffee before parching, and roasted and ground together, the same quantity will go as far and make about as good a beverage as the pure article, and a better one than much of the ground and adulterated coffee offered in the market. Indeed, if people will adulterate their coffee, it were much to be wished that they would use nothing more harmful than the Peanut for this purpose.
For making the beverage, the Peanut is parched and ground the same as coffee, the mode of decoction the same, and it is taken with cream and sugar, like the pure article.

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