Okay, I am forced to put down my stuck up nose about mixes. I made a scone mix yesterday from King Arthur Flour, given to me along with so very many tea things for Christmas. They were absolutely delicious! I put some raisins in as I like raisins, but otherwise followed the recipe and baked them in my new scone baker. Such a cinch! We had them with lemon curd and Devonshire cream. Way to go sister-in-law! They didn't last long.
A. C. Cargill has written a fun piece about cats and tea lovers - see the Little Yellow Teapot link at the right. I must admit I am both and I also admit I share both tea and goodies with the worst beggar in the universe, Ernie, the Earnest. He is very serious about his pursuit of goodies. Usually he creeps up on my lap, purring as loudly as possible, but not looking at my tea. Slowly he edges closer, purr at high rev. Finally he ever so casually pokes his nose or a paw on my plate. When he was a kitten he wasn't nearly so subtle - then it was the lightening paw flick and away he went with his prize. At the present time I can make him wait his turn, but I usually pour him a small bit of tea because he will keep putting his nose in it and I don't want it to spill.
It is okay to share small bits of goodies with cats, but be careful they only get things that won't harm them. Please look on line to see what these may be. Of course, one could have well disciplined cats, but that, my friends is an oxymoron.
I am having some of my Christmas tea - Golden Monkey from Adagio. It is a pleasant, somewhat sweet tea with a nice woodsy edge to it and perhaps a pinch of spice to add interest. I brewed it for 3.5 minutes with boiling water, but I think next time I am going to push it to 4 and see how it does. It is one of those all purpose teas, strong enough for breakfast, but pleasant enough to do for tea. Cold, it makes a very nice ice tea, as it is somewhat light at 3.5 minutes. I thought it was just fine with or without milk.
Did you know you can make tea from saffron, those expensive and heavenly orange stamens from autumn crocus? Hop on over to http://www.bellaonline.com/artibles/art174619.asp.zzz for an article about it. Bella online is a website with many areas of interest, geared mostly to women. Some of the tea articles are pretty good.