Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘All things tea related’ Category

My 100 word story is being featured on the Magic of Stories. Perhaps you have a 100 word story you would like to share on this great blog. It is a good exercise, try it!

Karen J. Mossman

The #100wordstory is just that, exactly one hundred words long.

If you have a story that fits this criteria.Email me, I would love to feature you.

By Darlene Foster

Claire met Frank at a retirement party. Men of a certain age were often single for a reason.

Frank wondered why Claire was single. Maybe she hated men.

“There’s a nice cafe around the corner; would you like to join me for a cup of tea?” he asked.

“That’s the best offer I’ve had in a long time.” Claire agreed with a pretty smile.

Over cups of steaming tea, they talked late into the night, replenishing their mugs as they steeped themselves in each other’s history.

The next morning, Frank woke Claire with a welcoming pot of that seductive libation.

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A nice surprise to see this blog from the past. CWILL BC is an amazing group to belong to and this was such a great event. I have been a member for the past nine years. Thanks, Sally for bringing it out of the archives.

I was invited to do a book reading and signing at a local coffee shop called Cakes ‘n’ Bakes near my home in Spain. It was a huge success. Many cups of coffee, tea, delicious treats and books were sold to happy customers. The children enjoyed the two readings and everyone had a fun time. A great way to spend an afternoon. I was pleased to see Amanda’s travel adventures in the hands of many new readers. There will be some Amanda books under the tree this Christmas as well. One grandmother said she was going to read the books she bought, then send them off to her grandchildren. Here are a few pictures of the day and two short videos of me reading, thanks to Maureen Moss.

Cakes ‘n’ Bakes coffee shop in Los Dolses

Lemon meringue cupcakes

A happy customer

Eager listeners


Christmas shopping

Books and yummy cakes

Christine, the proprietor with her homemade mince tarts. So popular she had to make another batch mid-afternoon.

Salted caramel brownies to die for

A fellow author and supporter


Thank you to everyone who attended in person and in spirit!

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and family.

I am incredibly thankful for all those who support my writing endeavours!

A good friend suggested we attend a demonstration on making Welsh tea cakes at a local book store. You know how much I love book stores and good food, so it didn’t take me long to decide it was a good idea. We had a marvellous time.  Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks is a store devoted to cookbooks as well as books related to cooking or food. The warm, inviting store has an amazing collection of books, many filled with mouth watering photographs of culinary delights. One could spend hours browsing and it is difficult to leave without a purchase.




The shop has a full kitchen which is used to demonstrate recipes as well as for holding cooking classes. To celebrate St. David’s Day, staff member Mark Holmes, a transplanted Welshman, demonstrated the art of making Welsh cakes in the shop kitchen. He even wore the traditional daffodil in his button hole to honour the occasion.


Grating the fresh nutmeg


Rolling out the dough on a counter lightly dusted with icing sugar


Cutting out the cakes after chilling the dough


Cooking in a frying pan at low to moderate heat


Ready to eat!

Mark recalled stories of his grandmother making tea cakes at home in Wales, while we sampled the mouth watering finished product along with a lovely cup of tea. We learned some great tips as well. For instance, grating the cold butter into the flour mixture is much easier than cutting it into the mixture and has the same desired results. I can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly March 1 afternoon.

Life is full of coincidences and they no longer surprise me. Two days ago, Barbara, a dear blogging friend from England, wrote on her blog, March House Books about a vintage cookbook called   250 Recipes by Elizabeth Craig . She included  recipes from the book such as the following  for Welsh Cream Tea Cakes. This one is a bit different as it calls for baking the cakes in an oven, instead of the traditional method of cooking them on a bake-stone or griddle, like a pancake. Either way, they are delicious.

Welsh Cream Tea Cakes from 250 Recipes by Elizabeth Craig
1 lb flour
1/2 teaspoonful salt
1/4 lb currants
Grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoonfuls Borwich’s Baking Powder
1/4 lb butter
2 oz sugar
cream to mix
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a basin. Rub in butter, then mix in washed and dried currants, sugar, and a grated nutmeg to taste. Mix to a stiff batter with fresh cream, and foll out on a floured pastry boards. Cut into squares. Bake on a greased tin in a quick oven. Sometimes I make mixture a little thinner, and cook it in buttered muffin tins. Again, I fork out pieces of dough, and arrange them on tin, like rock cakes, without rolling mixture.
To see more recipes from this quaint book with unique paintings, visit Barbara’s blog:
Do you enjoy looking through cookbooks, new or vintage?


When I went on the Gabriola Island Studio Tour last month with my daughter, I came across a wonderful teapot at the home of photographer Victor Anthony and his wife, author Joelle Anthony. They gave me permission to photograph it.  A perfect teapot for writers and readers!

Joelle then brought out a teapot that had been in her family for many years. Isn’t it elegant?


We were invited out to friends for a Thanksgiving dinner, and I was delighted when the hostess served tea in this adorable teapot.

2013-10-13 17.27.38

I love unique teapots and have a small collection myself. A blogging buddy of mine, Beth Ann Chiles, has the most incredible collection of teapots you have ever seen. She has a feature on her blog called Teapot Tuesday and I can never wait to see what she will feature next. You must check it out. She also features Comments for a Cause. Everytime someone makes a comment on her blog, she donates fifty cents to her cause of the month. So please leave a comment when you visit. Read about this moth’s wonderful cause here:  http://bethannchiles.com/2013/11/01/who-doesnt-love-children/

Do you enjoy unique teapots? Perhaps you have a favourite you would like to share.

I have been a member of a wonderful organization, CWILL BC (Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC) for the past three years. This organization provides information and support to local children’s authors and assists in promoting our books. I have found my membership to be most beneficial. The monthly meetings are well-organized and informative.  I have learned so much through the mentorship program and the master classes. Throughout the year special events are planned as well. In June, CWILL BC celebrated a 25 year anniversary with an event The Walking Read. Many of us attended dressed as a favourite character.  It was fun to mingle with Anne of Green Gables, Mary Poppins, The Paper Bag Princess, Red Riding Hood and the Wolfe, and so many more. I came as Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables

Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables

Dorothy and the Scarecrow at the Walking Read

Dorothy and the Scarecrow at The Walking Read

Magical creatures

Magical creatures were everywhere

More great pictures can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cwillbcphotos/sets/72157633430613663/

This event was also a fund-raiser for  Family Support & Resource Centre at  BC Children’s Hospital and included a silent auction. I was excited to learn I was the highest bidder for “Tea with an Author”. This included afternoon tea with an author, a child of my choice and myself. The  following month, author P.J. Sarah Collins, her ten-year old daughter, and a good friend’s six-year-old daughter met me at Truffles in Van Dusen Gardens for tea. What a lovely time we had.  The young women dressed in their finest, were extremely well behaved and asked us questions about our books.

Tea with an author

Tea with an author

We all enjoyed the wonderful tea time treats, overlooking the beautiful gardens. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


Being able to meet and mix with other authors is motivating. I have made some wonderful new friends through CWILL BC.

Do you belong to a special group that has been beneficial to you in some way?

If you like teapots as much as I do, check out Beth Ann Chiles Teapot Tuesday blog where she features the most unique teapots ever.  I particularly like the one she featured today.

Hop on over to her blog and see why I like this one so much.

Yee Haw—It’s Teapot Tuesday!.

Watch for the funny Billy Connolly quote at the end!

Do you have any interesting teapots to share?  Would love to see them.

Today Flat Ruthie went out for tea with us to a new place in town called The Wood n Frog



It was warm and cozy inside and the tea was served in a delightful teapot. I judge the quality of a place by the teapots they use. Tea made in a cup does not warrant a return trip. I chose a Rooibos tea which was very nice. Hubby had a cafe latte and a blueberry sconce which he quickly gobbled up.  Between mouthfuls, he said it was excellent.



We will certainly return to this spot. The wonderful thing is that it is in walking distance from our house.  Now we have seven coffee shops near our home. We could walk to a different one every day of the week if we were so inclined.  We save going out for tea and/or coffee for the weekends though.

Flat Ruthie enjoys going for tea so much I showed her my special camel teapot given to me as a gift from a dear friend when I launched my first book, Amanda in Arabia – the Perfume Flask


Flat Ruthie has been looking over my shoulder as I read a book  called Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey. She has become quite a fan of Downton Abbey and watches it with us every Sunday evening. We can’t wait to see what happens tonight.


Do you have a favourite coffee/tea shop or a special teapot?  Do you enjoy watching Downton Abbey?

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