Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, today I'm featuring a tablescape I recently did in honor of Jane Austen. Have you read the book Tea with Jane, by Kim Wilson? The author takes you back to Jane Austen's time (1775-1817) and includes excerpts from her novels, tea history, recipes, Et cetera. Each chapter describes how tea was taken at different times of the day; i.e., Breakfast Tea, Tea & Shopping, Tea Away From Home, and Tea in the Evening. This book demonstrates how hospitality was "done" during Jane Austen's time. Tea was kept under lock and key as it was expensive and considered a sign of social status and fine hospitality. Jane Austen was a tea lover and tea is at the center of almost every social situation in her novels. It's a wonderful book for those who love tea and are Jane Austen enthusiasts.
I chose a breakfast-for-two tablescape using the Blue Willow design at my table for "A Grand Breakfast with the Austens at Stoneleigh Abbey."
(from the book)
Toast and Butter
Jane and Cassandra's Pound Cake*
Richard Twinings English Breakfast Tea
*Recipe for Jane and Cassandra's Pound Cake
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 eggs, plus 6 egg yolks, at room temperature
4 1/3 cups cake flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bundt or tube cake pan. Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed or by hand until very smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks together well (about one minute). Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the butter and mix thoroughly. Add the cake flour gradually and mix well. Mix in the sugar. Beat the batter on medium speed until very smooth--about five minutes, or at least 200 strokes by hand. Pour the batter into the pan, leveling it off well.
Bake for one hour and 20 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer inserted in the deepest part of the cake comes out clean. (Check after one hour and every few minutes thereafter to ensure the cake does not become overdone). Invert the pan on a wire rack and carefully lift it off the cake. Do not allow the cake to cool in the pan, as the crust will be ruined.
Thank you for stopping by today. Tomorrow I will be posting a Christmas tablescape for Tablescape Tuesday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.