I’ve been invited to Su’s virtual tea party today.  We all have actually.  I thought I should take something tasty to contribute, but unfortunately I lost track of time, so I had to throw something together at the last moment.   Su (at Zimmerbitch) has gone to a lot of effort though, so you should pop over to see what she has made and have a chat.

I find I like these virtual afternoon teas.  I don’t have to clean up for visitors.  I just have to arrange some artful background for the food photos.  Nevertheless, even this minimal organisation was difficult because the dining table had been commandeered by my True Love for his home office.  I’ve decided I need to go shopping (online?) for an outdoor cafe table so that I can have our virtual afternoon tea photos in the garden.  I could make a table, but you know, time constraints.  I digress.

Just in case Su is inundated with visitors, I’m going to take a mixed plate of dried fruit, nuts, plums and new season apple, as well as SAOs with cheese and tomato, and a couple SAOs with vegemite.  Don’t be frightened of the vegemite, ladies and gentlemen.  It is delicious (for those of us who’ve grown up on it).  Back to the SAOs, like the Arnott’s Ginger Nuts that I featured in my last afternoon tea post, SAOs (circa 1904) are another Aussie iconic biscuit.  I haven’t had SAOs for years, but when the pandemic hit, I made sure I bought a couple of packs, a sort of security blanket, I guess.  My hypo(glycemia) lollies (otherwise known as jelly beans) are the final addition to the plate to add colour, but feel free to eat them.  I bought lots of jelly beans too in the lead up to the lockdown.

plate

As you can guess, I loved playing “cups of tea” when I was a kid.  It was a good thing that those play sessions didn’t involve any actual cooking.  Speaking of actual cooking, I made this Pineapple Impossible Pie for Irene (My Slice Of Mexico).  Irene previously made a dish that sounded a lot like my mother’s Impossible Pie.  Since I ran out of time to ask my mother for the recipe, I had a look for a recipe online and found this which looked to be remarkably similar.  Here is my paltry effort.

pie

The first problem I encountered making this masterpiece was the lack of a pie dish, making it difficult to remove from the baking pan.  I’ll spare you the slop photos.  The second problem was that the recipe recommended serving warm (also a problem for getting it out of the dish in one piece).  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  It was much nicer cold.  What about the taste?  My lads pronounced the taste rather “retro” (code for they weren’t too sure what to make of it, but mum made it so had better say something nice).  It tasted liked canned crushed pineapple which is unsurprising since it contained canned crushed pineapple  You get the idea.  If you want to make it, maybe go for an apple or apricot filling.

To make up for my complete disorganisation, I picked this lovely camellia from the garden for you and Su.   Note how I’ve used a board I had previously sealed for a future mosaic project as the background.  This has given me the idea that I could make several fake tile splashbacks as a craft project.  I could, but I probably won’t.

flower

So there you go.  Glad you could join me.  Can I tempt you with a vegemite SAO?

Kind Regards.
Tracy

48 thoughts on “Hi Ho, It’s Off To Tea We Go

  1. I am quite fascinated by this afternoon tea concept. Is it just photos or do people interact in some other way as well? I love the idea of something tasting “retro”. Recipes do move in cycles, like fashions. But I can’t imagine what retro tastes like. Mutton, perhaps? 😉

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    1. It is a fun idea. A newish (mid) monthly initiative by Su. It is an open invitation to afternoon tea for anyone in the bloggersphere. Because it is afternoon tea after all, there is much chatting involved. People can leave a comment on her post, or can contribute by linking in with their own post. Su will update with the links so we can all go and see what others have to say or have prepared, and then of course, that provides further opportunity for chatting. Su has directions on her site. Su is a talented baker and photographer, so she loves to be creative combining both interests. But it is not competitive in any way. Lucky for me. 🙂

      Yep, mutton. 😉

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    1. Thank you, Rainee. I think everyone loves a tea set. I gave a tea set to my boys when they were young children. It is possible that I might have wanted to play with it myself. The boys loved it. I then gave it to my neighbour when they got grandchildren. Their grandsons loved it too.

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  2. I would definitely like to try a vegemite SAO! Have never had marmite or vegemite.
    The camellia looks gorgeous, Tracy!
    Your platter looks very inviting and I too played a lot with my tea set as a kid. 🙂

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  3. I’m quite suspicious of the vegemite, Tracy, because my aunt once made me eat a marmite toast and I hated the stuff! 😂 But my hope is vegemite tastes much better so I would give it a try for you (and if I can stuff myself with all the jelly beans you have in case I need to neutralize my palate 😉). Love that beautiful flower and your idea of background tile plates!! I used a huge ceramic plate that my mum made a couple of years ago for presenting my cake this time and think it makes it look rather gorgeous. 😉 Oh, and that’s so true with having troubles getting warm pie out of the dish – much better cold! I’ve once read that food photographers even freeze the cake/pie before slicing for better results. Thanks for having us, Tracy – I had a splendid time! 😄

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    1. Thanks for coming, Sarah.
      I share your view on marmite, Sarah. Apparently vegemite is stronger than marmite and receives a similar reaction from people not raised on it. It is important to realise that you only need the merest smear and it is to be par-mixed with lots of butter. Then it is delicious. I may be biased though. I’ve got plenty of jelly beans as an emergency back up. 🙂
      I hear there are a lot of tricks to food photography. Roast chicken always look so plump in photos. I think they use raw chickens and colour them! I find the pictures disturbing.
      Your flan looks beautiful on your mum’s plate.

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  4. Do you know I just recently tried vegemite for the first time a few weeks ago? I had brought a tube back from my trip last year, and finally got around to trying it… I will admit I haven’t touched it since. But seeing the proper ratio of vegemite-to-biscuit in your photo tells me I probably spread too much! Thank you for the jelly beans, I will help myself to a few 🙂

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    1. A tube!! I will have to go to the shops and buy a tube and do a taste comparison. I’m suspicious. Will let you know if it tastes the same as vegemite in a jar.
      Seriously, even the amount of vegemite I used is probably too much for a newbie. It is too much for my son. You only need a tiny bit of vegemite. The merest smear. And it needs to be par-mixed with a lot of spread, butter or margarine or even cream cheese. Less is more. 🙂 It’s a great source of Vitamin B.
      The jelly beans are more popular than I anticipated. I’ll have to put out more, lol.

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  5. What a wonderful tea party, Tracy. I must admit I started singing: “I said, do you speak my language?” He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.” The camellia is magnificent. Is it fragrant? The best thing about the virtual tea party is that I can imagine it is, a scent of joy wafting to me. Thanks for the invitation, I’ve had a lovely time. (I just watched two episodes of Wander, which also featured a tea party! https://youtu.be/104MTdabfH4)

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    1. Haha. I was going to go with a vegemite sandwich, Victoria, but then I decided that wouldn’t be very classy. 🙂
      The camellia is scented. Their scent is most prominent at dusk. Beautiful.
      I will have a look at your link later today. Thank you.

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  6. Hi dear ! Fun reading your post ! As me being the tea lover, loved this virtuall tea party concept! I also want to be a part of it!
    Love your blog and followed!
    Looking forward to explore it more!
    Blessings
    Jannat xxx 🌸💕🌟

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  7. Admission: I had to look up SAO biscuits too. Either Arnott’s don’t sell them here or it’s a while since I shopped for crackers. I think the closest equivalent that traditionally been available here might be Cornish Wafers — which I think would be yummy with butter and vegemite. Another admission: I would probably use Marmite — the NZ one, not the “original” one which I think is vile.

    When we lived in the UK, it was more or less an obligation when returning after a trip to NZ that as many jars of Marmite as possible were packed into one’s luggage. You could buy Vegemite in the UK because there isn’t a local product with the same name, but proper New Zealand Marmite was what we all missed and went to great lengths to obtain.

    Thank you for this lovely platter Tracy and for your company which is always very welcome.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The SAOs are very plain tasting, Su. It’s more about the topping when you eat those. They cannot be eaten on their own! I’ve learnt something new. I didn’t realise NZ had its own Marmite. I will have to try it if I ever visit. I can’t remember seeing Marmite in the supermarket here for ages. Maybe I just blank it out, so I wouldn’t have a clue where the Marmite sold here comes from.

      Everyone seems to want jellybeans, Su. I’m not sure what that says about the other things on the platter, lol.

      I enjoyed taking part in your tea party. Thanks again for being such a gracious hostess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hm. I think Cornish Wafers are quite buttery and have a bit of taste. It’s ages since I bought crackers. I occasionally make them with (more) leftover sourdough starter, but they are nice with cheese … and a very quick snack. Not good for my waistline.

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      2. I am glad there is conversation about SAOs because I could only find a reference to Sword Art Online (which I have actually watched in its entirety – well, Season 1 only). They look a little like Jacob’s cream crackers = wonder if they are anything like that?

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      3. I’ve not heard of the Jacob cream cracker. I compared the ingredients and it looks like the SAO is just a rip off of the cream cracker! My illusions are completely shattered. I didn’t think to check the ingredients when I bought them because my brain was fried with pandemic panic. So they contain vegetable oil, which basically means palm oil, so they are now off my list again. I knew there was a reason I gave up all the good stuff.

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  8. You’ve set another fabulous table, Tracy!
    Thank you for sharing your experience with the Pineapple Impossible Pie – it is comforting to know that you, too, have Culinary Experiments which the family are tentative about.
    It is always good ti sit a while at your table!

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  9. I LOVE Sao crackers with thick vegemite, slice of cheese and maybe a tomatoe. My son liked nothing better for his school lunch than a sandwich layered with thick vegemite. I’ve loved being at your virtual place for a tea party. What a great idea Su has come up with. I’m very partial to the black jelly beans too. Hope there’s some left…

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    1. Like you, Pauline, I like laying on my vegemite relatively thickly. So many kids must have grown up on vegemite sandwiches. I did and so did my kids. Guaranteed not to go off in the school bag on a 30c degree day. 🙂 I might have to get more black jelly beans. I didn’t realise they would be so popular!

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