Today is the last “Downton Day” of the year – the final episode of Downton Abbey Season 5 airs tonight on KQED/PBS at 9 p.m. Pacific time. This season’s plot has brought the Crawleys and their servants into the mid-1920s, and nobody’s lives are settled and secure, as usual. What better way to catch up on the doings and happenings in this fictional world than with a cup of tea and some treats at the ready? Look in the tea party pantry for some English tea-time favorites, like scones (you can use a mix or buy them ready-made), cream, jam, and cakes. You can make an elaborate spread suitable for the Dowager Countess, or a simple tea table that would make Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes, or Lady Rose’s Russian refugees comfortable.
Tag Archives: picnic
San Jose has seemingly skipped from spring to summer lately! One way to stay cool through the evening is to open up the windows of your home, and spend time outdoors as the sun goes down and the air cools off. What better way to enjoy the cool of the evening than with some tea, treats, and a meteor shower overhead? The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower is supposed to be at its most intense beginning around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, continuing until dawn, but shooting stars could be visible to the east/southeast on the horizon as early as 9 p.m. Pacific time. A spot on the eastern side of the foothills near Berryessa or Evergreen would be an ideal place for meteor-watching, early Sunday and Monday morning.
Halley’s Comet leaves a trail of dust in its wake, littering its orbit with debris. This debris falls to Earth twice a year, when our orbit gets near enough to the comet’s orbit and some of the dust gets pulled in by Earth’s gravity. The other meteor shower caused by this debris is the Orionid meteor shower in October. Ideal conditions for viewing meteor showers include dark, moonless skies, and clear weather. Look for the meteors to originate from the constellation Aquarius, which should be visible above the horizon between midnight and 3 a.m. You can also wait until 6 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday for NASA’s live webcast.
As for tea and treats, it’s warm enough to enjoy either iced tea, or hot tea, as you choose. A hearty black tea will help you stay awake and focused in order to see those meteors. Keep up your energy with a buffet of treats from the tea party pantry that will pair well with your choice of tea. You can even add some tea ice cream from the grocery store. If you have a good view of the eastern and southern sky from your yard or windows, you may not even have to leave the comfort of your own home! Pull up some lawn chairs to support your back, or spread out some beach towels, and enjoy your midnight tea picnic while gazing up at the stars this weekend!
Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.
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For more information:
“Meteor Shower Created by Halley’s Comet Peaks This Weekend” from Space.com
“LIVE WEBCAST Sunday 9 p.m. ET: See Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower”
“Look Up! Stargazing events for May 2013”
“Eta Aquarid meteor shower to peak this weekend with 20 to 40 meteors per hour”
“Be inspired by Halley’s Comet with a viewing of the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“Bring along a tea party as you watch the Orionid meteor shower in October”
“Greet the summer in San Jose with iced tea during Iced Tea Month”
“Now is the time for garden parties and picnics in San Jose”
“Give an open house with a tea buffet for your favorite graduate”
“Fill the time waiting for your Twilight Saga: Eclipse tickets with a midnight tea picnic”
“Iced tea and how to make it”
“Cool off with tea ice cream”
“Meteor-watching in San Jose? Keep warm with tea and snacks”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“Here’s how to put on a Twilight themed midnight tea picnic”
“Stay up late with tea on New Year’s Eve”
“Review of Haagen-Dazs Green Tea ice cream”