Tea and Biscuits

Alas, once again I am unprepared for the Academy Awards. I’ll watch the ceremony, OF COURSE, but I’m not having a party. And the only nominated film I have seen this season is How to Train Your Dragon.
I guess I spend too much time with the very young and the very old!
Not having seen most of the films doesn’t keep me from thinking about what might have been eaten in them. I may not have a dish for each of the best-picture nominees as I did in my filmgoing heyday, but I did want to offer one recipe for those of you who are looking for an Oscar nibble this year. 

I have seen photos of Helena Bonham Carter pouring tea as Queen Elizabeth, consort of King George VI (Colin Firth), in The King’s Speech, so I know that tea and biscuits are appropriate for this film.

It’s one of the nominated films I really look forward to seeing. History, human drama, tea, and Colin Firth all in one cinematic package. Not to mention a celebration of the human voice. Who could ask for anything more?
I was tickled to learn that PG Tips Tea is holding a King’s Speech/Oscar tea contest.
This British tea company bills itself as “the ONLY tea being served in the Oscars’ Green Room.”
I’m not sure this is a huge honor since I have a feeling that the Hollywood glitterati might favor stronger beverages on Oscar night. But a tea-party contest is a fun idea.
PG Tips is inviting tea fans to send in photos of people sipping its tea at an Oscar party. Where the photos are supposed to be sent is a mystery, but I have asked the company’s publicist to let me know. When she does I’ll update this blog post.
Meanwhile, here’s a recipe for shortbread, a cookie type that always goes well with tea.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any George VI china for my Oscar party. I did find a little cup in our China cupboard from the coronation of his father, George V (played in the film by Michael Gambon).
The back of the cup features the lyrics to “God Save the King.” 

I have a feeling that director Tom Hooper and company will be humming that song quietly Sunday night as the envelopes are opened………

King’s Speech Shortbread
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch baking powder
1 cup flour
Thoroughly blend the butter and the sugar. Beat in the salt and baking powder; then stir in the flour.
The mixture will be crumbly!
Mold your crumbs into a ball or at least a blob. Wrap the blob in waxed paper and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
At the end of the hour preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Gently pat the blob into a 1/4- inch-thick rectangle on a silicone mat or a plastic cutting board. Cut the rectangle into 12 smaller rectangles. Gently place the rectangles on an unbuttered cookie sheet.
Prick holes in the rectangles. Bake the cookies—pardon me, the biscuits–for 20 to 25 minutes until they begin to turn golden on the edges. 

Cool on a cookie rack. Makes 12 cookies.

Tags: , , , , ,

15 Responses to “Tea and Biscuits”

  1. Mary Hess says:

    Brava, Tinky! The film is just as delicious as you imagine. You have a treat in store, and thanks for the inspired post. Shortbread is just perfect!

  2. Funny post! I’m guessing that getting peeps to have tea and biscuits instead of bubbly or something else more celebratory is gonna be tough though–good luck!

  3. Jean says:

    Love the cup and your presentation of the biscuits. I know nothing of teas and shortbreads. Would it have been served hot or cold, and with or without jam and/or butter.

  4. Paul F. Etcheverry says:

    You’ll love The Kings Speech. Will sip fragrant, piping hot First Flush Darjeeling (brought from Connecticut to San Francisco by generous, good-hearted partner) in tribute. Unfortunately, due to various “over-50” health issues, biscuits, scones, shortbreads and jams have joined my growing “do not eat” list.

  5. tinkyweisblat says:

    Thanks, Mary; I can’t wait. Nancy, I have a feeling you’re right about persuading folks to have tea and biscuits. Jean, the tea would be hot and the shortbread cold; it’s so buttery that it doesn’t need any additions. Paul, your tea sounds perfect. I’d offer to eat a piece of shortbread for you, but I have exceeded my quota!

  6. Am I the only female in the whole world who doesn’t fancy Colin Firth – he does nothing for me at all …… but on the other hand, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jnr and Johnny Depp – oh, I’m having palpitations at the thought of the 3 of them!! I love shortbread – it is a traditional Scottish treat.

  7. Ah, Frayed, I’m with you on Clooney, but Downey and Depp I like better as actors (which isn’t a bad thing) than as crushes. Still, I think it’s a GOOD thing that tastes vary in this regard!

  8. BumbleVee says:

    that does it…… sigh….how I have to make some shortbread biscuits…..

    The nectarine scones are all gone anyway….and there are only two chocolate biscotti left…so it’s time to do something ….

  9. Oh I love shortbread. A lot. Never been a big tea fan, as it doesn’t sit well in my stomach so I would be the one eating all the shortbread at the tea party!

  10. Tinky says:

    My goodness, BumbleVee, your scones and biscotti sound pretty terrific. I’m with you on the tea, EveryDay, but I do sip just a little to be polite.

  11. This film was greatly honored last night. I hope to be able to see it soon. Great posting too!

  12. I love shortbread almost as much as I love Colin Firth! Glad to see he was duly honored on Sunday. And you’ll love The King’s Speech.

  13. tinkyweisblat says:

    I thought he gave a nice speech himself, too. Thanks to you both for stopping by…..

  14. Tea and biscuits is probably one of my favorite little breaks in the day. That homemade stamp is adorable. I definitely need to get one!

  15. tinkyweisblat says:

    We need our little luxuries, Pushpa!