Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cranberry Tea Bread, an Updated Reading Room, and a Special Tea from Bath

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” 
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Even though that quote came from P&P's Miss Bingley, a snobbish woman who was likely quite unfamiliar with what constitutes an "excellent library", there's no reason the rest of us can't take the sentiment to heart. While I've got to wait for a few kids to move out before I can set up a full blown library, I can still build my collection of rare and antique books, along with many modern favorites, and create comfortable reading spots around my home.

After writing my thoughts on homemaking as an act of worship early Friday morning, I got up and started working on decluttering my upstairs reading area and setting up this little square coffee table I recently found at Salvation Army. Jamie's recliner sits opposite to this pink chair and there is a fireplace to the left of this photo. I've been wanting to make it a more comfortable reading spot since we moved in early last summer.

I made a very simple cranberry tea bread for the kids' breakfast yesterday morning and saved out a little piece for me. I'll post the recipe below. It's a basic muffin recipe to which one can add any number of spices or mix-ins. I use it often at breakfast time; but rather than filling muffin cups, I just pour the mixture into a 13x9 pan. It's one of those big family shortcuts I use to save time in the mornings.

I also enjoyed a cup of Gillards' Empress of Peking tea. This is a special blend created in Bath, England and only available at Gillards of Bath, a tea shop founded in 1886. I first enjoyed it at the Jane Austen Centre Tea Room on my first visit there in 2013. The following Christmas, Jamie ordered a bag of it for me and it's been a favorite ever since.

I set out these adorable felt coasters that a friend sent me a couple years ago. One thing I've learned about living in the hot and humid South---coasters are a necessity

I'm hoping to enjoy some quiet reading time this evening after I've put the younger kids to bed. No sense in having a pretty spot to hang out if one doesn't actually spend time there, right?
Hope you're having a relaxing and blessed weekend!

Cranberry Tea Bread

2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. water or milk
1/2 c. oil
3 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. dried cranberries

Whisk the eggs, water, and oil together. Add the dry ingredients, except for the cranberries, and stir until almost smooth. Add the cranberries and finish stirring until everything is incorporated. Spread mixture into a greased 13x9 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400ยบ.

This article was featured in Issue #130 of The Christian Home Magazine.

linking with:
Vintage Charm


  1. I love your reading nook. :) I enjoy reading in my livingroom where our main library is and soon hope to enjoy a fire in the fireplace as I read, too. :)

  2. Taking tea is such a perfect way to spend part of the day. Have a Happy Valentine's Day! May love and joy always be yours.

  3. What a beautiful spot! And that's a great idea to put a muffin recipe in a big pan. I might have to try that some time.

  4. Dear Sarah:
    The stack of tea books caught my eye as I have pretty much the same ones! I love your spot there. Very cozy and inviting. Thank you for sharing and linking!

  5. How lovely! Tea and books are the perfect combo!

  6. Such a beautiful display, I would love to have you shar your cranberry bread and tea on Friday Features! Oh My Heartsie Girls Friday Features
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Sarah, a house is not a home without tea and books! What a cozy spot! I love your time-saving idea of baking your "muffins" in a 13x9x2.

  8. That does look like a cozy reading spot. I'm working my way through Mansfield Park these days. I love the shape and pattern of your tea set.

  9. Sarah, your reading nook is charming and that tea bread looks delicious! Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm--pinning to our Features & Favorites!

  10. Lovely post, Sarah--pinned and facebooked :)

  11. Your tea bread looks delicious and the tea set is so pretty! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  12. What a peaceful spot you've made. Enjoy!


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Mrs. Sarah Coller

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