Friday, March 27, 2020

Tea Time and a comforting casserole....

This lovely local tea shop Silk Road is currently offering curb side pick up 
if you place an order you just indicate pick up instead of paying for delivery.

If you order $50 or more delivery is free.

The Royal Abkhazi tea is my favourite.

In the Spring and Summer taking tea in the Abkhazi Gardens is a real luxury.
It feels so civilized sitting on the sunny patio above the expansive lush garden

You can opt to take tea inside the tearoom 
 small sandwiches, scones with jam and sweet treats.

I love meeting up with friends 
walking in the garden 
looking at the beautiful flowers and foliage
sitting for a restorative cup of tea served in pretty fine bone china tea cups.

For now

 I will imagine sitting in that magical garden in the sunshine 
dreaming of the days in the future when we can reconvene 
 meet up to savour one of the loveliest places where we can take tea.

The Sour Cherry blend is very refreshing.
I like this tea brewed hot or served over ice on a summer day.

We do not have a dog, but many locals who do,
 take their pet to the off leash park at Dallas Road waterfront.
We spied this wee "stick library" for the dogs...
I love the wee paw print at the top right of the structure.

Thank you to the wonderfully creative and talented crafts person 
who designed and built this dog friendly "library!"

Thank goodness we are still permitted to go out for our daily walks.
Self distancing is a requirement that we take very seriously on the paths.
The fresh air and exercise is such a tonic for us all.

Speaking of tonics...

Cheesy Pantry Pasta 

We craved comfort food so I made a rich cheesy pasta casserole.

We had two small packages of dried macaroni and penne pastas
(about 3 cups)

I used them both and cooked in salted boiling water until al dente.

I made a simple roux with butter, flour and milk
and when it thickened I added about a cup and a half of grated cheese.

I added the cheesy sauce to the cooked drained pasta,
 put it in an ovenproof casserole dish.
Grated a bit of cheese on top covered the dish with foil
popped it in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees.

How are you managing?
Have you found a soothing routine while you are directed to stay at home?

I'm finding that I stay in my nightgown much longer in the morning
as there is no need to hurry and get ready to go out.

I am missing going to the shops...
it is not that I buy a lot I just enjoy perusing the wares
chatting with the shop keepers.

missing the coffee shops
 meeting up with friends

When this pandemic is controlled and we are permitted to go out to the shops
will there be a surge in shopping or will we have re-evaluated our priorities?

I know that we will want to support 
local businesses, coffee shops 

In the meantime...
It is a time for us to be patient and wait out this pandemic until it is deemed safe.

Our magnolia out front in The Humble Bungalow Garden is starting to bloom.

Snowdrops are still putting on a showing looking lovely...

taking these small snippets

holding fast 

admiring the bountiful and beautiful Spring flowers

appreciating the small Joys that grace these quiet days

Grateful to wake up each morning...

a symphony of birdsong 
a pot of hot coffee
greeting another day with hope
faith in our medical experts and scientists
who are guiding us gently through this health emergency.

Take care of yourself 
stay cozy as you cocoon in your home.

"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~ 


  1. What a lovely post. I'm taking solace in home comforts, trying to make things as normal for my two high-schoolers as possible. The dog is getting a lot of walks so he's quite happy right now. I'm living on tea and doing some baking. I have a feeling this will change us all in some way. Take care. Xx

    1. Hope that your teenagers are finding enough to do during their home stay. I think it may be more difficult for younger people to avoid being social than it is for us as they are used to being with their friends in school. This event will definitely have a profound effect on all of us once we are able to leave our homes and resume a social and work life.

  2. Oh, I love Abkhazi Gardens! They are so beautiful. I'd love to have tea there again soon - my girlfriends and I went there last year. Good to know about Silk Road Teas! Thank you - I am nearly out of my Lapsang Souchong!

    I still find that people are not socially distancing when out walking, especially folks with dogs. I had to firmly ask a few people on my walk yesterday to step aside!

    1. Silk Road have a Lapsang Souchong blend of tea! I have tried it and it’s very rich and smokey. Like you I have had to walk off the sidewalk because of walkers who are not distancing, at least the sidewalk near Ross bay is wide enough for considerate walkers to “share!”

  3. A beautiful post to help us all enjoy our time at home.
    I think you discussed this before, but where did you get that wonderful "Take an Old Bag Shopping" bag? I just love it!

    1. The bag is from the English firm Emma Bridgewater. They make tons, trays, and ceramic ware with beautiful designs of flowers birds and script on them. I have a few pieces of their black toast pattern. They have an online shop in the US as well as one in the UK

  4. Love all of this post - thanks for the tea part, as I'm a huge tea fan. Order mine form Harney and Sons in Connecticut. Was fortunate to actually visit there and have tea in 2008 with my daughters. Great company and easy to order since I don't live close to any tea shops! The flower pictures are beautiful, too. I hope we've all learn from the isolation time . . . and shop less.

    1. I have seen tins from that tea company at our Marshalls store. I believe they are an English brand. I hope that the local small shops can survive this pandemic...I like to shop locally when I can and enjoy chatting with the will be sad if we lose that personal touch that so many creative shop keepers bring to the table.

  5. Your posts are so comforting in this time of anxiety! That stick library is just a delight, how unique! Your casserole looks really good, is that also carrot I see in it? Getting outside and walking are necessary self-care steps I try and do every day. Our snow is slowly melting. Looking forward to seeing my bulbs pop up with my perennials. However, it will be awhile here in northern Michigan. Picking up a grocery order I placed online two days ago later today. I don't want to go inside, as do many, so today was the earliest the store can schedule it. Be well and safe,

    1. Actually those are sliced wieners! My husband loves them!!!
      I understand your reluctance to venture inside the is taking a risk as there are people who have the virus but don't know it yet. I am fastidiously washing my hands and hoping to stay safe. Time will tell how effective this distancing will be and I am very grateful to the experts on the front line who are guiding us during this crisis.
      Enjoy the warmer weather and those springtime blooms.

  6. I'm finding peace in small things:getting dressed each day, looking at photos of travel and feeling grateful for the adventures I've had, stitching, reading and cooking. I've got four more days until I can walk outside and Monsieur will come home. We're lucky in B.C. because our numbers are improving. Watching the resilient primroses and the hungry birds on the balcony bring me joy. Maybe when this is over, I won't go shopping for a while. I'll travel in Canada in 2020 and help support all the hospitality workers who hopefully will be rehired.

  7. Such a great idea, a stick library!
    Your post is so cosy and comforting, just as home should be for all of us right now. Certainly cups of tea and cheesy casseroles help!


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