Comforting, Food, Loose Tea, Scotland, Tea, Tea Accessories, Tea Treats, Travel

Dragonflies and Shortbread

Just after I wrote in my previous post that my motivation for tea blog posts & photography has waned, I think I may have redeemed myself with this one. WARNING: That means it’s wordy.

Due to some recent medical issues, I’ve had to start watching what I eat and how much I eat. This led me to discover some small-batch baking websites. There are times I just want four or five brownies for a photo shot. I don’t need an entire 13 x 19 pan. Well…I DO want a pan that large, but chances are we won’t eat that much. And SHOULDN’T eat that much.

I had an epic fail on my last batch of shortbread and I have yet to figure out what I did wrong. So, it was with some reservation that I went into baking this small-batch recipe of Lemon Shortbread Cookies. With few ingredients and low effort, this was a perfect test.

Ingredients. Yes, I missed one. I didn’t realize I had run out of corn starch. After a quick search online for a substitute, I discovered whole wheat flour can be used, so I quickly calculated the amount I would need. After making the dough and placing the rolled log in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes, I promptly forgot about it until right before I went to bed. I knew if I baked them at THAT hour that I would end up eating them before bed and that’s a no-no right now.

The small-batch recipe only bakes around 10 cookies. A quick 10-minute bake in the oven the next morning, with a dusting of powered sugar produced a light, lemony cookie that was a perfect spring pick-me-up. Shortbread redemption! Really, really good.

Surprisingly light lemon shortbread cookies

The shortbread was paired with my favorite Lapsang Souchong from eteaket in Scotland. And to add to the unexpected “Scottishy” feel of my morning tea, I grabbed my Glenaldie, thistle pattern teacup and teapot from Tain Pottery in Scotland.

The wood-smoke aroma of Lapsang Souchong
Hand painted pottery from the Scottish Highlands

I was reminded of a particular special memory from my first trip to Scotland with Dave in 2013 when our wonderful new friend Helen, from Afternoon Tea Tours dropped us off at The Lodge at Strathgarry for the night and she not only provided shortbread cookies and tea before she left, but wrapped me up in a tartan blanket and provided a hot water bottle after a long, tiring day. Her thoughtfulness and attention warmed my heart then and still continues to make me smile.

Being taken care of by Helen. Not the best photo of me.

My tea today was transported by an old black tray that I hand-stenciled some dragonflies on. (Not my best artwork. I’ll called it “rustic”) Here on the stream, dragonflies are a summer staple and I find them endearing when they land on my arms or legs while kayaking to tag along for the ride.

Dragonfly tray

According to the Hindustan Times: “A dragonfly is a symbol of change, transformation and self-realization. It teaches us to love life, to rejoice and have faith even amidst difficulties.”

So, everything about this tea had some special meaning to me and it was also a very tasty treat.

Love & Peace

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