"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ivy Lea Teacup, Cookies, & Importance of Family Traditons

 I got down all my boxes of teacups and sorted through them looking for the perfect Christmas teacup, and although I have a lot of very beautiful teacups , this teacup is the only one I took out to be MY special Christmas teacup. She is Ivy Lea by Royal Albert. I keep her on the buffet with a little shepherd and some sheep , and her matching creamer & sugar bowl.
 I snatched a few Berry Butternuts* from the stash my husband baked this past weekend. Berry Butternuts are a family Christmas tradition started in my husband's family by his father.
 Berry Butternuts are a family tradition my husband is now carrying on in our family, and he takes this very seriously. We have to use real butter, real vanilla, fresh walnuts, and good raspberry jam. He was in a tizzy one Christmas season when we ran out of raspberry jam. I suggested some of my homemade plum or blackberry jam, but no, HAD to be raspberry jam ! Now I make sure to make a lot of raspberry jam from our own berry bushes. We can't be running out of raspberry jam at this time of the year.
I made a pot of peach tea and covered it with my Christmas tea cozy, marveling at how well the gold-rimmed , ivy intertwined with snowdrops pattern cup and saucer fits in with all our Christmas decorating. I am thinking of snipping a few sprigs of variegated ivy I have growing in a pot on the porch and using them for my Christmas table-setting.

Both my husband & I come from Norwegian American families. Our families shared a few beliefs and attitudes about this time of the year I discovered were not , as I had assumed, common to most families. Our families were very good at being "over the top " in celebrating Christmas without spending a lot of money. I found a book Keeping Christmas ~ Yuletide Traditions in Norway and the New Land by Kathleen Stokker , that is rich with the history & traditions of Norway from pagan to Christian times, and then onto the celebrations the immigrant Norwegians brought to America. Fascinating ! This history explains so much about our families' attitudes &expectations towards the Christmas season we still carry on, without having realized just how much our families' traditions & history affect us even today. Hospitality was always important , especially at this time of the year. 

"A veritable archive of Norwegian American character traits - the vital role of hospitality , equality ,evenhandedness in sharing hosting obligations, resourcefulness ,the ability to make one's own entertainment , a concern for aesthetics, and the attention recorded Christian piety- this custom embodies qualities still valued in Norwegian society." by Kathleen Stokker  Hospitality is always precious, and sharing tea and cookies with friends & family this time of the year and all year round are traditions and customs shared world-wide . Tea-Time Tuesdays have given me a glimpse of hospitality from all over the world through a tea-cup  !

Join these ladies to see how they celebrate all things tea :
Artful Affirmations with Terri *
Bernideen's tea time Blog *
Martha's Favorites *
Rose Chintz Cottage with Sandi *
Antiques & Teacups with Ruth *


L. D. said...

The whole set up is wonderful to see. The tea and cookies looks so good. I like family traditions and I think it is great your husband can. My late wife was Norwegian and my kids should explore some of those traditions. Their grandmother made a lot of different things and also she bought the cookies from a a neighbor. Great post. Enjoy those tea cups.

Beth said...

What a gorgeous teacup! Your cookies look great too.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful post, Kathy. God bless you and your family this Christmas.

Antiques And Teacups said...

I love your teacup! Ivy is such as much a part of Christmas as holly really. The tea cozy is perfect!How fun to hear about the Norweigian traditions...we have a Norweigian Canadian friend, and there family was wonderful. We always enjoyed Christmas with them. Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

Lady Jane said...

I love your tea cup and those cookies look to die for. And the best thing is your hubby made them. That is so special.

Debbie said...

That is easily the prettiest teacup I've ever seen. Your husband does a beautiful job on the cookies. I'd love to taste one. Traditions must be wonderful. Our family doesn't have any far reaching traditions from our parents, so we've made a few of our own. We have a varied and colorful ancestry! :D
Love your sheep and shepherd.

Beth in NEPA said...

I have NEVER seen a Royal Albert Tea Cup I didn't love.... and yours is no exception. What a pretty set. The cookies look pretty good too.....

Deborah Montgomery said...

I'm going to make some of those jam thumbprints (that's what we call them) this week, but I don't mind using apricot jam as well as raspberry. Wonderful that you have your own raspberries for jam. And that your husband makes them!
I've read Willa Cather's books about Norwegian pioneers and just got a book called First We Have Coffee about a Norwegian immigrant family. I'm looking forward to reading it.
We are Scottish and English so tea and scones and shortbread are a natural!!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Kathy, your Ivy Lea teacup, sugar, and creamer are gorgeous! Love the pattern! I found your family traditions very interesting. We have our own although they are slowly falling by the wayside as each generation passes away. My father and I always made Christmas donuts together and now my hubby helps me. In fact, we just finished a batch before I sat down here to visit you. Some family traditions are so precious and our Christian heritage is more important than anything. Your husband's cookies look delicious, by the way. I would love to taste one and have a cuppa in that pretty teacup of yours. How lovely that he makes those every year for the family! He's a keeper! Thank you for joining me for tea today and for your very sweet comment. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!


Bernideen said...

Your cup and saucer are very classic looking and a real treasure. So glad you shared at Friends Sharing Tea.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I just love your ivy teacup, Kathy. The design is perfect for any season, isn't it? Your tea cozy is also so pretty. What I would love is one of your sweet hubby's berry butternuts. I do have some homemade raspberry jam and I must make these cookies. I have my Mom's recipe, but they're called a different name.
I so appreciate your visit to my blog.

Deanna said...

Beautiful china.
Merry Christmas!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

This is a lovely post in pictures and thoughts. Thank you for sharing at this time of year.

Love, hugs, peace and joy ~ FlowerLady

Bee Lady said...

mmmm, those berry butternuts look yummy. Will you be sharing the recipe? Love the teacup! I did not get all of my Christmas dishes out this year. I bought a couple of new mugs, as I'm a coffee drinker...but your tea picture just talked me into putting the kettle on!

Cindy Bee

Maria Elena said...

Beautiful tea cup! And the cookies look delicious! YUM! :)Merry Christmas! Maria

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Your lovely Ivy Lea teacup is as much a part of Christmas as holly and poinsettias. I'm impressed that you have a hubby that can bake - don't I wish! His cookies look delicious and it is nice to have a familiar tradition each year.
A colourful tea cosy and adorable tree salt and pepper.

Two Cottages And Tea said...

Your ivy teacup is so pretty and perfect for the Christmas season. your hubby's cookies look wonderful! My hubby is mostly Swedish and every year this time our family gets together and makes potato sausage. A tradition the grandkids are learning how to do now. I enjoyed your post so much. Thank you for sharing with us!

Nib's End said...

What would Christmas be without berry butternuts? Brother Beekeeper's look perfect. Mine always look a little wonky (perhaps the butter is too soft?) but this year I changed out my jam and had to hide a couple of dozen from my husband so there would be some left for Christmas day. I should make a jar of raspberry jam every summer just for the holiday cookies.

I served them to an unexpected guest this morning and she committed the unthinkable and called them thumbprint cookies. Well, I never...

Connie said...

Your teacup and place setting is lovely, Kathy. Perfect for the season. I can almost taste those cookies. They sound wonderful! It's interesting what traditions have been passed down to us through the years, some we don't even realize! Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!