Tea Party time...it may be cold out, time for hot tea...

It is sure easy to enjoy the cold weather and snow if you are tucked inside warm and snug. Why not call up a few friends and have a tea party? If you can heat water and unwrap sweets I think you have it covered. Or go that extra step and make a few things. Lemon curd-easy to make but also available at Her Majesty's and many special stores. Put out a small bowl surrounded by strawberries and shortbread and let your guests dip and spread.

Tiny cakes are easy if you use mini cupcake papers...and fun to trim and decorate.

Little sandwiches are also a snap. From cucumber (the traditional English tea time sandwich) to any spread that appeals to you. Cut off the crusts and put them together.

And enjoy the company of your good friends.

Dig out your pretty china and give it a good dusting and enjoy it. And you will find the winter doldrums do not have to get you down.

Lemon Curd:

Sure is easy to make and then you have plenty...great to fill a cake, top a cake, dollop on a cupcake, put on your toast or muffins, dip your strawberries or as my mother used to do, just eat it by the spoon.

4 eggs room temperature

1/4 cup butter-soft

2 cups white sugar

Beat all together until blended and fluffy.

Put in a pan and put the pan in a frying pan that is half full of water. Put the frying pan with your pan on top on a burner and heat at medium heat. If using your Aga use the right plate. Stir until thick.

Now when I say stir until thick I mean this may take a good ten or fifteen minutes. You do not need to stir it constantly as the frying pan with water serves as a double boiler. But your average double boiler is just not big enough to hold this recipe. Still I do not suggest walking far away. Just keep an eye on it and give it an occassional good stir.

When thick I pour it into a bowl to cool. That way if any tiny bit has burned on the bottom it will not stay with my curd. Cool and then refrigerate. And enjoy.


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