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TEA with AGATHA

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While not the first teacup in my ever-growing, continually-evolving collection, this one called "Torquay" is very near the first.  I spotted it, years ago, across the room at an upscale furniture store as part of a display; it was not for sale.  But there was something about the rich, deep blue hues, and the unusual pattern of sea life on both cup and saucer that drew me in.  One look at the name on the bottom and I knew I had to have it! Why? Torquay is a town in the county of Devon in England that I have had the great pleasure to visit. In the early 19th century the town began to develop into a fashionable seaside resort, and later became the crème de la crème of Victorian society as the town's fame spread, eventually earning it the nickname of the English Riveria.  It was also the home of Dame Agatha Christie, who lived the majority of her life there. The town contains an "Agatha Christie Mile" -- a walking tour with informational plaques and a bust of Christie, dedicated to her life and work.  Mystery lover that I am, I had to have this representation of one of my favorite mystery authors in my collection.  It took a bit of conversation with both sales lady and store manager, but I was finally able to secure it for the mere price of $8.00. I have loved it ever since.

Please join me for a cup of tea and a delicious shortbread cookie, embossed with Agatha's name.  Aren't these adorable?  I used a Brigitte-Keks Message on a Cookie Cutter Set to cut the out and emboss them and it was great fun and a real breeze.
Agatha's Shortbread
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt, then slowly add to the creamed mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Turn out onto a surface lightly dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut using the cookie cutter of your choice. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 17 to 22 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
The souvenir city spoon was purchased in Oxford, the city where Agatha's life ended, so I thought it appropriate to include it as well.

Books - The Agatha Christie Collection
Tablecovering - Denim fabric from Hancock Fabrics
Cotswold Cottage - David Winter 1981
Teacup - "Torquay" Mottahedeh England
Brigitte-Keks Message on a Cookie Cutter Set - Amazon
This post is linked to: 
 Sunday Favorites
My Favorite Things
Tea Time Tuesday
Tea Time Tuesday
Martha's Favorites
Tea for Two
Teapots and Tea Things
Tabletop Tuesday
Tablescape Thursday
Good Life Wednesdays
The High Tea Party 
Show and Tell Friday

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