Afternoon Tea

Pikelets are our favoured afternoon tea of choice of late. Served hot out of the fry pan and then covered with melting butter and raspberry jam - just thinking of them makes me hungry, and I've just eaten dinner!
If we do have any left over (rarely but occasionally it happens), then I save them until the next day and pop them into the lunchboxes. Win Win!

Here's the oh-so-easy recipe (can't recall where it originated sorry):

1.5 cups Self-Raising Flour
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
60g melted butter
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk the butter, egg and milk together and add to the dry ingredients. Use a large serving spoon to dollop into the fry pan - turn over when the mixture bubbles.

And of course I always serve the pikelets on a china plate - because I'd like the kids to look back and remember that the fine china wasn't considered to be too fine for them (as tempting as that stance can sometimes be). Have taken a picture of my everyday stack of plates that I (mostly) won't cry too hard over if the kids were to break one...

Which brings me to my latest op shop find. One that has kept me up at nights and fixated on during the more boring parts of the day.. (Did I hear someone mutter first-world problems?)
The kids and I discovered a new op shop - the old style sort that has a narrow walkway through towering piles of cluttered objects that almost reach the ceiling. And everywhere you look objects of every description are spilling out of boxes so that you hardly know whether to squeal with excitement (me!) or put your head between your knees while fighting an instant burst of nausea (my husband).
I used to love this sort of op shop the best. The thrill of the find was amplified by the degree of difficulty in finding anything at all, let alone something good. Usually in these shops the prices are good, really good, because the harried owner is so grateful you're taking something off their hands..
However, I'll admit to a lessening of my affections for this style of shop in recent years as my trips are invariably accompanied by babies/toddlers/children and strollers. Trying to navigate four wheels through the crush of chaotic ephemera is next to impossible. Trying to stop grabbing hands from upsetting the delicate balance of secondhand goods IS impossible.
Anyway, against my better judgement, we braved it - all four kids and me. Who knew what we'd find in that cave of chaos? But I spied a shelf against a wall piled high with something that made me stop in my tracks (dangerous with everyone lined up behind me) and literally GASP!
It was my favourite discontinued dinner set: Burleigh's Victorian Chintz in Pink. Yes it was like new. Yes it is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to source. Yes it was six fully intact place settings... A M A Z I N G ! ! !
I've collected bits and pieces of this romantic setting over the years, mostly with the help of ebay. I mix and match it with my Wedgwood country ware. I  love it.
Happily, I have a birthday this year, so I went home with my plan to acquire firmly in place... 
In one of those unfortunate timing issues that life can cruelly throw at you, I was just about to bring up the subject of this must-have, never-to-be-repeated opportunity to own such a spectacular dinner set, when what should come on the television that night? The Hoarders program.
And before I could splutter, "I think there's a great Arnold Shwarzenegger movie on Seven!" the introductory spiel authoritatively declared that there was, quote: "A FINE LINE between collecting and hoarding."
I mean, as if!!
"I think we should watch this," said Jonathan, staring meaningfully at me.
"Really?" I answered, with a careful mix of disinterest and disdain.
The propaganda continued. "There is a suspected 1.2 million hoarders in the UK alone."
"Honestly, those Brits!" I scoffed, carefully avoiding eye-contact.
Anyway, blah blah, it turned out the hoarder in profile had been a mad collector of English china and had reached about 1600 pieces before his hoarding troubles all began.
1600 pieces?!! Am so obviously
 n o w h e r e   n e a r
the danger zone of collecting slash hoarding hell.
On reflection, I decided to defer my conversation on the Victorian Chintz to another night.
I'm still hopeful of a positive outcome.
After all, that hoarder had been a collector of the Blue Willow pattern.
True madness indeed!


  1. Oh Sarah, I am laughing out loud! You are so totally better behaved than me....I would have just bought it, or gone back and bought it, and either pretended I had always owned it (mixed in among all your other bits and pieces - surely he hasn't done inventory lately???) or got the kids to wrap it in a box and present it to Daddy as mummy's bday present all ready to go! ;o) love Lara x

    1. Oh Lara stop! I'm going to fixate on all of those options now!... The cost of the 6place settings wasn't cheap, though obviously still a bargain for those in the know. The lady even offered me a lay-by option, which I've never heard of from an op-shop before. I know what'll happen, I'll spend another week of sleepless nights, then go in determined to buy it no matter what (may sell the kids on ebay to raise finance..) and it will be GONE! Sob. See I'm crying over the imagined loss already .. :-) sbdx


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