Recipe & Review: Teatime with Mitford Books, Jan Karon
Book Series Review: Mitford Books, Jan Karon
Mitford, NC is an idyllic town in the Blue Ridge Mountains that bursts with all the drama of big city lights in the package of small town interpersonal relationships. In Mitford, cake competitions are as fierce as Superbowl Sunday and potlucks can vibrate with the tensions of a boardroom during a hostile corporate takeover. In Mitford, folks celebrate the first harvest of sweet corn and the turning of the fall leaves. In Mitford, they bake from scratch and start making Christmas presents in the fall. In Mitford, people share joys and hide pain. In Mitford, they laugh and cry, and some die, but mostly they live. The characters of the town are all people who live and they don’t feel like characters but like real people.
The heart of the Mitford Books belongs to the main character, Father Tim Kavanagh. Father Tim, an Episcopalian priest, shepherds, cares, and prays for his eccentric parishioners and the entire town of Mitford. The majority of the series is seen through his eyes. As clergy, or retired clergy, or just good friend, Father Tim is the man that the town goes to share all of life’s secrets, sorrows, challenges, milestones, and triumphs. Father Tim is just the fellow to share a story or two over a glass of cold southern sweet tea.
The Mitford Books should be savored on a Sunday afternoon or evening as a gentle way to prompt reflections during the transition between weeks — preferably, in a cozy and cheerful room with some southern sweet tea and a light treat since Father Tim always needs to look after his blood sugar levels.
Southern Sweet Tea
- 12 regular sized black tea bags
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (to keep liquid clear and not cloudy)
- 1 cup sugar or Splenda/stevia (if serving to Father Tim)
- 1 quart filtered water
- 1 quart ice cubes
In a large glass measuring cup, place the tea bags and add the baking soda.
Pour the boiling water over the tea bags.
Cover and steep for 15 minutes.
Take out the tea bags and do not squeeze them.
Pour the tea mixture into a pitcher; add the sugar.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Add in the ice cubes.
Let cool; chill in the refrigerator and serve over additional ice.
Garnish with lemon slices or mint sprigs
Father Tim is very fond of cornbread, however, cornbread is not very fond of Father Tim as it sends his blood sugar to bad levels. Hopefully, the lower sugar, ground chickpeas, and whole wheat flour in these cookies will prevent a sharp sugar spike, yet satisfy that cornbread craving.
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Splenda/stevia
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 cup canned chickpeas drained and minced in food processor
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven 325
In stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and Splenda/stevia. Add extract, honey, and egg.
In separate bowl mix together remaining dry ingredients (corn meal, flour, baking soda, and salt). Then slowly add to wet ingredients with the mixer on slow.
Use a cookie scoop to form dough balls on baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes till edges barely start to brown.