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harrods tea

Afternoon Tea at Harrods

Canadians celebrated Queen Victoria’s birthday yesterday, one of our most loved long weekends.  May 24th marks Victoria’s official birthday, but the holiday falls on the last Monday before May 25. While still proud of our English heritage, this holiday takes on a special meaning marking the unofficial start to summer.

The fear of frost has passed in most parts of the country so many worked on their gardens, others fought horrific traffic to enjoy Canada’s beautiful lakes, mountains and forests. Also known as the May Two-Four referring to the Queen’s birthday and the Canadian slang for a case of twenty-four beers (a “two-four”), a drink popular with Cannucks during the long weekend.

As you may know, Tea Tuesday is a weekly tradition I started, dishing about Downton Abbey, featuring a new “Downton” era recipe. Refer to my Online Guide to Afternoon Tea, helpful in understanding traditions and recipes to help you host your own tea party with family and friends.

This week’s treat are rhubarb puffs, a great little bite which is the cross between a muffin and a biscuit. Great at tea, brunch or breakfast.

Downton Dish

What to do during Downton Downtime

What to do during Downton Downtime

Some Downton news to help carry you through Downton Downtime until we meet again for Season 4:

Abbey Cooks Entertain: Entertain this Summer Downton Style

With 220 Downton era recipes, you will want to get this book for recipes for the famous Downton dishes from Season 1-3. I also presented a whole chapter on Garden Parties. Experimenting with ices (ice creams and frozen yoghurts) was my favorite part.

This 432 page ebook sells for only $7.95. Book sales help offset my costs in food, equipment and time to keep bringing you new dishes each week. You can only get a signed copy here on my site. If you don’t have an eReader I would suggest the PDF version which allows you to print recipes as you go, if you wish.

Low Fat Rhubarb Puffs

add a bit of punch to your tea

add a bit of punch to your tea

I can always count on my rhubarb plants to produce my first crop of fresh produce of the season.  Edwardians loved rhubarb so it is no surprise that I have already shared a few rhubarb recipes here including rhubarb cake, strawberry rhubarb pie, strawberry rhubarb jam, strawberry rhubarb muffins. Stay tuned for more rhubarb delights.

Rhubarb puffs are great for tea, brunch or breakfast.  Originally made with shortening I have lightened them up using applesauce which makes them really moist.  Easy to make, low fat and not too tart.  Enjoy on their own or with a light spread of your favorite preserves.

Makes 12 muffin sized puffs


  • 1.5 cups sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce or non fat plain yoghurt (to replace oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups finely chopped rhubarb


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place sugar, water, and applesauce in a bowl.
  3. Add egg, flour, baking powder, salt, and rhubarb.
  4. Combine well, and and then fill into well-greased muffin tins.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown.