Saturday, 5 March 2016

It's all about the tea . . .


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I haven't really done much of anything this week to talk about.  The only places I've gone is to bed, to the Doctor and one trip to the Grocery store.  I have not been a very effective missionary this week for sure, but I know I will more than make up for it when I am well, so that's okay.  But what to talk about  . . . .

I know . . .  Let's talk about tea!  I know as a Temple Worthy Latter Day Saint, I don't drink regular tea, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying herbal infusions, and I do love a nice hot cup of herbal tea ever now and again.   There is nothing like it for the soul . . . be it herbal or otherwise, as we all know  . . .


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Well, maybe not everything, but that's the first thing that is done over here in the UK whenever someone wants to think something out, or calm down, or feel better, or  . . . well . . . anything  . . .

They either brew or are offered a nice hot cup of tea.  Tea is seen to be the bandage that helps or soothes in any situation, be it happy or be it sad.  And that kind of makes sense in a way . . .  there is great comfort to be found in ritual and the taking of tea is definitely something which comes with rituals.

(Don't tell me you're a bag in a cup person, please don't!)

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You should always begin with a nice clean and hot pot.   You need to take some boiling water and pour it into the pot, swirl it around and let it sit for a few minutes.  Then you pour it out.  Add your tea leaves, be they in a bag or an infuser . . .  the proper amount for the pot and the drinkers mind . . .  and then add boiling water, cover and let it steep.    I think the typical amount is one teaspoon ful of dry leaves for each cup and one extra for the pot.

Tea is civilization.

George Orwell did a whole essay on tea, which is quite interesting to read.  You can find that here.

What happens after it steeps is a matter for great consideration and conversation.   You will find a bazillion ideas on what and how to do it properly.  Milk first, milk second.  Sugar or honey.   Lemon or not . . . milk or cream . . .  there is no end to how people enjoy it and how much they like to argue about which is the proper and best way to do it all.

I say just pour it in a cup . . .  dress it to your pleasure   . . .  then sit back and let it do its magic.

Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors. 
~Alice Walker

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A cup of tea enjoyed on your own is solace . . .  like a warm hug in a warm cup  . . . sustaining . . .  but a cup of tea when shared with a friend is a "happening" . . .  it is hard not to share a cup of tea with a friend and not feel like you are doing and being something and someone of import . . .

Even the Queen's day stops for a cup of tea.

I contend that a nice cup of tea is like a celebration in a cup . . .  especially with a biscuit on the side, and you've just gotta love dunking???



When you add cakes and sandwiches, however  . . .  you have a party!  And who doesn't love a good part-tay!  And a tea party is just the best thing ever!

I have done tea parties for just Todd and myself, instead of supper.   I've spread out a pretty cloth and brewed up some herbal tea and added an assortment of cakes (I think a Victoria Sponge is a must) and some nice finger sandwiches and it's been pretty blissful  . . .  and lots of fun.  A great way to chase away the Winter blues.



How can you not love it I ask!

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One time . . .  a few years back now  . . .  I did a tea party for the Missionary Sisters instead of having a supper for them, and they were just thrilled.  The ultimate British experience for them that was . . .

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For me it was a wonderful excuse to break out all my pretty trays and napkins  . . . to bake cakes . . . to have a bit out of the ordinary fun. I love doing tea party fare. It's simple and it's a chance to explore your whimsical side . . .

Which reminds me, I haven't done a tea party in a while.  Perhaps today is the day.

I think it just may be.  T'would be a great way to shake away the sick room winter doldrums.


There are few hours in life 
more agreeable 
than the hour dedicated 
to the ceremony 
known as afternoon tea. 
 ~Henry James

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . . . Sausage Breakfast Bake.   A cornmeal cake stogged with tasty sausage and served up with butter, syrup and sliced peaches.   Just in time for the British Mothering Sunday!


Have a great Saturday no matter what you may get up to . . .  whateer you do, don't forget!

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 And I do too!




13 comments:

Sybil said...

Sausage, syrup, and peaches in a cake ? For breakfast ?...well Marie I'm not sure about that one at all...sausage with syrup..I'm not at all sure I would like the sweet and savoury together...but who knows maybe I would, especially if YOU made it, but one thing I amsure about is afternoon tea...now that's what I would call BLISS....I can't remember having done it for Mary but must do it one day...Mum and I used often to have afternoon tea just like you and Todd...hope your feeling a wee bit easier today...Wewill be leaving for Liverpool at around 11 ...so excited about the show tonight.....just sorry about tomorrow, however with the way you have felt all week perhaps not getting a booking has been miracle in disguise....take care. It is VERY cold but snow free we. Are hoping the roads will be ok up north ...xxxx

Suze said...

My mother is from Yorkshire. We have high tea at the table sometimes. But no-one has been able to convince me that tea is a great drink. I loathe it. I feel like I have made a million cups of tea and few ups of coffee over the years. It smells horrible and tastes awful with or without milk or sugar. My life revolves around the stuff from morning to night. I was forced to drink it when I felt ill and I guess because it never made me feel better I have built a wall against it. I was never allowed sugar and the tea always had to be strong. Erk! Urgh!

I will drink hot water with a slice of lemon and that is about it.

I hope you feel better my darling.

Marie Rayner said...

I'll be praying you up and back Sybil and hoping that you, Peter and Mary have a lovely time! It's a shame about us not getting to meet, but I believe that one day we will. It's just a matter of time! xxoo

So sorry you have such bad memory associations with Tea Suzan, but I am not surprised at all that it brings you no joy! Hot water and lemon is good. I feel a bit better today thanks! xoxo

Bunny said...

Love Todd's genteel pinkie! xx

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I've had a cold most of the winter here. Congestion and stuffy head. Tea really does help. I have one that is called Lemon Lift that is especially good. But I think it had black tea in it so it wouldn't be your cup of tea. Hope you are feeling better !

La Table De Nana said...

What a neat post Marie..I'll have to stick my pinkie in..I may have done that once or twice;) And I do look at people in the eye maybe..I have tea w/ J..and sometimes when I see my girls..I am curious as to why black regtea is forbidden? Is green tea allowed?

Love the quotes and art and cups of course..hope you keep going uphill..I remember that beautiful tea party!

Marie Rayner said...

Isn't he just the cutest Bunny? So nice to see you peek your head in and hear from you! I think about you often! xoxo

haha Pam, I love the pun about it not being my cup of tea! I do confess I miss Constant Comment by Bigelow Teas. It was always my favourite. If I could find a caffiene free version, I'd be on it! I'd probably like the Lemon Lift! xoxo

It's got to do with the Word of Wisdom which is a health law which our church follows Monique. The law itself states that we will abstain from hot drinks, which has been interpreted to mean tea and coffee as those were pretty much the only hot drinks available when it came into force way back when. Although some people see it as being any drinks with caffiene in them, so they feel that caffiene free is allowed. But then hot chocolate and a lot of soft drinks have caffiene in them, and they will drink them??? It's a mystery really. At the end of the day I feel it just comes down to obedience, and a person's willingness to obey even the smallest things. I am not sure about green teas or white teas. It's all a bit mysterious to me. ;-) I like to play it on the safe side and abstain pretty much. I'll e-mail you! I do love fruity herbal teas and reeboos tea. I have a lovely caramel one I enjoy. Hope your weekend is going well! xoxo

Barb said...

Hi Marie!

So glad you are doing a little better today . . . it takes time to get better, so take it easy.

I love a good cup of tea. Like you, I don't drink regular tea, and my favorite herbal tea is called, Bengal Spice. It's very cinnamony, with hints of clove and allspice, it's so delicious! When I am sick, I do drink green tea . . . the Word of Wisdom is very vague sometimes, but you are right, it's all about obedience.

Tea has always made me feel like I just had a hug, that's probably why I love a hot cup of green tea when I am sick. I probably don't have good tea etiquette, but here in Idaho, I don't think anyone will notice!

I had a tea party for my little's a few years ago, it was delightful! We had mint tea from my herb garden, little finger sandwiches, cookies and their favorite - jelly beans!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Hugs,
Barb

Marie Rayner said...

Todd loves the Bengal Spice as well Barb! It's his favourite. I have not had green tea, but now I know that you drink it I think I can try it! There are some really nice green teas available. I wonder if we can drink white tea? Tea Parties are the best! I love them. Wouldn't it be great fun if we could all sit down and have a tea party together! Wow, that's a dream! xoxo

Barb said...

Marie! I would love to come and have a tea party with you!! I love meeting my blogging buddies, and you are definitely be one of them I would love to sit down with and just have a nice long visit with!! My very English grandfather said that there was noting that a nice cup of tea could not fix. My great grandfather came across the plains to America, and one of the few things he brought was his tea cup - he treasured it. My family donated it to the, Daughter's of Utah Pioneers Museum in Salt Lake City.

Angharad said...

Wow Look at that Victoria Sponge, Mary Berry worthy I must say

Marsha said...

Marie - Thanks for the chuckle......I love the picture of Todd holding the teacup with his little pinkie sticking out. Too cute!

Marie Rayner said...

How wonderful Barb. We should put that on our bucket lists! The one place I did not get to visit when I was in Utah several years back was the Daughters Of utah's Pioneer Museum, although I was lucky enough to see just about everything else! xoxo

Thanks Angharad! I do make a great sponge I'll admit! xoxo

You're welcome Marsha! I think Todd's a keeper for sure! xoxo