Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Relax . . . .
Teatime comes earlier these days to our little home . . . it seems to be getting dark around 4 o'clock in the afternoon. There is something very soothing and comforting about sitting down with a hot drink and cake in the waning light of afternoon before the darkness hits.
I am not a person who drinks regular tea, partially because I suscribe to the Word of Wisdom, which is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children . . . and partially because I am not a fan of the way tea stains things like teeth and cups. I do enjoy a nice herbal brew however. Just because a person doesn't drink black tea there is not reason why they cannot enjoy and practice all the rituals which go along with taking tea . . .
It can be as formal or as relaxed as one wishes it to be. It can be as simple as a hot drink and a toasted tea cake . . . or as complicated as a hot drink with a few finger sandwiches and a scone with cream and jam . . . and just a tiny slice of cake. Yes please! We can't forget the cake.
The main thing is . . . it is a time to slow down, kick back, put up your feet and just be zen . . . at one with the cup, day, cake . . . your thoughts . . .
There is a right way and a wrong way to do tea. I don't do hot drinks very often and I find a great comfort in getting the pot to just the right temperature. A quick rinse with hot water helps. I like infused tea with fresh leaves . . . you can get herbal leaves. I have some very good ones. But failing that I am also a large fan of the silk pyramid bags. Twinings does some lovely ones . . .
This is the super fruity one . . . it went just right with a slice of apple cake. I have always preferred my teas/hot drinks black . . . with maybe only a touch of honey and a thin slice of lemon, lightly pricked with a clove . . . inhaling that hot steam as you bring the cup up to your face for that first sip is all a part of the ritual . . .
That first sip contains all the sentiment and nostalgic feelings that are present in the reading of a Jane Austin novel . . . for just a moment you are Elizabeth Bennet dreaming of Mr Darcy as you sit there in your calico dress, warming your toes by the grates of the fire in the sitting room . . . delicate conversation whispers around your ears . . . .
♥•✿•♥•✿ڿڰۣ•♥•✿•♥ teacup ♥•✿•♥•✿ڿڰۣ•♥•✿•♥
I do love a proper china teacup. I have been collecting them for years now, since I was a very young woman. My favourite cup is an antique one that my sister gave me years and years ago. It holds all the love I have for and have from my sister. When I fill it with tea . . . I am with her . . . and I remember all of the happy occasions and conversations we have shared, yes . . . over cups of tea.
My mother has some beautiful china cups and saucers . . . my favourite one is the one which is imprinted with shamrocks . . .
And then there is the one with the daffodils . . . there are little raised dots on it that I love to run my fingers over. I have spent years and years admiring these cups and saucers, since I was a small child. She had given them to me once when I was married, but when the marriage broke up she went back to the house and took them back, for fear that they would have fallen into the wrong hands and yes . . . I fear that they might have done so in retrospect and so it was a wise move on her part.
But we are talking of gentle things . . .
Its all about slowing down . . . gentling your thoughts . . . grabbing a moment to refresh and relax. Gentle conversation, or some nice music . . . or just quiet reflection as you watch the flames flicker in the grate . . .
Yesterday we had hymns of the church playing . . . it was quite simply lovely. No words, just instrumentals. Zen . . .
And what do you favour with your hot cuppa . . . that is as important a decision as what you decide to put in your cup. Storebought or homemade . . . dunkable or not . . . sweet or savoury. Myself I like something crumbly and short . . . like a good Scottish shortbread, and it doesn't have to be homemade, although homemade are very nice . . . but I do enjoy a simple rich tea biscuit/cookie . . . or a digestive . . .
OR . . . just a slice of buttered toast with maybe a hint of jam or honey thinly spread over its warm buttery craggy surface. I don't really do white bread these days, unless it is a very good rustic bread, like a sour dough artisanal loaf . . . I like it very thinly sliced and toasted until crisp, crisp, crisp . . .
Taking time for tea . . . on a cold and darkening afternoon . . . is taking time for me, and that is not such a bad thing in the scheme of things.
Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time
the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company . . .
In lieu of a real recipe to enjoy today here is my recipe for Chocolate Chip Shortbread. Something to enjoy with a nice hot drink.
I wish for you a beautiful day. Be happy. Don't forget!
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And I do too!
Posted by Marie Rayner at 07:31