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Tea Time is a State of Mind May 9, 2012

Filed under: Practical Life — bevfollowsthechild @ 9:32 pm
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Food for Thought

Afternoon Tea

            Growing up in England, in what seems now a bygone age, I had afternoon tea with my Mam and my sister every day.  Over a cup of tea (or glass of milk) and a snack, my sister and I shared with one another and our Mam the highlights and lowlights of our day.

Afternoon tea was also a special treat for my children, and they especially loved sharing afternoon tea with their friends, both real, and imaginary.

The children in our school are so excited to have a tea party with their Moms.  Several of them danced around and around, singing, “I’m so excited.  I’m so excited.  It’s time for tea.  It’s time for tea!”  I must admit that I am excited, too.  The Moms’ Day tea is one of my favorite events of the year.

The classrooms look beautiful – tablecloths, real china cups and saucers, flowers.   I am reminded of the value of setting time aside for a little tea and conversation with those you love.  And also, once again, of the importance of preparing the environment.  A tea party just wouldn’t be a tea party without a little effort in making the tables look pretty.

Summer is the perfect time for afternoon tea in the garden, picnic style.  Here are some suggestions, all also perfect for a picnic  or school lunch, and all providing lots of opportunities for practical life activities and grace and courtesy:

tiny sandwiches – cucumber and cream cheese, hard boiled egg and sprouts, mashed avocado and bacon.  To make the sandwiches extra fancy, cut them into shapes using a cookie cutter.

fruit – strawberries, of course, but also slices of apple and pear

vegetable sticks and dip – carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery

scones or toast or English muffins, toasted, with a little butter and jam or honey or marmalade

What you eat is really not that important.  Teatime is more a state of mind.  Use your prettiest china, or a special tablecloth or picnic blanket.  Dress up.  Wear a hat.  Make a centerpiece of flowers you have picked together.  Invite the teddy bears in your house to a picnic.  Use a real basket.  Go to the park.  Use fabric napkins.  Drink sleepytime or peach tea (favorites of many children) or make home made lemonade or drink juice you have squeezed at home.

A friend of mine also insists that all afternoon teas should begin with a poem.  Perhaps you might like to include a favorite poem or story book.  How about reading, “I’ll Love You Forever” by Robert M. Munsch in honor of mothers?

“I’ll love you forever

I’ll like you for always

As long as I’m living

My baby you’ll be.”

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