Friday, May 29, 2015

The Tea Trolley

It's about time for another tea post!  The next chapter in my "tea life" took place in Uganda just after she came out of civil war. I moved there with my family was I was nearly 12 and we moved back to the States about 2 1/2 years later. It was an incredibly life-changing and eye-opening experience and it tore my heart to leave that beautiful place.

Uganda is where tea drinking became an everyday ritual. Everyone drank tea. The market was filled with piles of shiny aluminum kettles and stacks of large, plastic mugs that kept the tea so hot you could never actually drink it. The tea was grown in Uganda and we always marveled at the beautiful tea plantations that we passed on the way from Jinja to the capital city, Kampala.

It was "Garden Tea" that we drank -- a rich, bold tea -- "Indian" in flavor and with a color that nearly matched the soil it was grown in. If you were Ugandan, you would take your tea with sugar in it -- a lot of sugar in it (I always estimated it was about 1/4 cup for the 12 oz mug).

Here we are in the kitchen where every day water was boiled for ten minutes and passed through a filter so we would have water to drink and water for tea. Every morning tea was made for our helpers at a specified time and accompanied with a piece of bread and butter.

Not a day went by that we didn't have someone with us for one or more meals. After dinner the peach colored mugs came out and the steaming pots came in and everyone sat around the table drinking tea. Life was much slower in Uganda and there was time for company, talking, tea.

At one point we even had a tea hut in the front yard! Here it is in the making. It provided lovely shade and a pretty place to sit and receive visitors and drink tea.

Being in a different culture didn't mean we gave up all our old ways. Here we are playing dress up for Christina's 9th birthday. I don't know how we even had gloves like that over there!

As of yet, I've never been back to Uganda, as much as I long to go. Maybe someday. But the tea drinking stuck with us!

And now back to the present......

Drinking coffee or tea in the park is always fun! Here we are joined by some extra company.

Rachel wanted to exercise her creative bone one evening and stayed up late to make these for her friends at school.

I love having one hour a week to count on for tea with my neighbor. It gives us a chance to catch up on the neighborhood, how our kids are playing together, and share our mutual love for British tea-drinking.

The birth of Princess Charlotte called for a pot of tea!!!! It was so exciting to see all the news updates and learn her beautiful name.

I tried my hand at a few sketches this past month -- tea being one of my favorite subjects.

I never tire of viewing this silver teaset at the Oldfields House here in town.

Lunch at Wildwood Market -- their sandwiches are the best! And they even have gluten-free bread!

Another tea sketch from early in the month.

Mother's Day! We had strawberry-rhubarb cobbler and tea.

I just love when I can get up early in the morning and have tea by myself while doing my devotions. I wish I could get up early every day. Often I am just too tired.

For the last day of school we enjoyed a World War II British meal -- turnip top salad and Woolton Pie (essentially vegetables in a sauce with a pastry top). It was good -- the pie a bit bland, but the crust helped.

We also visited the Candles Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute and I was struck by this table cloth and explanation -- this Jewish mother took her fancy tablecloths to the Ghetto and each night pulled them out to cover a crate for the family to eat on. In this way she fought against evil and death with beauty and routine. I loved that!!! She ended up losing her life to the Nazis but her young son survived.

I love this teapot. I still haven't told you about it and it's sister pot. It's on my list to finish my Scotland posts this summer!

Tea with a friend -- it was Tea Forte decaf English Breakfast. Yum!

I attempted macarons for the first time this week. I got one perfect one out of the entire batch. However, they all tasted amazing despite their looks -- SO much better than any store-bought one I've had.

My friend from NYC, Christy, was in town this last week and that gave us a chance to have a baby shower for her!

Jungle theme meant these favors were just perfect! They were different types of animal crackers mixed up together with a few chocolates.

 It was a lovely evening!

My mom invited my sisters and me to her place for tea one Sunday afternoon in April.

And another day I had a few friends over for a tea lunch: buckwheat scones and gluten free scones with fruit and salad. Perfect!

Here are the lovely ladies!

And my ever-ready tea party partner!

 And that catches us up to the present! We've had three "last days" of school for various members of the family, today being Rachel's last day. Summer is on the way!!!


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Such fun looking at the photos!

elizabeth said...

love these posts! wow, what a special time you had as a young woman! I wish our culture had more time for tea; that is something I see in my Mom and in her family; always had time for tea or a cup of coffee... my parents just left for MI yesterday and I already missing having 'coffee time' with them... so your posts are always so cheery! thank you for taking the time!!

Pom Pom said...

How fascinating reading about your time in Uganda. I'd love to learn more!
I love your tea posts, too!

reader19 said...

Wow, what a great post!!! I still wanted more pictures though!!! So interesting!!!!!

Unknown said...

Aww. Just adore your Tea Trolley posts, Heather. That is so interesting that you really picked up your tea love/habits in Uganda. What is the history there? A British colony??? I am completely ignorant about it. All your tea scences/pots are LOVELY. I think what I love most about your blog is that you obviously have a wonderful gift of hospitality. I'm so inspired about making a nice little tea tray up for one of my quiet times and also for little mini-dates with the kids. That's my favorite photo...your little daughter with the tea tray. So sweet!!! Our learning is mainly wrapping up here...a few things I want to finish in the next few weeks, but all the busy summer family things are starting.

Laura said...

Oh Heather... how I loved seeing the Uganda pictures!!! lets go back!! just for a tea trip.... your posts are wonderful... You are just like your Grandmother... Ruth... she set up beauty where ever she was...and drew in friends to enjoy... we now call it , "meals with Jesus"... For He is the source of all beauty.. Thank you for sharing it all... look forward to the rest... and ..... lets go for Tea together somewhere beautiful!!! love you forever!!!