Friday, March 20, 2015

The Tea Trolley

Last time I talked about my very first introductions to tea in the beautiful, colonial-style house my dad built for us in Vermont. 

We left that house when I was almost five and moved near Rochester, NY. Since we were downsizing to a two-bedroom trailer my mom packed away much of what we owned, or gave things away. We lived in the trailer for three years while my dad attended Bible school. I don't remember any tea parties but I do remember special birthdays around the kitchen table with plenty of decorations and inviting the little old lady from next door over to join us. (I am the child in navy blue in the photo below.)

After the trailer we moved to what seemed like a giant old house in small-town America in north-central Pennsylvania. Out came the teacups! In fact, you can see them in the very center of the photo below. And, for those of you that remember him, that's Uncle Bill in the photo!!!

This was the house where tea, tea parties, dress up, dolls, friends, and childhood all happened for me. Here I am in the dining room just before the guests arrived for a birthday party for my sister, Christina. Mom and I had made tissue paper flower headbands for all the little girls and we had a little skill saw in the basement that we had cut out wooden cats with and then painted them for each of the girls as a favor. Early training in the giving of parties. (Note we used a picnic table for a dining room table!!!)

This little nook in the kitchen is where I remember tea the most. Sometimes in the middle of the afternoon mom would make tea and pull the teacups down from that shelf. And it was here that the infamous incident with the pewter teapot and the microwave happened. (Everyone and everything did survive.)

Another memory that sticks fast in my mind from these years comes from our weekly food shopping. We had a very strict budget and I manned the calculator. There were certain "must-haves" each week and there were things we could do without. I remember thinking how much more money we would have if we just didn't have to buy that can of Folgers coffee grounds. Coffee was expensive! I remember trying to convince mom we could skip that. But, good for mom, she didn't give in on that one. It took me many years to understand why.

And now, back to the present. Here are some photos from the last month:

One of my favorite lunches or snacks is a piece of gf toast covered in smashed avocado and topped with a bit of fermented vegetables. Oh yum! This is so good!!! 

One morning I came downstairs to find the kids having their own tea party. This makes me so happy!

I was sick one weekend this past month and managed to convince the kids to bring me food in bed (Michael was gone). Such a treat! ....except for the sickness.

Can't help but ooh and aah at the china when I go into Home Goods:

I spent an evening sipping tea with a friend and discussing books and knitting/crocheting.

Fortunately, just before I got sick I just happened to make a big pot of chicken broth. Boy did that taste good!!! In fact, I think some people even call broth "tea" as in "beef tea" or "chicken tea". It does the trick!

I loved this quote from a book I am reading:

One morning I met up with a friend at a new-to-me coffee/dessert bar in town. I had a dairy free latte which was really delicious!

And drooled over this beautiful display!

I helped a friend host a bridal shower at her house. Look how pretty she had the table set up!

Sometimes I take myself out to lunch at my own house. I love having this little round table with two chairs at the far end of my kitchen. It feels like an escape!

I've been helping in the Introduction to German class at homeschool group and several times the teacher has brought in German treats. Here we are enjoying German Christmas goodies complete with a "smoke house" which burns incense/smoke.

Chocolate is not on the list right now but I was given two truffles and I couldn't let them be eaten by someone else. Such a treat.

Gluten free Irish Soda bread for St. Patrick's Day.

We enjoyed our Irish meal on Sunday after church. SO delicious!

And it was so warm on Monday that the kids convinced me we should take our dinner to Eagle Creek for a picnic. The wind was cold but otherwise it was lovely.

Another afternoon snack. We all eat mid-afternoon to keep our blood sugar up and it is usually much needed with our schedule!

I love this vintage teapot. Its story belongs to a Scotland post....

I don't think I've shown you this teapot clock I got for Christmas? It's in my "studio" along with the cross stitch that Rachel made for me years ago.

And here's my little tea party companion. She loves to have tea together. Long may that last!!!!

And today is the first day of Spring, which means our traditional First Day of Spring Tea Party. We had a lovely time but I'll have to save the pictures for the next Tea Trolley.


Wendee said...

Wow, you look like Laura in that first picture!

elizabeth said...

I love those pictures! how neat! I was using my blue and white tea cups yesterday and today and smiled when I saw yours in this post! :) So sorry you were ill but how nice about breakfast in bed. ***hugs*** and God bless you!

Lilly's Mom said...

This was such a lovely post to read and see your beautiful photos of times past. How nice to keep the tradition of having tea with your little one. Your china is beautiful, too. Happy Spring.

Unknown said...

Your photos are so cheerful and inspiring!!! :)

Anonymous said...

So fascinating to see your earlier self, and the earliest history of the tea trolley. It's wonderful that you are passing that on to your children.
I was struck by how inexpensive those baked goods are. Is it just that we are used to paying much more in pounds sterling? (In which case you must have found everything here very expensive - ) Or are those very reasonable prices in an American context? Just curious!

Stephanie said...

So many wonderful events! Glad you are enjoying all the cups of tea and the moments that accompany them. :-) (sjn821 on Rav)