I grew up a few blocks away from my paternal grandparents. They were very British and we always had afternoon tea when visiting their home. I somehow forgot about this practice (probably because I have not been at home during the day for many, many years!) but I recently decided to reinstate it.
I have a sweet tooth and it usually starts to nag at me around 3 pm when my blood sugar is running low. Since I’m trying to lose weight, I was looking for a substitute to snacking and I decided on tea. Two factors helped me come to this decision: I found a packet of lovely Creamy Earl Grey tea that a friend had given me last year and which had gotten lost in the back of my tea stash, and my mother recently gave me a lovely “tea set for one” as a birthday gift.
I’ve been really enjoying this ritual. It not only helps with the sweet cravings (I like a fair amount of sugar in my tea!) but it brings me psychological pleasure as well. The act of making the tea in my little teapot (shown in the photo above, sitting on top of the single serving teacup) reminds me of the days when I lived alone. And while I would never trade the joys of my family for the loneliness of those times, there were certainly some perks! My afternoon tea has become a moment for myself, when I can do something just for me, allow myself to sit down and enjoy a fragrant cup of comfort.
And speaking of the simple pleasures in life, what better to go with tea than some home baked raisin oat muffins? I never used to keep any staples in the house, but in the last year I’ve started baking and so I now I always have flour, baking powder, etc. on hand. The other day I was low on groceries and the kids needed a snack. I was able to whip up a dozen yummy (and healthy!) muffins in a few minutes. What a sense of satisfaction! It’s one of those things that makes our house feel like a home.
P.S. – That cute red tea kettle in the photo above is the one I recently purchased (scroll down to the last item on the linked page). Despite the fact that I “compromised” on it, I have fallen in love with it and think I definitely got the best one after all!