Now I am a lover of hot teas, particularly the loose-leaf brews. (No tea bags, Please!) (Ok, I will take a teabag if that is all that's available) I find the tea culture and community fascinating. What fun to be able to put rose petals and other herbs in your hot drink! This summer I grew Lemon Balm in my tiny garden patch, and it was exciting to make up some hot tea with the fresh leaves mixed in with my regular loose-leaf brew. Follow this link for some great info. http://thegivingteasproject.com/2009/10/14/steep-thoughts-how-to-steep-the-perfect-cup-of-tea/
My dream is to have a little larger garden spot this year, and grow herbs that I can use for my own use in teas, whether fresh picked or dried. I have several books about this and love to read and look at the beautiful pictures and get ideas of my own, or try what is presented in my books.
My little daughter and son love hot tea, also. They have been asking me to fix it since the weather is so cold now...David has his own little teapot with a carousel scene. I try not to be too nervous to let him use it- but I am afraid he will chip or break it!
Both Julia and David still enjoy using this tiny tea set that Julia got for Christmas one year...
Julia is almost too big for this set. She wanted to use one of my regular- sized teacups this weekend while she was sick with sore throat and fever. So I allowed her to use this green set, which I will probably let her call her own now.
For my children, I use Lemon Chiffon Rooibos, from a tea room in Albany, Oregon, that my sister-in-law introduced us to when they lived there. It is on the sweet side, but they always add lots of sugar anyway! http://nowtowns.com/businesses/?id=18550&fi=Aromatique++Charms+of+Tea I called the owner one year and ordered quite a large amount of this loose-leaf type. For a while, this was my daughter Alison's favorite, but now she likes a Lipton tea in the little pyramid bag! White tea with blueberry and pomegranate...it IS in a bag, but the package says "made with real blueberries" ! So I Allow it in the house...
There is a little tea room just down the road from us called The Red Raspberry Tea Room. http://www.superpages.com/bp/Nicoma-Park-OK/Red-Raspberry-Tea-Room-L0505542367.htm?SRC=local I have been there several times, even with my Husband! Twin sisters run it, and the cooking one loves to dream up new dishes. The food is very good, even better than another local tea room in Edmond, OK that is much more formal. Once when we were at The Red Raspberry, the "cook" brought out a new dish that she had planned out overnight and let us try it out for free. I took my mother there twice, and she pronounced the food delicious, and she is hard to please! My mother liked the atmosphere of the Edmond tea room, but the food did not come up to her expectations. BEING FROM THE SOUTH, where tea rooms abound, and good cooks, we are still partial to our favorite tea room in Shreveport, La, The Glenwood. http://www.glenwoodvillagetearoom.com/LunchMenu.html I have been there so many times, the owner recognizes me, although she does not know my name! They have been featured in Southern Living magazine.
I have taken my mother here many times, and my sister-in-law, daughters, friends...I have been alone also, and once I experienced an "epiphany moment", my first ever! ("a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something; a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization") My Great Realization was, that Beauty Matters! whether anyone around me appreciates it or not. It matters to ME and my personal well-being, and of course others pick up on it whether they let you know it or not. Beauty is expected of a woman; this includes many things. I've noticed that my husband and little boy, David, notice and appreciate: a clean room, a beautifully presented meal, a tidy house, etc. Big Son Ben also, when he was a little boy, one day after I had cleaned his room while he was at school (!), walked in and commented about how it made him feel good. So I encourage all women to follow beauty in their homes and personalities- It Matters!
I enjoy the food at The Glenwood so much that I bought their cookbook, A Healing Cup of Tea. There is all kinds of little tips and helps for creating their great food at your own home.
Time to Celebrate!