I am a tea drinker and I think that most people know that and this is how it all came about.

My mother was a tea drinker, and almost from the day I was born she had me drinking tea. But she decided that she should find out what our doctor thought of a two-year-old having tea every afternoon,  so she called.  Mother: “Can Joe Parker drink tea?” Dr. Nicholas: “Yes, but be sure, Kate, that you use milk!” So now, over the many days, months and years, I drink my daily tea “using milk.” I recently found a set of tea books in one of her bookshelves and here is what I found:

Tea Party

“Whether it’s sharing a cup of tea and some cookies with your best friend or a formal, high tea for honored guests, a tea party is one of the most adaptable — and special — social events you can plan.”

Tea Among Friends

 “Having friends over for tea can be the simplest form of entertainment. It can be as trouble-free as a few cut sandwiches with cupcakes for dessert, or a lavish affair with tablecloths and fine-chine China. Either way, think simplicity, and your tea event will be a success.”

Time For Tea

“Come and share a pot of tea. There’s just enough for you and me. And if by chance we drink it up, we’ll make ourselves another cup! Yes, we must forever be friends; and of all who offer you friendship let me be ever the first, the truest, the nearest and dearest” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Teatime Treats

Bring fresh, cold water to a boil. Warm waiting cups or mugs by filling them with hot water. Place loose tea or tea bags into teapot, using 1 teaspoon per cup. Pour fresh boiled water over the leaves and steep the recommended time (black tea 3-5 minutes). If using tea bags, remove promptly after steeping being  careful not to squeeze or wring the bags, producing a bitter taste. Add sweeteners and milk as desired.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

— 3 cups sugar

— 2 sticks butter, softened

— 6 large eggs, separated and beaten

— 1 cup sour cream

— 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

— 3 cups all-purpose flour

— 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add cream, sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Add egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Mix flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Add to butter mixture, along with the sour cream and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in beaten egg whites. Bake in a greased and floured tube plan for 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Thank God For Tea

“What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea” — Sydney Smith

‘”Feeling Calmer Already”

“Simply reading about tea can be relaxing and enjoyable! So take a moment out of your daily routine, enjoy a cup of tea and have your own personal tea party whenever you can. When the time is right — maybe right now — plan the tea party you would like to give and share the wonderful ritual of taking tea with other people in your life.

Tea —an international symbol of friendship and hospitality!”

Joe Rhinehart can be reached by  e-mail at joeprhinehart@gmail.com.

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