Saturday, 13 December 2014

Everything stops for tea

I actually made it on time yesterday evening so I suppose it was a case of third time lucky.

Today I have a touch of luxury in my life.  For a start, I will not be walking the dog this afternoon.  Not that I have any objection to a little gentle exercise like that.  Indeed, I approve of it most heartily; I find that gentle exercise like walking eases the muscles and gets rid of arthritic twinges.  If only the wind would drop and the temperature rise a little!

The real luxury is that I will be having afternoon tea.  Afternoon tea does not usually feature in my life, except as a mug of the nectar somewhere between three and half past.  Today, though, I shall enjoy sitting down to sandwiches and cake - along with the essential liquid, of course.  The occasion is the annual pre-Christmas party organised by the Lions for some of the old folk of the city.

[OK, that's enough of the sarky comments, thank you very much!  I'm one of the organisers, not one of the invited guests!]

That, of course, means that I will be enjoying my tea in the company of a whole load of old codgers, several of whom will be younger than me.  We have an entertainer booked so tea will be accompanied by a host of corny jokes.

'Afternoon tea' generally conjures up images of dainty, triangular sandwiches - cucumber or egg and cress - with the crusts cut off and one of those two- or three-tier cake plates (which I understand have come back into vogue).  There will, of course, be a silver tea pot and milk jug.  In the really posh places there will be two tea pots - one with China tea, one with India.  There will also be a few slices of lemon along with the milk and sugar lumps in another silver bowl, together with silver sugar tongs.

But should the milk be put in the cup before or after the tea?  That can be the subject of prolonged debate, although it doesn't make any difference as far as I can tell.


Suldog said...

Well, I'm an American, so my opinion probably makes little difference. I'd say the milk must go in AFTER. Of course, that's because I brew a cup, not a pot, and if I put the milk in first, then I have to brew the cup to match the milk in order to get the correct color (colour, to you) and flavor (flavour). If I wait until the tea is steeped, much easier to add the milk until it's right.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Sorry, Jim, but it's just too common and vulgar to use teabags! Only loose tea in a properly warmed pot will do for 'proper' afternoon tea!