National Tea Day by Karen Salkin
Yesterday was National Tea Day, so I figured I'd honor it by imparting the properway to “take” Afternoon Tea, which is the most delightful repast ever!!!
As you know, I'm always looking-out for your dental health by making sure you're preventing jaw pain and headaches by using your ClearClub custom-fit mouth guards, but I also love to share my knowledge about other things in life. And Afternoon Tea is one of the few things I'm really an expert on. (Accent on “few.”)
First I have to explain the difference in tea meals because there are some pretenders out there who might steer you the wrong way. They think they're being superior when they erroneously use the term “High Tea,” when they actually mean “Afternoon Tea.” And they could not be more wrong. So now you'll be the people who do it correctly! (I'm serious about this subject! I actually have been known to clench my teeth—hard—when I hear phonies use it wrong. Thank goodness I already have my ClearClub dental guards to guard against breaking a tooth over it! That's how much this error annoys me.)
In case you're wondering, here's the official difference between the two: High Tea is basically a hearty supper that’s eaten after 5PM, and consists of mainly “peasant” dishes, such as sausage rolls, crusty bread, and meat pies. It also features stronger, more basic teas themselves; no frou-frou white grapefruit-vanilla type of choices.
Those teas belong in the absolutely glorious meal that is Afternoon Tea. It’s absolutely scrumptious and soooo relaxing. (When done correctly, of course.) It’s served ideally between 2-4PM, but can really stretch from 1-5, if need be. My favorite way to be served this one is in courses, but, because it involves soooo much preparation, most tearooms just serve all the courses at once, on a triple-tiered tray.
The first food course is finger sandwiches, which are usually cut into small quarters or triangles. (Hence “finger.”)
Those are followed by (hopefully warm) scones with clotted cream and some sort of preserve or lemon curd or both. There are basic scones, but ones with bits of something fun, like cranberries or almonds or my faves—chocolate chips. They should be cut horizontally, then each side should be slathered with the clotted cream and topped with the jam or curd. Yu-um!!!
All of that should be finished-up (if you even still have any room,) with either small desserts, such as petits four or bite-sized fruit tarts, or one or two slices of cake. When I'm hosting the tea at my abode, I occasionally also serve giant strawberries with vanilla and cinnamon whipped cream that I make from scratch!
On the entertainment front, if you’re dining at a classy establishment, such as an upscale hotel, the meal might be accompanied by a harpist or pianist. At the very least, there should be recorded peaceful classical music playing, which is perfect if you're throwing a tea yourself.
So there you have it! Your tea education is now complete! Well, almost. When I finally finish and publish my Tea Book, you’ll find-out how all these meals came about, and it will even offer some awesome recipes and serving suggestions. And I'll tell you about the different kinds of tea themselves, and the other possible tea meals that I didn't get to here. I don't want to overwhelm you, even though I'm sure you're rocking your ClearClub dental guards as you're reading this, so you don't get a headache from all the info!
But this is more than enough info for you to celebrate National Tea Day, don’t you think? And no matter how you take yours, I wish you relaxation and enjoyment!