Monday, January 28, 2013

Tea with Gran

Sometimes a photograph can grab you and transport you back to a familiar place. Perhaps a place that was so full of love that you knew, even as a child,  that you would someday have vivid memories of that time.

My grandmother 'taught me' to drink tea at an early age, perhaps seven. She was not as fancy as Tasha Tudor with her lace ruffles and all, but she always wore a dress and an apron. Her name was Mary.
I can still feel the tea-cup in my hand, warmed from the wood-stove and filled with 1/2 tea and 1/2 milk and a bit of honey. She would say "A little tea won't hurt you. It is good for your tummy." "Whatever"...we just wanted the hot beverage, and the goodies that were served with it, and to sit with our Granny for awhile.
Along with the tea was fresh bread, toasted on the wood stove, with her home-made strawberry jam. There was nothing like it.  We each had our own special tea-cup. Mine was red and black and had a dragon on the side of it. I thought it was the most beautiful tea-cup in the world. She always kept the cookie jar filled with home-made cookies. I remember 'Hermits' mostly.
She taught me how to pour tea, to let it steep for 5 minutes and never clean the pot with soap.
"Just boiling-hot water and some lemon will do the trick", she'd say.

As I type this I can see her face and feel the heat of the stove on my face. I remember her little brown tabby-cat, Maggie always snuggled in her apron. How I loved that cat. I can hear the laughter of my cousins, who sat around the summer kitchen making these same memories. We shared stories and listened to music on the old record player. We teased each other and made plans for the next morning; what we'd do and where we'd go. 
Everyday was an adventure at my grandmother's home.
Such wonderful memories of childhood. Summers at the old farm.

I don't have my grandmother's recipe for Hermit cookies but this blog has one very close to what I remember.

What I would give to have my grandmother share a pot of tea with me today.

I think she would love to pick out a 'favorite' tea-cup from my cupboard now.
That would be so nice. And I know she'd love the cats.
 We had that in common, too.

I'm joining Tea-time Tuesday at

and Tuesday Cuppa Tea at

hugs, Deb


  1. Deb this is the sweetest memory! How wonderful to have had tea time with your Grandmother! We didn't have tea around unless it was southern 'sweet tea' and that was always iced! I think I'll go make a cup of tea right now and think on family memories!
    hugs, Linda

  2. Hugs to you Deb,
    Lovely memoir
    And Have a lovely day

  3. As I was reading I began to remember my own grandma, her soft soft skin,her laugh, her way of ensuring everyone had enough to eat,and summer days at her cottage in the English countryside.
    Jane x

  4. I remember having tea with my grandma and the same 1/2 tea and 1/2 milk mixture. Mine was served in a beautiful demitasse. The same cup was used for the hot chocolate she made from pure cocoa. Everything at Grandma's was beautiful to a little girl. What a lovely post you have written!

  5. Nice memories of your grandmother. I never got to have tea with mine and imagine it would have been fun.

  6. You are bringing back memories for me too, with a little teary eye too. My dear Grandmaman would visit us from her home in Montreal, flying down to Virginia. Every afternoon we would have tea in special cups, with a cookie or bread and butter. My mom continued that tradition as well. Sweet sweet thoughts. Thank you, Deb.

  7. Very sweet memory =)
    The blue and white dishes are so beautiful.

  8. Lovely memory ! Tea, the best drink in the house , I had tea in my bottle, Brits did that back then . When I was 5 my mum bought me my own little tea cup with the Beatrice Potter print Peter Rabbit on it and home made shortbread cookies Yummy! Mum would have scones , cookies and little cakes with tea . Lovely photos and thanks for sharing it jogged my memories of tea when I was young to ! . Rainy and foggy here today very sloppy out .Have a good evening !

  9. What a beautiful memory--I suspect your childhood memories of your Grandmother are very similar to mine... and I totally share your sentiment 'what I would give to have my grandmother share a pot of tea with me'... when we are making memories we just never know how precious they will be to us someday, do we?

    Beautiful kitty--I would love to kiss that furry forehead!

  10. What wonderful memories! I owe my love of tea to my Nana. Your cupboard is gorgeous! I love your photos. I haven't had hermits for years! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

  11. How lucky to have those memories of your grandmother to keep you warm during the winter months. Thanks for sharing them with us. We lived far away from both our grandmothers so my memories of them, although good, are few.

    the critters in the cottage xo

  12. That's a wonderful memory! I used to love visiting my grandma too! I'm not a tea drinker though. That's interesting about not using soap to clean the tea pot.

  13. What a precious post! Ilove your blue and whte china collection...Christine

  14. Such a wonderful memory you have shared!! I wish I had something warm and lovely to remember about a relative. Very few ever visited us as we lived far from them.

    And I love the kitty's face in the ramekin dish!

    Pet lovers please check out my homeless cat blog archives for some informative posts and stories about the cat abandoned/feral colony I manage.

  15. What lovely memories. It is nice you let the kitty join in.

  16. My gran introduced me to tea too! I thoroughly hated milk as a child, both the taste and the way it made me feel. ( now days they'd recognize i was lactose intolerant). Gran always would make me tea with lemon! So soothing and delicious. They say that the tannins in tea interfere with the absorption of non-heme (plant based) iron but adding lemon helps mitigate the loss. A woman ahead of her time, Gran was.
    Lovely photo of Lily. Blue and white suits her perfectly.

  17. Hi Deb,
    Your memories of your grandmother sound a lot like mine. Her kitchen was the best place to be and boy could she ever cook! She always had jars filled with cookies too. What wonderful days and memories! I miss my Granny still after all these years, as well as the farm!
    I love your blue and white china. It is just so pretty! I really enjoyed your post today and thanks for sharing it with us. Have a beautiful day, my friend.


  18. I'm glad to read of someone else who didn't wash their teapot with soap. After all, what goes in their besides tea? A friend of mine says that's the reason my tea tastes better than anyone else's.

  19. What a wonderful memory! I know she'd love your blue and white. I don't think my grandmother's drank hot tea -- just iced! That is one of my favorite Tasha Tudor photos. You don't spoil your kitties ....only the best! :D :D Hugs--

  20. Tasha Tudor is one of my favorite artists. That picture of her is so quaint. What happy memories you have of your grandmother. I love all your is a favorite of mine.
    Have a wonderful week!
    sandy :)

  21. I enjoyed reading this warm and lovely memory of time with your Grandmother. You took me there. It really would be wonderful to share being old and being a grandmother with your own! What a thought. Your reminiscence also makes me want to slow down and do more "tea and cakes" with my own grandgirls. We're just so entertainment oriented and always heading out the door! Just lovely.

  22. What a wonderful tribute to Grandma Mary. I hope I am remembered someday like that. Your cupboard is filled with beautiful china and your heart is full with sweet memories.
    Smiling here, Ruthie
    from: Lady B's Time for Tea