Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, those visiting relatives can certainly make for some interesting tea moments. Or make you slip away to a quiet corner to have a private, nerve-calming tea moment. Either way, choose the right tea and possibly the perfect munchie, and your tea moment will be divine!

When relatives visit I find that sneaking off to a quiet corner and solving a few crossword puzzles is quite soothing, especially with a cuppa tea. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

When relatives visit I find that sneaking off to a quiet corner and solving a few crossword puzzles is quite soothing, especially with a cuppa tea. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

In my younger days (much younger), we would have an annual visit on Thanksgiving Day from our favorite uncle, his wife (our aunt), and their only child (our cousin). This was a time that was highly anticipated but also fraught with anxiety as our mother rushed around cleaning and decorating (she had just about every turkey and Pilgrim knickknack every made) and preparing some of her signature dishes ahead of time. We helped where we could — vacuuming, making sure our rooms were clean and our clothes hung up neatly, and helping with things like cracking walnuts for that very special cranberry jell-o dish.

Occasionally, our aunt would try to help out with this feast by supplying a snack for us all to enjoy while the turkey was roasting, the potatoes were boiling, and the green bean casserole was waiting to go in the oven beside that turkey. One year really sticks out in my memory. I call it “the year of the oysters”!

If you have children, young or grown, you have experienced trying to get them to eat something unusual. In fact, some kids stick with hotdogs, peanut butter and jelly on white bread, and macaroni and cheese. So imagine trying to get them to eat something tough, chewy, slimy, and distinctly funny smelling. But aunty had a trick. She served them on Ritz crackers and with a 6-ounce glass of tomato juice. It made them almost palatable — almost.

Dealing with relatives during these holidays can be trying for many reasons, and strange foods are just some of the reasons. Arrange to have some normal stuff on hand for those who don’t want to take a walk on the odd side. Cheese and crackers and some carrot and celery sticks, for example. It might lessen those arguments over politics, long-standing sibling feuds, and that prank you played on your cousin a couple of years back wherein he got stuck in the tree house for several hours and you got the turkey leg.

A nice tea moment with the relatives:

Lots of ways to go here, but there will be so much going on that you’ll want to keep things simple. Steep up the tea in a teapot large enough to serve everyone a cupful at minimum. I’d go for a mild black tea such as Kenyan or maybe Nilgiri. Steep it up fairly light (2 or 3 minutes) unless you know if your guests will want it with milk. Lay out some tidbits but nothing too heavy. Whether you’re serving this before or after the main event on Turkey Day (Thanksgiving), you will want to keep the snacks confined to things that won’t spoil appetites or be too much for overly full tummies to take. Cheese and crackers with some grapes and apple slices would be ideal.

A nice tea moment away from the relatives:

While Aunt Susie, Grandpa Jake, and the rest of the clan are rooting for opposite football teams and about to come to blows in the living room, slip off to the den or your bedroom where you have laid out ahead of time a setup for your personal tea moment. This would be things like an electric kettle filled with water, a teapot, the tea of your choice, any additives (lemon, honey, sweeteners, milk, etc.), a cup or mug, a spoon, and some nibbles. Which tea and which nibbles are entirely your choice.

Don’t worry. The holiday season won’t last long, and they will all be headed home, returning your house and your tea moments back to normal!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About these ads