Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Cup of Tea

Teacups make me think of my Grandma.  She loved pretty dishes, especially cups and saucers.  She had one set that were decorated with flowers representing the months of the year.  Grandpa built her a "shadow box" to display them and they hung in a place of honor in her kitchen.  Her china cabinet held many more, some hand-painted.  When she passed away, we each got a few of her cups and I treasure mine, but they are hidden inside my buffet because I don't have a place to  show them off.

Even though I'm not a big tea drinker, reading Death by Darjeeling got me to thinking about Grandma's teacups and other things I keep tucked away for a special occasion that never comes.  I've decided to take the advice given by Point of Grace in their song "How You Live" and occasionally use Grandma's teacups for my morning coffee. 

All this tea talk also brought to mind some tea-themed books I've enjoyed.  A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg - the story of a young man's reluctant visit to an elderly aunt at Christmastime, and the unexpected joy it brings (publisher synopsis) - is a perennial favorite. 

If Teacups Could Talk, is overflowing with ideas for gracious living, Emilie encourages readers to embrace and pass on to others the gifts of friendship, tradition, comfort, celebration, and imagination...all with a cup of tea (publisher synopsis).  My copy was a gift from two dear friends and is worth owning if for no other reason than the magnificent illustrations by Sandy Lynam Clough.

In Tea with a Twist: Entertaining and Cooking with Tea, be prepared to be inspired by specialty tea expert Lisa Boalt Richardson.  Lisa will help you fulfill your sense of fun and adventure with party and menu themes such as Bubble Tea, Flower Power Tea, Tailgate Tea, and five more unique experiences to nourish all your senses. Each chapter is accompanied by stunning photographs from leading interior and food photographer Lauren Rubinstein.

At least that's what the publisher says.  I haven't read this one yet, but I did purchase it for the library so it's available when it finally gets to the top of my TBR list.  Again, the illustrations are so pretty you can just sit and browse.

My mother loves to embroider so she makes beautiful sets of flour-sack tea towels.  She gave each of her daughters a set for our birthdays this year.  My sister put hers away so that she would always have them as a memory of mom and they could be passed down.  I stuck mine in the drawer to use daily and think of mom when I do.  What keepsakes are special to you? Do you ever pull them out and use them, or do you prefer to keep them pristine?


  1. What a lovely post!

    I inherited my mother-in-law's teacup collection and they sit dutifully in the china cabinet next to the set of dishes that we only use on Christmas Eve.

    You are so right - why wait for that special occasion that never comes. We should make our own special occasion each and every day :)

  2. For my sister-in-law's wedding shower, her family went and collected random tea cups to use as favors - they put a bag of seedlings inside each one. I thought that was a really cool idea. I don't drink tea at all in any style, but I do appreciate the pretty vessels we use for them. I'm glad you put your grandmother's to use every now and then. Houses shouldn't be museums when you are still living in them!

  3. I'm kind of a hoard-it type, but believe that we should find special occasions often to use these lovely things.