Indoors it’s warm and cozy while outside a blanket of white makes a great tea time scene. Here in the Southeast people still “Ooo!” and “Aah!” when snow falls. Kids rush outside to build snowmen and generally enjoy this strange, icy, white substance all over the ground before the temperatures warm up too much and it all melts. Having grown up where snow was a regular and something-to-be-dreaded occurrence, I prefer that indoor experience. So it was time to plan a Snow Day Tea Time.
First step: coax hubby into baking again. Pretty easy to do, as he enjoys it (my home economics class in 7th grade kind of turned me off of such things). Since we didn’t have any more pumpkins for pies, he opted for scones. Watching him bake is quite an experience in itself. As with many things, he approaches the task in a very organized manner. Pre-heat the oven. Spray the cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Get out the big mixing bowl. Dump in the scone mix. Add the proper amount of water. Then, a quick stirring of the mix, dropping globs onto the cookie sheet, and popping it into the oven. Sort of like watching a conductor leading his orchestra.
Next step: select and brew the tea. That’s my province. I like to get things ready first (a little pre-prep). My “Blue Betty” teapot was warmed and made ready in her special tea cozy. The tea kettle was filled with clear water and set on the stove for the boil. Then, I took a moment to gaze out at the snow and get a “tea feel” — mentally running through the teas in stock to select the perfect one to suit our mood and the weather and, of course, be a perfect “go-with” for the scones. A black tea, for sure. Something dark, rich-tasting, heavenly aroma, and suited to milk and sweetener.
Chai (made with black tea, not green) and Assam seem the obvious choices. Both are made to go with milk. Both have a strong, rich taste and aroma. Both would enhance that oh-so-inviting scent wafting from the oven as the scones bake. How to decide? Flip a coin? Eenie meenie minie moe? Cover my eyes and point at one of the teas? All are too chancy for such an important matter as this. Sometimes, though, when the scales of taste are so well balanced…
Chai wins. Into the teapot it goes, the spices in with the dry tea spreading molecules into the air that caress my nose — ah! Just in time. The kettle lid is doing its bubble dance. Time to add water to tea. Five minutes of steeping results in the perfect brew ready for that “golden pour.”
Meanwhile, the oven timer has pinged and hubby has removed those golden-brown scones (tasty globs of dough and apricot pieces) from the oven. They sit cooling on the counter while I warm the milk for the tea (a trick I learned from a British friend).
Where to sit and enjoy this special Snow Day tea? I think the dining room with its bay window giving full view of all that whiteness would be the ideal venue. Hubby suggests pulling our counter stools over to the sliding doors where we can sit and look out over the deck while balancing teacups and scone plates on our laps. Uh, oh — decision time again. Eenie meenie minie moe…
Hanging ’round the house a lot because of the snow? Why not spend some time checking out A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill?