Recently, tea rescued me from the pizza I had scarfed down at a local eatery. Listen to my tale of how a queasy tummy was saved by a nice cuppa tea.

Over the past few years, my eating habits have changed somewhat. Rice and potatoes are now the starch of choice over wheat-based items like breads, biscuits, pies, etc. Tacos, burgers, pizza, and other fare of the fast food joints are now rarities. Soft drinks like colas, un-colas, and specialties like root beer and sarsaparilla are virtually a no-show in our daily diet. So, why oh why did hubby and I give in to temptation and find ourselves eyeing the choices on the menu at the pizza joint across from the gift shop in which we had just been browsing?

Well, we could blame it on the fact that we’d had a light breakfast and that it was hours past lunchtime. Or we could claim that the smell wafting our way was just too tempting and mesmerized us so that we had no control over our feet as they carried us toward the source of that smell. We could say that it was a chilly day and the thought of warm pizza inside us was irresistible. We could say any of these, but…

Truth is we just had a taste for pizza. Both of us. At the same time. All of you who have been married awhile will understand how often one of you will want a particular item to eat and the other will want something else. There is an unwritten rule out there in the ether somewhere that this is especially true when you are both contemplating where to eat out. If there are children involved — whoa! I don’t even want to think about that!

So, hubby and I ordered our by-the-slice pizza, settled for water as our beverage (hey, we may be blowing our diet, but we’re sticking to our “no soda” resolve), and started to chow down. We had both ordered a slice of a pizza called “Hell’s Kitchen.” It had sauce, cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and chili peppers (akin in hotness to jalapeños). The pizza lived up to its name in that it inflamed our tongues like the very fires of… Thank goodness for the water.

Hubby followed up his slice by ordering a “dessert” slice of Sicilian cheese pizza. (I was about halfway through my slice of “Hell’s Kitchen” by that time.) We were watching snowboarding daredevils on the restaurant’s TV while eating. Swoosh! All seemed well. We both felt pleasantly sated when the meal was done and even sat awhile watching the hotdoggers flying through the air and landing into that pristine powder — amazingly, all without distorting any portion of their anatomy (as far as we could tell).

Finally, we roused ourselves to head back out into the cold weather, stopped at a couple more shops, and then finally arrived home. All the while, my tummy had been saying things like, “Uh — excuse me — hello! What did you do to me? I can’t take this!” It started out rather low and by the time we reached home it was practically a full-throated yell: “Tummy on fire here!”

In case you may not have heard, milk contains casein, which is very good for neutralizing the capsaicin in hot items like those peppers. So, I guess I could have just sipped some milk. But I was feeling a bit hyper, too, and tea is known to be soothing. Plus, I was way behind in my daily tea consumption. Time to catch up and at the same time to quiet my over-stimulated tummy.

Hubby heated the water, and I got the pot ready. The natural choices were either a nice Keemun, a Kenyan black, or a full-bodied Assam. They all take milk well, an essential part of my plan. Kenyan won out, specifically the Devonshire Tea we’d tried awhile ago. It’s smooth enough to drink straight, but I like it best with milk and sweetener.

Once the tea was steeped, and poured into the teacups prepped with just the right amount of milk and sweetener, we sat back and sipped. In a short while, my tummy was purring contentedly. The fire was out and all was once again peaceful. We now keep our fire extinguishers filled with tea!

I share this with you so that next time you succumb to a temptation to indulge in something hot, spicy, greasy, etc., you will know that help is as close as your tea pantry. Enjoy!

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