Once again the philosopher in me has emerged as I wait for the water in that kettle to reach a full boil. The teapot is prepped and waiting. The scones are rising in the oven. And the jam and clotted cream await. It all brings to mind the concept of starts and stops.
Starts and stops are as natural for tea as they are for traffic and for life in general. Gas pedals and brakes. Plantings and harvests. Earning and spending. Sunrise and sunset. Green lights and red lights. Steeping and drinking. Turning on and turning off. Baking and eating. Births and deaths.
See what I mean?
Starting out well often assures stopping well, but, as with most things in life, there are no guarantees or, if there is a guarantee, it will run out just before you need it. Voice of experience here. Happened with a computer, a big-screen TV, and a water heater. Argh!
Tea times almost invariably go well if they start well but tend to stop sadly when the tea runs out and the cookies and tarts and cakes are all eaten. Don’t worry about the sad stop, though, and don’t let it keep you from having a rousing start. Which brings me to the point of not letting the anticipation of a bad ending (which might not really happen) keep you from starting out on your adventure, tea or otherwise. You can only prepare for so many negatives in your life and do what you can to minimize them.
How do you minimize your tea time negatives (real or merely anticipated)? Well, the first obvious step is to be ready to steep up more tea if the teapot starts running low. The next step is to have some back up treats such as a package or two of McVitie’s Digestives or some grapes you can wash and serve or a few apples you can slice up. If you plan on baking and the worst of all possible crises occurs (such as the scones catching fire in the oven — yes it can happen!), keep the number of that local bakery that delivers close at hand. Better yet, bake the day before. Those tarts may not be as fresh, but at least you will have some to serve. Again, the voice of experience here. Murphy’s Law seems to rear its ugly head whenever I am planning a tea party!
Your tea time will definitely have a happier stop if you plan ahead at the start. Something I try to apply to other things, such as laundry or taking a vacation, but with varying degrees of success.
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One thought on “Tea Kettle Philosophy — Starts and Stops”
You are so right! I so remember a dinner party where the bread never rose, the main dish was awful and we wound up with scrambled eggs. Thankfully, it was good friends, but I do agree with doing what you can the day before and having reserves.