ORIENTAL TEA POT

The last time you saw this tea pot it had a large rain spider inside it. Here is a more sedate look at this lovely teapot given to me by my eldest granddaughters.

Tea and teapots make very welcome gifts for this Granny: they last a long time and carry with them the memories of the givers. This beautifully shaped teapot holds enough for three cups of tea.

Most importantly, the spout pours well – no messy drips and the handle is easy to grip.

This is the underside – a mystery to me.

 

HAIRY SURPRISES

I shrieked; my toes curled, and I dropped the lid of the dustbin – then peered in cautiously. This is the hairy surprise that awaited me:

The spider appeared to lunge towards me and I drew back aghast – then peered into the bin even more cautiously, my toes still in a tight curl:

Needless to say, I replaced the lid promptly.

Now, only a few days later I boiled the kettle to make some tea. I lifted the tin and dropped it like a shot! I shrieked again and curled my toes – another (surely it cannot be the same!) large hairy spider scuttled out from underneath. It disappeared – as I feared – yet as the kettle had nearly boiled I reached to warm the pot. I didn’t get very far:

For the spider had sought shelter in the tea pot!

Give me a snake any day!

For the curious among you: my husband simply placed the lid on the tea pot, took it outside, and emptied the spider into the lavender bush. Of course I would have been able to do that – once my toes had uncurled!

TEA AND SCONES

Tea and scones are a common request. What is not common is how your tea and scones will be presented. At some establishments you may have to remove your soggy tea bag from the cup yourself; you might be given a tiny teapot with no access to hot water to top it up; or you may simply be presented with your ready-made cup of tea and a minute jug of milk.

The scones can vary too, from over large crumbly ones to small, rather mingy looking ones. I have been served open scones already spread with jam and a dollop of cream; scones with separate small packaged squares of butter and jam that need to be peeled open; cold scones; warm scones that have clearly been warmed in a microwave straight from a freezer; scones accompanied with butter that is so hard it is un-spreadable.

Tea and scones might be a commonly requested refreshment, but the expectation one might have is not always matched with the reality. This archive photograph is a reminder of a time when the reality far exceeded our expectations:

We had wanted to break a long journey and stretch our legs and so ordered tea and scones for three. As we had confirmed that we all wanted the same tea, it arrived in a large pot. What a pleasant surprise: the scones were of a generous size, the butter balls were soft enough to spread easily, and the quantities of jam, cream and grated cheese were generous. So was the jug of milk. Notice the quilted cover for the handle of the tea pot too.

These factors combined to turn what might have been an ordinary stop along the way into a memorable occasion. It was a delight to sit back and enjoy perfectly warm scones along with piping hot tea. The scones were firm enough to hold their toppings, yet light and filling – just right for peckish travellers. Our teapot was topped up with boiling water so that we all ended up having two cups – such a refreshing break it turned out to be!

 

AHMAD ROYAL BREAKFAST TEA

I dug into my box of loose tea bags given to me by friends and family who have travelled more widely than I have for years. Out came this delightful (alas, only one) sachet of Ahmad Royal Breakfast tea.

Alas too that I have not seen this brand for sale in South Africa, well not in the places I have been to: Home of delightful tastes is such a teaser. After this tasting experience I want to have more of it – and try out their other delightful tastes!

Look at the teapot on the sachet: invitingly old-fashioned and unusual – intriguing too. Is it a metal pot? The tea-coloured steam rising from the spout promises a rich and flavoursome tasting experience.

Assam tea is a wonderfully malty tea on its own and I have long been a fan of the robust flavour of tea grown in Kenya. Here they mingle in the best possible way.

This is a tea that is strong, filled with flavour and … I wish I could brew another cup!

SEASIDE TEAPOT

This was one of my favourite teapots for many years. I am reluctant to get rid of it as it was a surprise gift from my children.

Over time the spout got chipped and the glazing cracked. It is such a cheerful looking tea pot though that it was in continuous use – always reminding me of the love with which it was given to me.

Then, one day I lifted the full teapot to pour a cup of tea – and the handle came away in my hand! Fortunately the teapot remained on the tray, so no harm was done.

The handle was carefully placed inside the pot – to be glued on (one day), but as the years have passed I have become more doubtful if that would be a good solution – and I have been presented with other teapots since. This teapot, however, remains on my windowsill and is sometimes used as a vase.