Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Cuppa Tea Anyone?

As a small part of our h/schooling planning for this year, Matthew and I decided a while back (after a friend gave us the idea) that we would like to try having afternoon tea once in a while.  The idea was that while enjoying our tea, I would read poetry out loud, and we would have discussions about it.  Simultaneously, we would engage in our finest table manners:  no elbows on the table; sit up straight; hands in the lap unless being used to eat; no chewing with an open mouth (not usually an issue at our table); no burping (usually a big issue at our table, courtesy of the youngest member of our family) or other gassy occurrences; use a napkin, not your sleeve... you get the idea.

Today was afternoon tea #1...and it was lovely.  I pulled out some pretty dishes, set the table in the dining room, and together Matthew and I made scones, whipped cream, and made a pot of fruity tea.  Matthew added the real decorative touches that I hadn't even thought of:  a candle; and two little china angels that were tucked in some drawer that he seemed to know all about.

We had a great time.  Every time one of us committed a 'manners felony,' we gasped in horror, and we laughed ourselves silly (but politely) at some of the poetry I read aloud: a volume of the best of Jack Prelutsky's children's poems.  We carefully piled jam and cream on our scones and nibbled at them for over an hour while we read and talked poetry and other such stuff.

When we finally agreed that it was time for our afternoon to come to an end, we began to get up to clear the dishes.  Matthew asked me if I was sure we were done.  I said yes.  He said "oh good," and promptly let out a huge belch, which he'd apparently been storing up for just that moment.  Sigh.  I guess having an afternoon of manners and poetry are more needed than I previously thought!

Yum, what's not to like about eating scones with jam and whipped cream?!

Oops, was that a burp I just heard coming out of my mouth?? Oh, horrors.

I'd have to agree with Matthew:  afternoon tea gets two thumbs up!!


  1. What a fun idea Ruth, I'll have to try it sometimes.
    We have burping issues as well at our table (although I cringe to admit that it is usually my husband who leads it, while the girls laugh hysterically...guess there is still a little boy in every man!!!)

  2. Ruth, what a wonderful way to spend time with Matthew. Great pictures!
    A little secret...Friday nights we let loose and have pizza,pop and burp night.

  3. Great idea!Ruth the table looks beautiful, I'd like to join you and Matthew for tea :)


  4. I have to tell you, Ruth, tea time created some fond memories for my big boys. They still talk of it with wonderful memories! We didn't do it often enough, but it obviously made a real impression: mum stopped working long enough to sit, drink tea, eat cookies, chat, read poetry and stories. I must do it more!


  5. THanks for the comments. Yes, we'll definitely be doing this again...hopefully on a somewhat regular basis. I've already started a scone recipe collection so that we can vary up the tastes a little!

    And we both really loved the poetry. I was careful to pick a volume that had funny and animal-related poetry, to keep it light and enjoyable for Matthew. He wasn't ready (yet) to read anything like John Donne (my personal favourite!).