So . . . what do you do when your kids are getting grumpy at each other, and you’re feeling grumpy right back? Here’s something we like to try at our house . . .
I’d like to propose that a little tea never hurt anyone, and often does much more good than one might ask or expect. There’s something about the very idea of tea that seems to bring about a little automatic civility in my house. So how do you do it? Well, there are lots of great teas out there. If you’re new to tea drinking, I’d suggest a lovely box of Constant Comment, which is my personal favorite (though it’s being given a run for it’s money lately by a competitor I’ve recently discovered– Earl Grey.) You don’t really need anything fancy to “do tea,” though a nice teapot and china cups make it much more lovely. Just heat some water, and tell the children it’s time for something special. Find a recipe for homemade scones and jam, pick up some pastries at the grocery store, or break out a package of Chips Ahoy–you just need *something* yummy to serve alongside your warm treat. And if you *hate* tea (perish the thought!) first of all see suggestion one and try Constant Comment, which is a wonderful blend of black tea and orange spices . . . mmmm . . . OR go ahead and warm up some apple cider or hot chocolate! If possible, set out some pretty cups or mugs. If not, grab the styrofoam! Put on a classical music cd, or if yours are all scratched up from getting inadvertently shoved under the couch like mine, type in www.pandora.com and search for Tchaikovsky. Pouring hot water over little tea bags in pretty cups makes for lovely scents and “ooohs and aaaahs,” especially the first time. Let the tea sit a few minutes (steeping), take the tea bags out and toss them, and add a bit of sugar or honey and cream to your tea, an ice cube or two for the children’s drinks, and watch the atmosphere in your house change like magic.
This is especially enjoyable, I think, during the fall and winter seasons when we’re all up for a bit of “cozying in.” And it does wonders for frayed nerves . . . both young and old. I hope your children will enjoy your teatime as much as my own do!