Happy Tea Time
Today’s Prompt: Tell us something about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
Free free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.
Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.
For most people, Birthdays or Sunday meals are times to cherish but for me Tea Time will always hold a special place in my heart.
Tea time was special in our family. It was the one time we sat together peacefully to chat, argue or just relax. I can never forget the fragrance of the mix of OP ( Orange Pekoe) and BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe) that she used to buy every month from the Philips Coffee & Tea shop on Colaba Causeway every month to brew the tea. She used to insist that this was the best blend of the right aroma, taste and colour. The tea would be brought out on the trolley with the first tray covered with a tray cloth, on which was kept a pair of matching china cups, a sugar bowl, a milk pot a silver tea strainer and the teapot covered in a tea cozy to keep the brew warm for the second cup. There would also be two large mugs with boiling hot milk with Ovaltine (which I must confess I detested) for my brother and me.
On the second tray would be a pile of plates and something yummy to eat. Tuesdays and Thursdays which were the days my mother kept a fast, and on those days we would partake of special ‘fast food’ which normally consisted of calorie rich and tasty dishes made from potato, roasted peanuts and sago or tapioca pearls. On other days, we would have snacks like batata vada, pohe or french fries slathered with tomato ketchup. When mum had the time she would make us a plain sponge cake with chocolate icing or sandwiches with cheese. Occasionally we’d get cutlets or fish cakes or even some kind of chicken kebabs. And on days when she had no time to spare, we’d have thick slices of toasted bread dripping with butter.
What bliss it was to sit around on the verandah, the dog lying on one of our feet, looking expectantly for the crumbs to fall as we chattered on. It was a peaceful time after the day’s rush of getting to school on time, sweltering in the classroom the whole day, surviving the crush in the bus on the way back home and finally the sweaty walk to our flat. What a relief it was to put away the school bag, remove our shoes and wiggle our toes that were faintly beginning to smell, rip off the school uniform drenched with the day’s perspiration and splash our faces with cold water, slip into something comfortable and settle down to tea.