Tea Parties of My Life

Tea Parties of My Life
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"Sit down and have a cup of tea," invited my mom whenever I visited in her later years. As I think about this, I realize greeting guests with a cup of tea was a tradition in Mother's family.
Memories of visits to my grandmother's home include the 3 o'clock afternoon ritual of stopping work and sitting around the kitchen table for a cup of tea and some of my aunt's fresh baked goodies...whether cookies, pie, or homemade bread. My two aunts often had a cup of coffee, but Nanny preferred her tea.

Whenever anyone stopped by, Nanny invited them to have a cup of tea. This carried over into my mom's life. I recall, as we were growing up on the farm, Mother welcoming guests with a cup of tea as they chatted.

After my dad died and Alzheimer's invaded Mother's life, I made the trip from New Hampshire to New York State frequently to help her. When I arrived, we first had to sit down to a cup of tea and catch up on the news in our lives.

Tea Parties of Childhood

Tea parties for our dolls became one of my sister's and my favorite activities when we were children. Most youngsters, throughout the ages, have enjoyed these festivities, whether parties solely for their dolls or those including family members.

As I cleaned out the old farmhouse where I grew up, after Mother no longer could live alone, I came across odds and ends of dishes from our tea sets. This brought back memories of those days of childhood, as well as tea parties with my granddaughter in later years.

Tea Parties With Great Grandma

When Mother's Alzheimer's necessitated her living in a nursing home, we still had our tea parties. I might pick up tea and muffins at a nearby fast food restaurant. Or I'd make tea in the microwave at the nursing home. Mother truly seemed to enjoy these occasions.

After my grandchildren came to live nearby, they and I often stopped by the nursing home and tea parties became a ritual. We shared tea and juice, cookies or muffins with Mother.

They often played around her, entertained her, colored pictures or wheeled her chair about the nursing home. The children and I now have these memories of tea parties with Great Grandma DeeDee even though she's gone, just as I have memories of afternoon tea with my Nanny.

Tea Party Fare From the Family Cookbook

MOM ALLEN's CHEESE CAKE (a favorite recipe of my mother-in-law) - Mix together 2 cups quick cooking oatmeal and 3/4 cup margarine. Press into pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes.

Beat 16 ounces cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg until creamy. Spread into crust. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let cool.

Pour 1 can cherry pie filling over top of cheese cake. Add whipped topping by spoonfuls around the edge. Keep refrigerated.

(c)2002 Mary Emma Allen


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About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes
 
 

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