Monthly Archives: June 2010

Celebrating #25

I vividly remember the days before my mom and dad’s 25th wedding anniversary.  I was just 23 and thought I was supposed to throw them a party. The reason I thought this was because when their friends, the Pasholks, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary their 5 kids planned it all.  At 23, I had no idea how to plan such an event, didn’t know who to talk to to ask for help, so didn’t do anything, except feel guilty about it. In the end, the Pasholks threw them a party and I didn’t attend, out of guilt.

Back then it seemed that people made a big deal about milestone anniversaries. Maybe they still do and we just don’t hang with the right crowd, but I don’t know of any of our friends who has had a party to celebrate.

We’re celebrating quietly tonight — Dean made reservations at Georgia Brown’s, a restaurant I’d not heard of, but sounds wonderful and the kids are joining us for dinner. At first I thought that it should just be Dean and me, but we have many years of going out alone ahead of us, I thought it would be nice if the kids came too.

Note: We had a nice time at Georgia Browns, but were not impressed with the food. It was nice hanging out as a family.

Teatime

I have too much tea. I’m a little afraid to count how many different kinds of tea I have for fear of embarrassing myself. There was a time when I’d proudly announce to guests that they had 13 different kinds of tea to choose from. This never got the impressed reaction I was hoping for — more of a blank stare than a delighted smile.

I started drinking tea when I was a young teenager — probably much later than some of you — but early for my kind. My folks drank coffee, which I refused to drink, but I loved my tea. I remember my Uncle Bud stopping by my parent’s house one Saturday morning and commenting on my tea drinking, suggesting I was too young.

I almost certainly took up drinking tea because of my Anglophilia. I devoured books about Britain, watched nothing but Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Masterpiece Theatre on telelvision, and dreamed of someday going to the United Kingdom and falling in love with a British man.

When I did visit the UK, tea was a fact of life. Every morning I drank my cup of PG Tips and every evening before bed I drank another with my host family. It was a time to talk and get to know each other a little more.

The year Dean and I moved to Pittsburgh is when I began to hoard tea. I’d always have a box of Lipton in the house as well as Sleepytime tea. I’d also have several different other varieties for a change of pace. After we moved to the DC area I bought more tea and felt that I always needed to have a dozen or so kinds of tea to offer people: Lipton, Assam, Constant Comment, Earl Grey, Jasmine (a favorite of Frances Lide), Sleepytime, Red Zinger, and so on.

Today I cleaned out part of the pantry and I uncovered my tea stash. Some should be tossed — they are a few years old, but some were bought just last week. I’ve decided to fill my wooden tea chest with a variety of teabags and have one type of looseleaf tea always available. I’d say I’ll get through this tea in no time — perhaps by the time Clare’s out of college. I also need to resolve to not buy any more tea until what I have is used up (or at least throw away a box for each new box I purchase).

Remind me to tell you about my teapot collection sometime…

Entertaining

This has been an unusually people-filled week for me. We had friends over on Sunday for a cook-out which was a lot of fun. We grilled chicken and ribs and took our kitchen table outside under the ginkgo tree, covered it with a long cream-colored tablecloth and ate and talked and drank wine, beer and port for several hours. Yes, I felt it the next day.

On Wednesday I hosted one of my book groups — the all-women one. I served tea sandwiches, savory scones, a variety of British cheeses and a cake called a Victoria Sponge. I’d never heard of a Victoria Sponge before, but it seemed easier than trying to make a fruitcake. I’d also never made scones from scratch before — and was surprised how easy they were to make.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I worked pretty much non-stop on Wednesday to get ready for book group. I suppose I take it far too seriously. We barely talked about the book, but that’s the way this book group functions.

Then on Thursday — yesterday — my cousin and her husband came over for dinner. They were vacationing in Washington DC and had never been to our house. I served Greek style chicken and beef kebabs, tabbouleh and rice.  It was wonderful to catch up with them again.

It’s funny that I can go days without seeing anyone but my immediate family and be perfectly fine with that, yet also be perfectly fine with entertaining guests three  times five days.  Friday evenings I often feel the need to go out to dinner with Dean, but after this week, will be happy to stay home and eat leftovers. Tomorrow we go to our neighborhood book group and I’m happy to not be hosting. I’m also enjoying the break from other people today.