Note: It is a true privilege for me to introduce today's guest blogger! AZ Tea Lover is a long-time friend. I call her a friend of my heart, because I know that we'll be life-long pals. AZ Tea Lover and I have many connections - professionally, educationally, philosophically, and of course through tea! Enjoy!
When Stephanie asked me to be a guest blogger, I thought immediately of how much I enjoy having tea with her. I am grateful for the gift of a guest post on her blog. Thanks Steph!
Two beneficial aspects of having tea are portion control and food-savoring. (There are many more benefits, certainly.) Small, dainty, carefully-made savories, scones, and sweets are neatly placed for display on beautiful plates with care and thought to making the food look pleasing in addition to tasting pleasing. It is exciting to think about how to savor all these little bites! Usually the sandwiches are quite small, no larger than a half-dollar coin. I often think when I see these tasty treats, "I only get three bites of this before it's gone... I'd better savor every bite!" The slow-foodie movement emphasizes being conscious of our food and how we eat it. Tea treats are perfect for savoring and eating modestly, and they are even more special when made with care and thoughtfully chosen ingredients. Almost every time I have tea at a tearoom (or a friend's home), I take treats home because I feel full long before getting to the plate of sweets. And it's usually less food than I'd eat at a normal meal. There's a psychological aspect to eating slowly and with appreciation that is really good for me. We'd all eat less and be healthier in mind and body by reconsidering what we eat, how we eat it, and how much of it we eat.
When I have friends over for tea, I like to put out whatever I have on hand - a few crackers with cheese cubes, chocolate chips, scones (King Arthur is my favorite mix), nuts, whatever seems to be a complement of sweet, salty, and savory (I'm not good at making tea sandwiches yet). Small plates are best, with just a few of each item. Just enough of each to enjoy a meal and pleasant conversation. The care of preparing a meal for friends feels good.
To enjoy tea and tea treats is to learn the art of appreciation - taking a moment to reflect on why we are here, who we spend our time with, and how lucky we are to enjoy these things.
For more information on the concept of mindful eating, visit this Wall Street Journal article.