Inauspiciously – that’s how the day began. I overslept; too much green tea at the Chinese restaurant kept me wired past midnight. Then there was the bed head. So bad there was nothing for it: I had to take a shower. The little guy tried to stick to his guns about the “Future Superhero” t-shirt but it was too splotched with jam and chocolate – I just couldn’t let him wear it again. He responded with a monumental meltdown and refused to get dressed or be consoled or drink his warm milk. He just shivered and sobbed. Every time I turned around while trying to make breakfast, there was another mess to deal with. The babysitter was 20 minutes late. And Monday is my big volunteer day. I spend the whole day at school and then take everyone to fencing and then home in time to meet the piano teacher. And make dinner.
Just based on the crazy intensity of the day, I had very low expectations for an evening at home alone with three kids and the puppy. My sales and marketing campaign for the high tea idea had fallen off in the morning during the hubbub. We got home from fencing late. While the piano lesson progressed in the living room, there was a lot of squabbling in the kitchen. Of course there was homework nagging too. The menu was very simple though. I certainly didn’t lose my mind getting it on the table.
Maybe it was the tea. Or that chewy golden oat bread, dripping with hot butter and honey. It had these deeply brown-edged holes and a creamy, salty-sweet interior. There is nothing like hot buttered toast and tea – with milk. (for me, it’s better than a hot bath or a good book and a blanket in front of the fire) The sausages, as always, were crisp and nicely caramelized but after all, they were just sausages. (I swear I’m not going to eat another one for a month!) The cucumbers, carrots and peppers were just plain-old (but sweet and fresh) with the Greek yogurt and garlic. We ate a lot though. A lot of everything.
So was it really just the tea?! Afterwards, the kids and the puppy all did exactly what I wanted them to do. Pajamas, stories, teeth, a little more homework, but upstairs this time and docilely at their desks. And then bed. Quietly. I’m definitely going to do this again tomorrow. High tea was a very good idea.