Friday, December 24, 2010
Tea and Books Saturday #52 - "Tea With Friends"
Tea With Friends
By Elizabeth Knight
Storey Publishing, 1998
Since tomorrow is Christmas Day, I thought I would go ahead and post my final "Tea and Books Saturday" post of the year early, and I couldn't think of a better book to end on than "Tea With Friends" by Elizabeth Knight! This book was a gift from my friend Sandra a while back, and I love that my copy of "Tea With Friends" actually came from a dear tea friend! This book is small in size but big in information and inspiration. Knight, a well-respected tea expert here in the U.S., presents suggestions for teas for each month of the year. As we're closing out one year and looking forward to the next, I really enjoyed reading this book and thinking about what sorts of tea plans I wish for in the year ahead!
Each month gets a chapter, and each includes a suggested menu, a featured recipe, ideas for the tea's decor and atmosphere, and even some historical tidbits related to the month at hand. I was thoroughly enlightened to read in the January chapter that Scottish Highlanders "considered a dark-haired man the luckiest first-footer to cross the theshold." My family has always observed lots of New Year's superstitions, one of which is that it's good luck if a man is the first one to cross your threshold in the new year. (Since I didn't marry until my forties, I considered it good luck if a man crossed my threshold EVER.) The book is also one of the few I've seen that has a handy chart listing a huge variety of teas and including the origin, description of flavor, brewing times and foods which complement each tea. I can't imagine a handier two pages for a tea lover to have!
Well, I can't believe I have actually read 52 tea books this year! Someone once asked how many I have, and at the time I didn't know but now that I've cataloged them all I do: 148. But I can tell you that is nothing considering all the tea books "out there," and every time I look on eBay I find at least a few more I've never heard of. My wish list is always going to be very long. I would not be surprised if there are more than 500 volumes on tea available today. Next year, I'll no doubt review even more tea books, just not necessarily one a week. I will, however, be beginning a new Saturday series on quite a different teatime topic, so please join me Jan. 1 if you'd like to know what it is!