Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A hot cuppa

When it comes to cooking, Betty Crocker is my go-to gal. Just this evening she gave me a fantastic recipe for sage potatoes. Many Christmases ago my brother, Snur, and wife gave me the vintage Betty Crocker cookbook, circa 1950. This is the coup of cookbooks, the climax of culinary compendiums! This is the Betty Crocker that provides not only recipes and a guide to setting your table but tips on how to maintain personal outlook  ("While children are napping, do something refreshing. Write, knit, or listen to pleasant music"), how to maintain health and posture during chores ("Alternate sitting down tasks and stranding up tasks. Don't be on your feet too long at one time"), and how to refresh your spirit ("Notice humorous and interesting incidents to relate at dinnertime") (pg. 431). It is only missing a page on how to mix hubby a cocktail before he gets home ("Remember Ladies, no man wants a slothful wife!") (the cookbook doesn't actually say that) (I kind of wish it did). This is my absolute favorite cookbook and I use it any chance I get, simply because it's vintage. I love anything old-fashioned. Buddy Holly would say that I'm actually just a hater, particularly of anything newer than 1965, which is factually incorrect because I love Back to the Future and have a deep affinity for Grooveshark, thank you very much.

Anyway, Betty also has the most precise and, most likely, correct instruction on how to brew a good cup of tea, with helpful rhymes like, "Until the kettle boiling B, filling the pot will spoil the T" (pg. 53). I take issue, however, because I think the "perfect cup of tea" is rather subjective (as many things are). I prefer my tea to steep longer; I like it strong and bitter and then ameliorated with sugar and/or milk. Others prefer a weaker flavor. Miss Right likes her tea with no additives - sugar, cream, lemon, etc. Really, preferences in tea are a metaphor for our spiritual tastes and needs. I like mine bitter, full of sin, and then saved at the last moment by the pure cream of redemption. Some like their faith clear and unadulterated from the get go. English High Church Black Tea, Eastern Balance Jasmine Green Tea, Druidic Herbal Infusions. The possibilities and tastes are endless. And some people, like the Grand Duchess Anastasia, don't like tea, just hot water with lemon. Which I'm sure has some deep theological meaning that I've not considered.

1 comment:

  1. Hahahaha, fantastic. I love that crazy tangent that just happened right there. Others like myself only drink hot chocolate...generally with Bailey's. Terrifying to think what that might say.