Warms You Body and Soul


I first fell in love with it on my first trip out of the country. I was 18 and was invited to fly to England for a 3 week’s holiday including a week on a barge touring the British canals. The family was an acquaintance my brother had made on his recent backpacking tour of Europe. I was excitedly afraid. But up, up and away I went.

Caroline met me with her Dad at the Heathrow airport. From there it was a two hour drive to their humble home in Ashford, Kent.

Caroline was a year or so older and had her own flat. She worked at the local Fish and Chips restaurant, served in the traditional way with newspaper wrappings and malt vinegar. Arthur Treacher has nothing on this authentic culinary goodness.

But this isn’t what I fell in love with on this trip.

Her Mum had us over for tea. An afternoon tradition perfect for a country that rarely sees the sun shine.

Hot tea did the trick! It warmed me, body and soul!

The tea was served strong with cream, and I promise I’ve not tasted it nearly as good as it was for me on this trip.

I even asked Caroline years later what was her Mum’s secret. She couldn’t answer because her tea was lacking something too.

We suffice it to say it was her love for us and for sharing something from her kitchen which made her tea so amazing.

I shared with them our family’s banana bread recipe. They had never heard of it and were as impressed with it as I was their tea. Maybe it goes both ways; Each of us sharing a piece of our family’s heritage through food with lots of love.

As an aside, I’ve discovered a black tea that comes as close to what I remember as I can find to Caroline’s Mum’s tea. It’s PG Tips served with half and half. Let it steep for 5 minutes, and it will warm you body and soul.

It’s amazing that their family heritage has become mine. All my kids and grandkids love a good cup of hot tea.

What recipes have become part of your heritage? My banana bread recipe can be found under the recipes tab above.

Bon Appetit!

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