Mar 18th

Giving young children new meal ideas to keep your ritual fresh

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A friend of mine named Kris who lives in San Francisco recently shared a Facebook post about a “high tea” experience with her friend Wendy, and Wendy’s five year old daughter.  Her story was filled with such joy, that I wanted to share it.  Ironically, the tea shared meal they had was at a place in San Francisco called “LoveJoy’s Tea Room“.  My first thought was how wonderful for her friend’s daughter and how I would have loved to be five years old and enjoy the magic of a tea room experience. (I was well into my 40’s before I ever thought of a tea room.) Of course, it’s still magical and lovely to experience it at any age.

Kris’ story prompted me to ask myself the question: Am I being adventurous enough in my meal choices?  It’s easy to get in the habit of serving and eating a regular repertoire of meals (especially if the meals are family favorites and delicious).  And of course, that’s just fine.  But sometimes when we step out of our space, we discover a new adventure that is fresh and magical. For some people, this variety helps encourage a commitment to having a daily shared meal too.

KristeaMy experience with sharing meals with my beautiful friend Kris (pictured here on the right) is that she’s game for any meal adventure. Here’s the sweet story she shared with me. And the picture (left) is of her friend Wendy and her daughter Emily.  I’ll leave the details to Kris’ fine storytelling here….

WendyandEmily“We were thrilled for having selected the place we did because the charm factor was off the charts! There was a line up waiting to be seated when we arrived at 11am (fortunately, we had a reservation). The inside was like something out of a story book. Each table was set up with an eclectic compilation of every imaginable china pattern. Out table had a sign on it that said “Reserved for the Queens”. My friend’s daughter thought that it was the greatest thing ever. (I knew Emily was going to be wearing a pink dress, so I made a point to dress in something kind of frilly & pink… my ‘urban tea party’ get up).

They give you menus with a bunch of different ways to order your tea services (different food & tea parings) – all the traditional favorites…scones w/clotted cream & jam, crumpets w/lemon curd, every conceivable type of finger sandwich… and they had other options on the menu to order a la carte. They all  looked yummy. My friend Wendy and I ordered this amazing salad with greens, fresh fruit (pears, strawberries, black berries, and some orange slices) and toasted walnuts and stilton w/some balsamic dressing. And we knew we HAD to have the scones & crumpets. Wendy ordered a pot of herbal ‘wild cherry’ tea (deepish… tasted like fresh, tart cherries), I had their black vanilla bean & lavender tea, and her daughter Emily ordered the hot chocolate (served from a tea pot with that side of whip cream you see in the picture). The people serving were very pleasant – the people being served in this tiny, magical space were also pleasant – and Emily thought is was the greatest thing ever. We enjoyed a leisurely time of it – almost 2 hours – and then they bring a platter of beautiful petit fours to select to top it all off. Emily ended up with a wee stomach ache! (she doesn’t eat a lot of refined sugar, much as she loves it, so this was major overload!) The whole experience was singular and now I’m wanting to find a reason to go back… thinking of whom else I could share this fun experience with!

{P.S. I responded immediately to Kris and said, “Me! Me! I’m booking my flight now!”}

Much appreciation to my friend Kris, Wendy and Emily for this wonderful story of their experience.

Do you have a shared-meal adventure you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear about it!


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