Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Miscellany, a collection of odds, ends and personals . . .

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From Kieran in respect of the vintage Celestial Tea advertisement:

I think the Celestial Seasonings 4 year old may have had a cup of NesCafe or 2 before her cuppa

My own take is that she is a child from that creepy 1960 Brit movie Village of the Damned . . .

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From David in respect of the Tea Trivia:

A marvellous post about my favourite beverage. But, as an Englishman born into the working classes just after WWII, I have to put you right about 'high tea'. It is much more than a reinforced snack and you wouldn't take it before dinner since it is an alternative to dinner generally consisting of pie, cold meats, salad and potatoes.

There was a serious class distinction back then. The middle class would go to their office job at 9 o'clock, take a lightish lunch at 1 o'clock, perhaps afternoon tea at 4 and have a substantial, multicourse, dinner at 8.

The lower class would start their factory work often as early as 6 o'clock, have a substantial dinner at noon and have high tea immediately they returned home at 5 or 6 o'clock. They might take a bite of supper, cocoa and biscuits before going to bed.

The way you used the word dinner showed your class and I remember being mocked at University for the way I used it. Some things have improved in the last 60 years! 

Thanks amigo.

Another comment on high tea, from Wikipedia:

High tea (also known as meat tea) is the evening meal or dinner of the working class, typically eaten between 5 pm and 7 pm. High tea typically consists of a hot dish, followed by cakes and bread, butter and jam. Occasionally there would be cold cuts of meat, such as ham salad. Traditionally, high tea was eaten by middle- to upper-class children (whose parents would have a more formal dinner later) or by workers when they came home from work. The term was first used around 1825, and high is used in the sense of well-advanced (like high noon, for example) to signify that it was taken later in the day. The term "high tea" was used as a way to distinguish it from afternoon tea, and was used predominantly by the working class and in certain British dialects of the North of England

And some notes on he origin and history of high tea, from:

Prior to the introduction of tea into Britain, the English had two main meals, breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was ale, bread, and beef. During the middle of the eighteenth century, dinner for the upper and middle classes had shifted from noontime to an evening meal that was served at a fashionable late hour. Dinner was a long, massive meal at the end of the day.

Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861) is credited as the creator of teatime. Because the noon meal had become skimpier, the Duchess suffered from "a sinking feeling" at about four o'clock in the afternoon. At first the Duchess had her servants sneak her a pot of tea and a few breadstuffs. Adopting the European tea service format, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at five o'clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and, of course, tea. This summer practice proved so popular, the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for "tea and a walking the fields." The practice of inviting friends to come for tea in the afternoon was quickly picked up by other social hostesses.

During the second half of the Victorian Period, known as the Industrial Revolution, working families would return home tired and exhausted. The table would be set with any manner of meats, bread, butter, pickles, cheese and of course tea. None of the dainty finger sandwiches, scones and pastries of afternoon tea would have been on the menu. Because it was eaten at a high, dining table rather than the low tea tables, it was termed "high" tea.

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