Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I'm no Martha Stewart, nor do I aspire to become the next doyenne of domesticity. But I relish my domestic space. I look to it for tranquility, sometimes inspiration, finding pleasure in the familiar sights around me. The cats entwined while napping on E's favorite armchair; the book-lined shelves , their contents arranged in a semi-logical schema; our teapot, nestled in a too-busy area on the kitchen counter. I looked on these fondly as I boil water for tea after a late breakfast.

Our home is sparely furnished, in keeping with our aesthetic. It is well-worn in places: a bit of stuffing peers through the armchair cushion, a result of the cats' robust paws.

I sat with my tea, my back propped on the still plump pillows, their floral designs, though, a little blurred over the years. I lingered over the cup of Lung Ching, a recent rediscovered delight, and I listened to the cats' even breathing as they slumbered.

Soon, I roused myself, my second cup of Lung Ching putting me into a languid state. Our friend, A, would be coming to join us for afternoon tea, and I wanted to bake us a cake. I looked forward to the house permeated with the sweetness of grapefruit and rosewater as we have our tea later.

While the cake baked in the oven, E gathered flowers from our garden. He brought them into the house, arranged a lone sprig into a bottle that once held olive oil; into another vase, he placed a larger bouquet, the stems artfully held in place with a bunch of pebbles.

We laid the table together: E arranged the cups and plates; I brought out the cake and a platter of almond cookies. The cats, forthwith, jumped onto the table, a ritual they never tired of doing when sensing potential grub. Perhaps they were rebuffed by the scent of flowers, but they, one by one, left the scene to my relief.

I set out the tea: we would have a pot of Silver Needles, followed by a yellow tea, then finish with Lung Ching. This "flight" of tea would progress from the light and nuanced of white and yellow teas to the more robust of the Lung Ching. The sweets would hopefully complement without being too sugary.

Leaving the table under the watchful eyes of our cats - with the edibles covered up just in case- we went out for a brief stroll, heading eastward to the lake. The air was crisp, the light luminous under a sky sparing with its sunlight.

We arrived home to greet our friend and sat down together for our afternoon tea.


Marilyn said...

Great pictures and thoughts. I must try some Lung Ching someday.

Cha sen said...

Thank you, Marilyn. Lung Ching is an all around great tea that goes well with food that have strong flavors. Hope you try it soon.