A More Civilised Way To Do Tea

, , | Friendly | July 9, 2017

(It is during a presidential election year, just as the Tea Party political movement is gaining support. However, it’s not widely recognized yet. My friend and I won’t be old enough to vote in the election, so we’re not paying much attention to all the political stuff. Neither of us have ever heard of the Tea Party. We’re bored one day, sitting around her house and trying to find something to do. We overhear her mom talking on the phone from the other room. We can’t hear the whole conversation, but we catch the words “Tea Party,” “library,” and “today.” Our local library often has events for children and teens, so we make some incorrect assumptions.)

Friend: “A tea party at the library? Sounds fun.”

Me: “Yeah, let’s go.”

(We head over to the library, but when we arrive, we find a bunch of people shouting and carrying signs. They’re completely blocking the entrance to the library, so we start walking through the crowd.)

Woman: *holding sign, and very loudly, to me* “It’s great to see the younger generation getting involved. [Political opinion I don’t agree with], right?”

Me: “Um…”

Friend: “Sorry, we were looking for the tea party. Do you know where…?”

Woman: *holding sign* “You found it. This is it.”

Me: “…”

Friend: “…”

Me: “But where’s the tea?”

Woman: *a bit confused* “Well… there is no tea. It’s just a metaphor. The Boston Tea Party, you know?”

(The woman walks away to go yell political slogans with people who actually want to hear them. My friend and I turn to each other with disappointed expressions.)

Friend: “No tea…”

Me: “No scones…”

Friend: “Not even those little cucumber sandwiches. This is boring. Let’s leave.”

(We ended up checking out a cookbook from the library and making scones and fruit tarts at my friend’s house. We had our own tea party, without any politics in it.)

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  • Ebony

    Wish I coulda went to YOUR tea party =D

  • godzillahomer

    they might not be old enough to vote, but they’re more mature than a good amount of voters and candidates

  • faifai

    ha ha ha ha ha! good for you!

  • Rob Tonka

    I’m just puzzled by the notion of kids that drink tea. And not just drink tea, but go out of their way to go to an event where they thought tea was the main attraction.

    • Robert Cummings

      And that American kids know about scones and little cucumber sandwiches. Something fishy here…

      • Eilonwy_has_an_aardvark

        The very popular Ever After High series has an entire tea-party themed plot line with games and tie-ins, so it’s not surprising at all that American kids would know.

        I’ve also seen places that hold tea parties for small girls, as a birthday thing.

        • Celoptra

          well is it suprising? considering one of E A H’s characters is a descendant of the MAD Hatter?

          • Eilonwy_has_an_aardvark

            Maddie Hatter was also one of the earliest issues of EAH dolls (possibly the first wave?) and there were tea party accessories!

          • Raven Odette

            I wish they’d do more with Duchess Swan, she’s basically been relegated to a background character anymore

            Also bring back Ghoulia in MH

          • cylon_toast

            I agree about Ghoulia! She was my favorite.

      • Jackie Fauxe

        I knew about them as an American kid because they were featured in a lot of books I read, and that was before the majority of the Harry Potter books were released.

        Given the timeline, the OP and their friend certainly would have been old enough to have been intrigued by the tea and scones in Harry Potter, if not by other books (including the ones that I read). Heck, if they’re teenagers, maybe they read “The Importance of Being Earnest” in which tea parties and cucumber sandwiches get some big mentions.

        • AThornAmongRoses

          They do? I haven’t read The Importance of Being Earnest in years, I’ll have to reread it and look out for the cucumber sandwich mentions 🙂

          • Chris Maxfield

            Algernon: Please don’t touch the cucumber sandwiches. They were made especially for Aunt Augusta.
            Jack: Well, you have been eating all the time.
            Algernon: That is quite a different matter; she is my aunt!

          • AThornAmongRoses

            I’m definitely going to reread it, that sounds funny 🙂

      • Jay Mockingbird

        I knew about them as a kid and I’m American. It’s not that uncommon, it just depends on what you’re introduced to. I still love scones when I can buy them or get the ingredients to make them.

      • Bonnie Huffington

        You can buy scone mixes at most grocery stores (in the regular baking section, not the international) and cucumber sandwiches are god in the summer heat. Plus how many Anglophiles are out there?

        • AThornAmongRoses

          ME! 🙂

        • MarvelGirl27

          Anglophile RIGHT Here!!! I’ve been drinking hot tea and having my own little tea parties since I was 10! I’m also moving to the UK when I retire. I’ve been in LOVE with the UK and especially Scotland pretty much all my life. I visit every year. Can’t WAIT to retire! LOL!!!

      • AThornAmongRoses

        I knew about them when I was a kid because my grandmother used to take me to a tea shop for tea all the time, and the cucumber sandwiches and scones with Devonshire cream were my favourites.

        • Sonya

          I LOVE Devonshire cream. The only place that I can find it is Central Market which is about an hour away from me. So it’s quite a treat for me.

          • AThornAmongRoses

            Out of curiosity, what country are you in? Sometimes you can find sites where you can order Devonshire cream online, if they deliver to your country.

          • Sonya

            United States. And the only place where I can get it delivered is Amazon and it costs way, way more than if I were to drive to Central Market.

          • AThornAmongRoses

            I’m sorry 🙁

      • Katy A

        A Shooting Star by Sheila Solomon Klass (a novel about Annie Oakley) featured a tea scene with cucumber sandwiches. It was one of my favorite books as a kid.

      • cylon_toast

        I’m not american, I’m canadian but I know scones. I even made some while marathoning Doctor Who and drinking earl grey.

        • Raven Odette

          See when I’m Marathoning Doctor Who I usually go for 100 tacos

          • Max

            I personally go for Minstrels. Would have done Jelly Babies but I don’t like Jelly Babies.

          • cylon_toast

            Yum! Tacos!

      • Vulpis

        No, that’d be if they were expecting herring pate and/or caviar on crackers.

      • jokergirl129

        I’m American and I know about scones and cucumber sandwiches especially when it comes to tea parties. Depending on what books or TV shows you watch they’re often mention whenever a tea party is involved. So the teenagers in the story knowing about them isn’t that odd to me.

      • Crystal Lee Owens

        Excuse you, scones are sold in most coffee shops and cucumber sandwiches are the height of children’s stories about ‘fancy food’ (other than snails). You must not have read any of the stories we did growing up.

    • Robert Carnegie

      Alice in Wonderland would account for it.

      I’m wondering why the Tea Party were protesting a library. That sounds like one for the Know-Nothing Party.

      • JAFischer

        All them librul sciency books and books that don’t deify the Founders annoy them.

      • Mechwarrior

        Probably because public libraries will provide spaces to hold such rallies without charge.

      • BMK

        The first step to oppression is to attack and destroy all knowledge!

        Probably not what was happening here though. Mechwarrior is probably closer to it than I. 😛

    • Catherine Stone

      I grew up in a tea drinking family. I regularly drank it starting as a youngster.

      So, I was one of those kids who went out of their way for tea.

    • KatDuck

      Gender might be an issue here. I was raised to shed a tear at the sight of bald eagles soaring across a sky of FREEDOM and I still had a couple kid-sized tea sets and even had a couple tea party birthdays. Not Alice in Wonderland tea parties (though I would have loved those), just elegant, wear that fluffy dress your grandmother bought you parties. Cucumber sandwiches and scones were major parts though my mother substituted sugar cookies for the scones.

      I think we drank a lot more milk than tea in the end but it was the form that mattered.

      FWIW, I now work at a toy store and the tea sets are still a major seller come Christmas. Very pink, very princess-y tea sets.

    • evandarya

      Tea parties are definitely a popular past time for young girls. There is a restaurant in my town that hosts tea parties every other Sunday.

    • Anne

      A lot of high school kids do things that they think are fun in an ironic way. Tea parties are for little kids and old ladies? Time to ROCK that tea party with the best cucumber sandwiches ever, the irony!

      I dunno if that was OP’s true motivation here, but it does happen.

      • Jackie Fauxe

        For me, the appeal would have been that it sounded like food from books that I’d read. Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, for instance, always made me want to try their food (although

        the reality might have been a bit scary).

        I don’t like tea or cucumbers, but I still would have gone to see it and to try the scones.

        • Anne

          Apples & onions are delicious. If you’ve never had this, try them. And I say this as someone who dislikes onions. I can’t think of any other LIW foods offhand…

          • Jackie Fauxe

            I will definitely look into that, thank you. That was in Farmer Boy, right? The food in that book always sounded the best.

            The Maple Snow Candy from Little House in the Big Woods is the one I’ve always wanted to try the most.

          • Anne

            Yeah, Farmer Boy.

            If you like maple flavor (I don’t), there are plenty of recipes out there for that type of candy. Most of them say to drop onto a greased baking sheet and not into snow, but it’s essentially the same thing these days. Snow was used because it cooled the candy faster. Modern homes have A/C and freezers so you don’t have to wait until winter to make the candy. 😀

          • Andipants26

            Just want to chime in here that there exists a Little House Cookbook. I own it, and it is wonderful. It’s got recipes, but also a lot of discussion about where they would be getting their food, how it would be prepared, etc. It’s cheap on Amazon, if you’re interested 🙂

          • Jackie Fauxe

            Sounds wonderful, thank you!

          • BMK

            I’ve always wanted to try the maple snow candy! Unfortunately the only crap we have is actually corn syrup, so it’s not the same.

          • Jackie Fauxe

            I have made maple candy, but never maple snow candy.

            Making maple candy only requires real maple syrup, a pan that can stand high heat, a candy thermometer, and optional candy molds. You really have to pay attention to the color and consistency while making it to get it right, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy and super rewarding. It makes for great gifts, especially if you can track down some pure maple syrup that has a (comparatively) low price.

          • Maria Krogstrup Hareskov

            Really? Never heard of it before, only apples and licorice.

          • Anne

            And I’ve never heard of apples & licorice! 😀

          • Maria Krogstrup Hareskov

            Not many people have, but I do enjoy it. 🙂 I recommend the Finnish kind, either sweet or salty. I like both.

    • Serabeth

      I didn’t really drink tea, but I would’ve gone to a tea party held at the library at that age (or now, even). I love books, and tea parties usually have really good flavored teas and cute little sandwiches and sweets.

    • Marisa

      I was really into tea sets and playing tea party with my sisters as a kid. I probably would go in high school.

    • cylon_toast

      I love tea! When I was in high school someone was planing a Victorian tea party with dressing up and everything, unfortunately it fell through but I would have gone. I even have a purse that is a teapot.

    • Derek Hartley

      England is going to blow your mind.

      • Rob Tonka

        I was well into my 20’s before I started drinking even ICED tea. As a child/teen, only hot drink I would take was hot cocoa/hot chocolate. Tea? To me, that was for adults.

        • Odd Duck 42

          I was lucky if I was permitted hot cocoa at home (Now, grandma’s house was another story). Tea with honey and milk was what was offered.

    • Maria Krogstrup Hareskov

      Well, I’ve been a tea drinker since I was five, so yeah, a proper tea party would have been awesome at that age. 🙂 Not that anyone ever does something like that here.

    • BMK

      My Nana’s favorite place on earth was London and she was completely obsessed with everything British to the point where she would have English tea in various flavors imported (she married a lawyer and had way more money than she knew what to do with). There was no shortage of toast and tea when I was at her house and it was one of the things I always looked forward to on my visits. She even found this coconut flavored tea that was amazing. I wish I knew what it was so I could look for it, but at least I managed to replicate something similar by using coconut creme Coffee Mate in orange pekoe.

      Probably the only remotely girly thing I did in my youth was tea parties…though I did have a tea party where we dressed up in some old Easter clothes that we’d been forced to wear once and forgot about and then roleplayed as fancy people. I was the one raised by wolves and would eat scones face first from the table, so there’s that…

      So yes, we do exist in places.

  • Adrian Mckeehan

    When life gives you lemons make lemonade, or in this case scones and tarts

  • Jennifer Moroney

    This doesn’t add up for me. They’re young enough to have not heard of the Boston Tea party but old enough to wander down to a protest without anyone questioning it? Or was it just a matter of neither of them having ever paid attention in school?

    • Story didn’t say they never heard of the Boston Tea Party. Read again.

      • Jennifer Moroney

        I did read it, thanks so much. They had no reaction to the woman’s comment, no recognition. All they understood was that it wasn’t a literal tea party. Implying that they hadn’t heard of it. Are you done being a smartass now?

        • Anne

          Whether or not they’ve ever heard of the Boston Tea Party, not everyone makes an exaggerated expression of understanding when they know a reference. Were they supposed to be excited about the Boston Tea Party when they were hoping for scones and cookies? Disappointment overrides understanding almost every time.

          • Jennifer Moroney

            I said nothing about an exaggerated response, I said they showed no recognition at all XD

            But nice job twisting what I said

          • Max

            I was so confused by Jennifer’s comment, like, why did she jump to the conclusion that they didn’t know what the Boston Tea Party was? And it wasn’t really necessary to the narrative to explicitly state they understood what the Boston Tea Party was. Plenty of books have one character explain a thing without specifying that the other character understood it. It’s kind of like how a character can be assumed to be wearing clothes when leaving the house unless otherwise specified, y’know.

        • Eilonwy_has_an_aardvark

          What they didn’t know is what this “Tea Party” protest had to do with the Boston Tea Party, and telling us what they knew about the Boston Tea Party wouldn’t have fixed that.

          The woman who said “like the Boston Tea Party” then walked away, and it’s not at all unreasonable for bystanders to not want to engage a crowd of protesters.

        • ShadeTail

          Don’t call someone a smartass when they’re correct and you aren’t. Whether OP and friend did or didn’t know about the Boston Tea Party has nothing to do with this. Not knowing who the teabaggers were and why they were screaming in front of a library is what this was about.

          • Jennifer Moroney

            Being correct or not has nothing to do with their attitude. I.e. Being a smartass.

          • Jennifer Moroney

            They aren’t correct and neither am I, this entire thing is a matter of interpretation.

          • ShadeTail

            No, this isn’t a matter of interpretation. Your reading on this story is factually wrong. As for you calling BitDreamer a smartass, you know perfectly well that you did that because you were being corrected, and not because of this “attitude” that you’re reading into that correction.

          • MarvelGirl27

            Stop feeding the Troll. It’s not even an interesting troll.

        • Odd Duck 42

          Why was there a need to respond with recognition? When dealing with a kettle of crazy (or simply dealing with someone who looks like they’re going to start in on a long boring lecture), you keep a bland poker face and do not engage. That’s how I survived parts of childhood.

        • Why do you think that implies they hadn’t heard of it? It’s possible they didn’t, but this story doesn’t seem to imply it one way or another. The whole conversation was chopped off by “the woman walks away” before there could be a reaction.

    • Celoptra

      um they might be 17…

      • Jennifer Moroney

        Then they should have had a clue what the woman was talking about. American history is taught before that age.

    • Odd Duck 42

      I don’t think we learned about the Boston Tea Party until junior high. In my home town, we still feel it’s safe enough to let 7-9 year olds play outside and go to the library without adult supervision. When I was a kid, even at age 5 it was OK so long as you were going with an older buddy.

  • What are the odds… Not two minutes ago I was listening to an audiobook and it mentioned cucumber sandwiches and i had never heard of them.

    • AThornAmongRoses

      They’re delicious. White bread and very thinly sliced cucumbers, and I think cream cheese, or maybe mayo, and usually some fresh dill…I don’t know for sure about the spread, I haven’t had them in awhile.

      • Katy A

        Traditional British cucumber sandwiches are lightly buttered, to keep the bread from absorbing cucumber juice. American variants often use things like cream cheese-based spreads.

        • AThornAmongRoses

          Oh…I didn’t know that, thank you! 🙂 I’ll try it with butter next time I get white bread for sandwiches, we have plenty of cucumbers in our garden right now.

    • Derek Hartley

      Never heard of cucumber sandwiches? What on Earth do you eat with high tea then?

    • KatDuck

      My husband made them with his version of thin-cut (so … not chunky but also not British thin) cukes and mayo on white bread for a party and they disappeared crazy-fast. They were so simple but so very, very good.

  • Passenger_Zero

    Some people put salt on cucumbers slices. I honestly think it’s a bit odd.

    • RoseDragon11

      I thought I was weird for doing this. I’d put salt on lemon slices as well and eat those as a snack when I was younger.

      • Passenger_Zero

        How did your mouth not implode though?

        • RoseDragon11

          Lemons taste less sour when salt is added, so it doesn’t feel as acidic, cucumbers with salt is harder to describe, but my mouth doesn’t implode somehow 😛

  • Flami

    Damn, I thought this had something to do with the Canadian music group.

  • Blake Barrett

    But why is the tea gone?

    • RubyTuesday

      Because it is a vile drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels!

      • Tim Van Acolyen

        *Because it is a vile drink that turns even the most complete scoundrels into respectable men.

        • RubyTuesday

          Well then that’s hardly a *vile* drink, is it? Unless you prefer scoundrels to respectable men, I suppose…

          • Tim Van Acolyen

            I was imagining a bunch of pirates drinking tea and eating cupcakes instead of plundering. From a pirate’s point of view that would definately make it a vile drink I think.

  • Katie Manning

    There’s “not really paying attention to politics,” and then there’s “being so completely oblivious to the world around you that it’s a wonder you haven’t wandered aimlessly into the street and been run over yet.”

    • Kitty

      Eh, just because they don’t know what exactly the tea party is, doesn’t mean they are dumb for life. I’ve heard of the tea party, but I have no idea what it is. I would wonder why there’s a tea party at a library – huge chance of getting tea on books and ruining them.

      • Katy A

        In a meeting/conference room, well away from the actual books. It wasn’t a “party”, but I’ve been to a tea event at a library, and it was held in a meeting room with no books in sight.

      • Rebecca Jones

        It does sound like they hadn’t heard about it at all though or either the initial misunderstanding wouldn’t have happened in the first place or they would have caught on more quickly one there.

  • Kitty

    I still don’t know what the tea party is. And I probably don’t want to know.

    • Raven Odette

      Basically the beta test form of what today are the Trump supporters

    • Vulpis

      Lewis Carroll got it about right, really…though I think the Hatter’s crew may be more sane than he real-world thing.

    • Oldmanmike

      While it references the Boston tea party, it also stands for Taxed Enough Already. The idea was for a new party of fiscal conservatives outside of the republican party that has become disconnected with the average conservative. It’s more libertarian than republican, and is not very well organised outside of the belief in lower taxes and less government.

  • Toad

    Still the only correct kind of tea party.

  • Raven Odette

    Once a month the Molly Brown house here in Denver does a high tea, where they encourage you to come depressed in period costume and everything

    Fun times

    • MarvelGirl27

      I’d LOVE to go to that!!!

    • Vulpis

      Come depressed in period costume? A rather dour party, sounds like. 🙂

      • Raven Odette

        Wait what?

        *goes back and reads my post*

        Gotterdammerung autocorrect!

        Fixed now

        • Vulpis

          Awwww…given high tea and all it seemed fitting. 🙂 A bunch of prim and proper types standing around sipping water strained through leaves. 🙂

        • Darth Pseudonym

          I love that curse.
          Did you get it from Baron Wulfenbach?

          • Raven Odette

            No, pretty much started using it on my pown actually

      • nope

        Mine always made ME depressed, no matter what I was wearing. 🙂

  • Glad the protester didn’t appear to be teaed off at OP and Friend.

  • TheWonderRabbit

    A ‘non-political’ tea party?
    Impossible, tea is the lifeblood of the hated British!

  • Ares Zax

    This is perhaps the ONE occasion when I kind of wish you guys had thrown the “entitled customer” thing and argued with the TP candidates about why there isn’t any tea available and that this is false advertising and that you demand to see their manager. XD

    • Katrina O’Shay

      Agreed. Maybe write a scathing review for the library while you’re at it.

  • Klaus Hellnick

    Yes, it is so boring when people want the government to adhere to the Constitution, and prosecute people who conspire to cover up crimes committed by party members.

    • Siirenias

      They could have also offered tea and biscuits.

  • Darth Pseudonym

    I’d have rather gone to your party.

  • Crystal Lee Owens

    The amount of people who don’t know that SO MANY PEOPLE LOVE TEA is too high. Also, half of these people didn’t read the Anne of Green Gables series past the first book. Fancy cucumber sandwiches are the HEIGHT of fancy, don’t you know?

  • Doom Shepherd

    It’s a source of amusement to me how many “TEA” (“Taxed Enough Already”) Party members don’t actually pay much in the way of taxes, since they tend to be low-to-low-middle class, and could pay a lot less if taxes on the rich were raised back to their historical average… but they’re still out there doing the bidding of the rich jerks.

  • Tanqueray Strange

    OP, you guys are the best