Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cambric Tea Comfort

Some days we all  need that little extra comfort in our lives that can nurture and soothe us. A routine or action that we do that is part of our family circle that says we are loved and cared for even as we are hurting.
I know that our little ones especially love this process when they have an emotional or physical situation that not only needs mama love but something extra, something special that gives not only physical comfort but comfort  for the soul as well.

One of these comforts is something called Cambric Tea!
It really is something that in our home is known to be a therapeutic care process for everyone. Of course this applies not only to little ones but older members of the household, even Mum and Dad!

It seems that Cambric Tea has been a part of our home for quite a long time.
Frankly as a mostly coffee drinker I have never really enjoyed tea and so did not introduce it to my children for a long time.

When we first started celebrating Tea Time with our children as we embraced the Charlotte Mason philosophy of Education at the start of our Learning at Home I would make up a  pot of Cambric Tea for the children on a Friday afternoon. This came about  after trying a variety of herbal teas with the children, which they did enjoy but only  a few  varieties of and  really they didn't have that same 'tea time' look the same without the milk!

Now our children often have Cambric Tea but it really takes on a special something when served in a special tea cup and adding a little honey which we have as an extra special treat.

There are quite a few differing ways of making Cambric Tea but essentially it is a mixture of a very weak tea that has a lot of milk added and a sweetener, but really I like it with honey 'cause milk and honey go so nicely together.
A simple version is to simply put a tea bag into a tea cup or a mug for a non special event.
Pour in water just of the boil to  not even  half way
Then add the sweetener of your choice- I like honey for the little ones. Stir to dissolve.
Add milk to fill the tea cup or mug and enjoy.
This is an everyday version that we use often.

For a more Special treat: which serves two (obviously double or triple to make more)
Vanilla Tea:
1/2 cup of already brewed tea and 1 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean
1 Tablespoon honey or more to taste

In a small saucepan, whisk together the tea, milk, and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, split lengthwise. Heat over low heat until steamy. Remove from heat. Strain the tea into a tea pot, and stir in the honey. Pour into two cups and serve.

Of course this is a very old tradition and can even be found in one of our favourite series of books  ~The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
"The cold crept in from the corners of the shanty, closer and closer to the stove. Icy-cold breezes sucked and fluttered the curtains around the beds. The little shanty quivered in the storm. But the steamy smell of boiling beans was good and seemed to make the air warmer.

At noon Ma sliced bread and filled bowls with the hot bean broth and they all ate where they were, close to the stove. They all drank cups of strong, hot tea. Ma even gave Grace a cup of cambric tea. Cambric tea was hot water and milk, with only a taste of tea in it, but little girls felt grown-up when their mothers let them drink cambric tea."

So do tell do, you have a Cambric Tea tradition in your home?
Blessings to you and your homes,


Kelly Casanova said...

Ah, I love tea, I have several cups a day.

We don't have tea for special occasions in particular, I just serve it as a treat to the children, usually for a nice morning tea with cake or biscuits. I hadn't really thought of it as cambric tea, though I have read about it too, but I guess that is what I make for them - weak, sweet tea!

Gae said...

Tea with cake for morning tea is special too I think. I especially love the name it sounds so much nicer than just plain tea
Thanks for your input Kelly


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