Successful Catering, 3rd Edition by Bernard Splaver, htmlz, 0471289256

  • Full Title : Successful Catering, 3rd Edition
  • Autor: Bernard Splaver
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 3 edition
  • Publication Date: 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471289256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471289258
  • Download File Format: htmlz


With coverage of the management of a catering business and 201 expert recipes from The Culinary Institute of America, the new edition of this well-established book is an ideal basic text for students of catering.




italian restaurants nearby, apple sauce for pork, curtsies, chinese food nearby, importance of nutrition,
chinese pizza, italian red wine, brunch recipes, baking recipes, italian coffee machine, and neighbours, past and present, what a blessing to have each and every one of you in my life.

My children, my boys, I adore you, and I thank you for teaching me patience, unconditional love and the ability to go days without proper sleep! Grow healthy, my little ones, into the fine young men that I know you will be.

And lastly, gratitude must go to my husband, the father of my boys, my guide, and true north. Thank you for believing in me and for pushing me towards my dreams. L.O.V.E



Nine years ago, I became a mother to my first son, Jul. He taught me to see the beauty in life where I had not seen it before, and yet, quite naturally, I also feared for my young child. As his mother, I was able to take care of his basic needs but I was about to find out it would take much more than this to keep him healthy.

A Mother’s Intuition

Jul was born three weeks early, which made it difficult for me to nurse him right away. I suffered from complications due to the caesarean section, hence I felt pressured to bottle-feed. Despite my best efforts to provide Jul with breast milk, he was heavily supplemented with formula, which if I am honest, none of which ever really suited him. The skin on his face became inflamed, and he suffered from food allergies and hives. Although he was developing within the normal milestones, and in many ways was a perfectly happy baby, my intuition was that something was not quite right. At nine months old, our son became sick with viral meningitis, something I am happy to say that he recovered from, but over the next three years, he developed a variety of illnesses and symptoms that neither we as his parents, nor the doctors, understood. Our son, although bright and energetic, was not thriving as he should be, and as he celebrated his fourth birthday, our lives were turned upside down.

A simple throat infection turned out to be something much more sinister and after several routine checks by the doctor, we were referred to the children’s ward of a local hospital. It was there that Jul, before our eyes began to bleed into his skin (petechiae), an alarming but common reaction to a drastically low red blood cell count. After several tests, a group of consultants asked to speak with us. Trying hard to understand all that was being said, we were given the terrifying news that Jul would have to be transferred by ambulance immediately and admitted to a children’s oncology unit for suspected leukaemia.

A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

In the ward, I vividly recall the noises: the machines, children crying in pain and discomfort, terrified parents doing all they could to lend some support. I attempted to block everything out. At twenty-eight weeks pregnant with our second son, I tried hard to remember my own health as well.

Over the course of the next few days, we would sit, wait and watch our sweet son in sorrow. Jul was terribly brave but started to stutter and then hardly spoke at all. The doctors told us this was a probable side effect of shock, and likely the result of all that was going on around him. After a trial blood transfusion that indicated no improvement, a bone marrow extraction had to be taken. It would be several hours later that day before the doctors were able to give us a definite diagnosis.

We were told Jul did not have leukaemia but a rather rare virus, Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), which he would, in time, recover from. My husband and I (although still visibly shaken) were elated. We could take our son home.

The weeks that followed were tense. Jul reacted well to the prescribed drugs, but with the improvement also came the side effects. He could do very little in terms of activity – not easy for a boy of his age, but Jul adapted well and fell in love with art. He would literally draw, sketch, colour and paint for hours (and still does).

Three months later and two weeks after the arrival of our second child, with no prior symptoms or warning, Jul was admitted to hospital again after waking with a sore throat diagnosed later that day as an abscess, which was threatening to cut off his airway. Jul became really sick, really fast. He was in a lot of pain, suffering from headaches and irritability, and I know from his actions, and as his mother, that he was scared. With the help from family and dear friends, either my husband or myself were able to be at our boy’s side constantly. We lay with him, read to him, fed him, and all the while a battle raged on inside of him. Finally, after eight excruciating days, we all went home. Sigh…

Taking Matters Into My Own Hands

Even though I did not fully realise it at the time, the education that I was receiving through my studies towards a degree in health and wellness were lending me the confidence I needed to manage what we were going through. This self-assurance allowed me to be proactive with Jul’s treatment and a forceful advocate for him. My husband and I didn’t feel passive in this situation; on the contrary, we were committed participants in our son’s recuperation, and I cannot tell you how important and necessary this is. As parents, we knew there had to be more to Jul’s diagnosis, after everything he had gone through since infancy, and we were determined to find the answers. We were fortunate enough to be able to find a paediatrician in whom we put our trust, and from there, an immunologist and other specialists. Jul had (and will continue to have) an antibody deficiency, making it difficult when he gets sick for his body to heal. Through diet, close monitoring and support from his specialists, Jul is now, like any other active boy of his age. We have been told that his body has learned to cope with this deficiency, something that was more difficult at a younger age, and yet something we will continue to observe and work through.

A Time to Reflect

After our ordeal, and as I took the time to reflect, I realised any one of us can suffer ill health at any time. In Jul’s case, he had a deficiency and there was little we could have done to prevent what he went through. Yet, I also know the medical care and attention he received, the devotion we provided for our child, and the education that I was pursuing (that is now my life’s on-going work), were all real factors in Jul’s improvement.

My Personal Mission

And so because of what Jul went through, what we went through as a family, I continued with my studies and became relentless in my pursuit of knowledge, thus learning more about health and nutrition and how to achieve and maintain it, and began to purposefully steer my family towards an optimal lifestyle. I think I realised at this point that for me, the challenges I faced within my own family could effectively help the lives of others. I began to see that certain nutrition principles could offer families the best opportunity to achieve health, and not as a means to heal only, but as a preventative for a better way of life.

As a practising health counsellor, I have become even more determined to set an example that others can follow. Nowadays, sadly, most health and nutrition advice is out-dated and/or misleading and lacks a clear foundation on the many aspects that are imperative to achieving lasting results. As I have personally experienced and seen in the homes of my many clients, health success is never the result of pure chance; it is with a driven purpose and sincere effort that accomplishments are made.

A Mother’s Message

Life doesn’t come with a manual; it comes with a mother.


As I continue to raise my three sons, now nine, five and two, I feel on a daily basis the extent to which I am personally responsible for our family’s nutrition. Even as a health professional, I understand the enormity of this and how difficult it can be to learn the steps for necessary change and long-term maintenance.

While health encompasses many vital components, I feel confident in saying that holistic nutrition is key, and often the catalyst for all-round health.

Where should you begin, I hear you say?

NOURISH guides you through five focus points that may challenge your current concept of what it takes to achieve optimal nutrition, and to successfully nourish your family, in and outside of the home. Each focus point will introduce you to an approach that may be new to you. The information, and the real-life experiences that I write about, will slowly enhance your understanding, begin or further your education on this current topic, provide you with simple but effective methods to implement right away, and empower you so that transformation can happen.

Thus, it is my hope for each and every one of you that NOURISH makes its way into your busy homes, offering your family the chance to learn simple changes that lead to permanent results.

Featured in NOURISH – Words and Their Meanings

(Good for you to know!)

Additives – an ingredient added in order to improve or preserve e.g. essence, extract, flavouring).

Child – a blessing or precious being: the result of love: a little human you would walk the Earth for.

Deficient – not having enough of something that is necessary, defective, inadequate, lacking or poor.

Diet – the typical foods that a person routinely eats; their eating habits, pattern of eating, regime etc.

Food – a substance consisting of essential nutrients that humans need to live and grow; sustenance.

Free-range – poultry kept in more natural conditions, allowed to move about more freely, and access the outdoors.

GMO – genetically modified organisms (artificially manipulated, genetically engineered).

Health – the state of being well and/or free from illness or medical conditions; well-being; vigour.

Holistic – consideration of the whole person, complete, inclusive, whole.

Ingredient – one or more substances used to make a particular recipe; a small part of something bigger.

Junk food – processed, packaged, convenience food with little to no nutritional value; pre-prepared.

Lifestyle – the way in which a person chooses to live; a way of life; behaviours; a set of habits.

Longevity – living for many years; long existence/life.

Mother – a parent who is female, caring, instinctive and/or maternal.

Nutrient – a substance that provides nourishment; e.g. a nut contains many nutrients: fat, protein and vitamins.

Organic (fruits, vegetables, grains etc.) – foods produced by methods that comply with standards, grown free from artificial chemicals.

Organic (meats and dairy) – free from antibiotics; no GMO’s; better treatment of animals.

Parenthood – the journey of raising your child; a huge commitment/mammoth undertaking.

Preservatives – a substance/chemical added to food to preserve life or prevent decay.

Processed – raw food that has been modified to taste different and last longer, containing additives.

Raw – food in its natural state: unaltered, uncooked and unprocessed.

Traditions – a belief or custom passed on from one generation to another; principles; a way of life.

Well-being – in a state of good health, comfortable, happy and well.

Wholefoods – foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or as little as possible; no additives; whole.

Wholegrain – containing the whole grain, unprocessed and unrefined.

Chapter 1

Focus on Industry

If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

(Stephen R. Covey)

I have thought long and hard about what it will take for us to realise the detrimental effects of foods that provide us with little to no benefit, and the solution is to be informed. For it is only when you know better, that you do better.

A Look at Life Around You

It is time to begin your journey into understanding the food industry and where what you eat comes from, but firstly I would like you to think about life, the world around you, your own community, with your extended family, maybe even in your own home, and seriously consider how food is failing health. We see, we read, and we hear about it all of the time, so much now that sadly, it has become commonplace to watch people suffer so unnecessarily. I think we all know someone, many people perhaps, who are battling ill health caused by poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle and/or a lack of health awareness. People are deteriorating at a much younger age from conditions driven by inadequate diet and weight gain. More children are impaired by food intolerances, from allergy symptoms and reactions, and their bodies are significantly compromised by harmful ingredients and substances added to their foods. Perhaps your own child is sick and you are unsure where to begin or how to get help.

I want to know about healthy foods because I really don’t want to get fat, most of all I really don’t want to get sick.

(Student, aged eight and a half)

How Change Happened

I was brought up among a generation that has seen the most dramatic shift in where our food comes from and how it is produced, and although the change has been life-altering it is very likely that you didn’t see it happening at all. So now, as parents to children of the new generation, who will continue to get sicker and more affected if we don’t do something, it is imperative that we do see this, and that we bring about change quickly.

Things were definitely different when I was raising my children. I worried much less about what to feed my family than I see young mothers doing now. I feel very sorry for them.

(Linda, mother to children aged forty-two, thirty-eight and thirty-three)

Maybe your own childhood, more likely your parents and grandparents, was filled with memories of seeing animals living freely on farms – cattle had plenty of green grazing land, and poultry wide open spaces – and with appropriate nutrition. These animals were almost certainly tended to by skilled farmers, whose livelihood was passed down from one generation to another. This way of life was hard but sacred to these farmers. They seemed to care about the animals, just like the growers who tended to field upon field of crops and fruits and vegetables. This allowed you to eat local produce in season without harsh chemicals to produce them. Your parents would almost certainly have bought their meats from a butcher or straight from the farmer, their weekly fruits and vegetables from the local grocer. Your mother and hers were likely to have been very experienced in the kitchen, producing sumptuous and appetising foods, meal after meal, for the family. Convenience foods were not all that common, and if they were available, only eaten sparingly.

Fast-forward through my teenage years and into adulthood, and the presence of fast food, junk food; processed foods (what I like to call non-real foods) were evident. Yes, you could and can still buy everything that your typical diet was made up of, but the majority of your foods were and are no longer fundamentally the same.

There are still men and women who work the land determinedly to bring its customers products that are still cultivated in the same way all these years later, organic produce from natural agriculture that is uncontaminated, free of pesticides and chemicals, free of hormones and further additives. They have not relinquished their values and have not sold out to corporations, despite it being very difficult to stay profitable. You can find them, but they are much fewer than before, and unless you appreciate the true value of their work and produce you will more than likely shop elsewhere. It’s important to understand that the alternative is going to be detrimental to your family’s health.

Food Giants

Today, a large number of farms and farmers have been replaced by businesses and businessmen and women, overtaken and overrun by huge corporations. These giant companies make up the food industry (well, the large proportion that cares more about your money than your health, any
costa coffee, steak meals, easy family recipes, online wine store, quick meals, ore money spent than the same amount for good homemade meals. With few exceptions (and I don’t mean Jamba Juice), this is unhealthy “shortcut” food with the potential to lead to a host of ills. In order to avoid the telephone, you need to shop weekly and make sure your pantry, freezer, and fridge are well stocked. Just knowing you can do this is a revelation. That favorite pad thai (see page 196) or beef satay (see page 140) is a mere equipped-kitchen and prep-cook-job away from your lips.

This book includes recipes for the foods we’ve usually handed over to others to make, the ones we like to order in or take out, from ethnic spots serving Italian, Greek, Chinese, or Japanese; from old-fashioned soda fountains, street carts, and burger joints; from chicken shacks, roadhouses, grills, concession stands, and ice cream trucks. Eat them out now and then, but ease a few handmade versions into your own repertoire. Sideline the prepackaged meals from the commercial grocery shelf or freezer while you create a few of those recipes from scratch yourself, like Brined and Fried Chicken (page 170), just as Grandma did. The recipes here draw from the wealth of inspiration in the outside world and will bring it into your own cooking and eating experience at home. Connected to the stories and the sources they spring from, these dishes teach us about people and places.

So leave the sandy, bruised lettuce, sugary-sweet dressings, and preservative-laden croutons of the salad buffet behind for the salads on pages 92–113. Capture the alluring flavors of your favorite Indian restaurant with a simplified Chicken Tikka Masala (page 171) or pull a handmade sweet and tangy Lemon Icey from your own freezer (page 289). Maybe you just make your mama’s meat loaf and mashed potatoes (see pages 152 and 215) or simmer a big pot of childhood chili (see page 156). But cook what you crave at home! Excavate your own taste memories and assemble that personal recipe box. Restore your food traditions and make new ones. Reclaim your home kitchen!

Mad Hungry Maxims

how and why to cook the food you crave at home

you’ve got to want to do it

Like any commitment, cooking regularly requires discipline and will. It has to become a priority. It is a challenge to take on, but the rewards are immeasurable. When you learn to produce a meal at home similar to one you’d buy out, it’s totally satisfying. We are not too busy to cook! If you can carve out time to landscape your yard, decorate your home, work out at a gym, or practice an instrument, you can cook interesting, healthy food at home on a regular basis.

know you will be healthier when you start cooking from scratch with good, fresh ingredients

I’d put the Baked Potato Poppers (page 214) up against any deep-fried fast-food potato puffs out there. And there is no calorie or cholesterol comparison between a fast-food deep-fry and a home-cooked oven-fry. Done well, crispy faux-fried food tastes delicious and is more nutritious. That’s the equation I look for. The minute you start with fresh, natural ingredients, you’ve avoided multiple layers and steps in the processing of the food that you eat. Care about what goes into your body, as you care about what goes into your car’s gas tank. This is one of the main areas of your well-being that you can control. Feed your body, mind, and soul with the thoughtful nourishment it deserves. You’ll be happier and stronger.

shopping is half the job of cooking

Plan and shop routinely, and you will always be able to make the food you crave. Keep your spices stocked and check them for freshness. Put the freezer, the most underutilized appliance in the kitchen, to good use: you will never run out of bread, butter, or milk. They’ll sit patiently frozen until called up for fresh duty. Buy premium meats and poultry, as well as fish of known origin. Onions, garlic, and shallots are your savory saviors for flavor building—keep a full basket in a cool, dark place. Prep fresh vegetables ahead for convenient use: wash, dry, and store salad greens; trim and blanch green beans. Shop weekly, and supplement daily only as needed.

don’t bite off more than you can chew

A big bowl of hearty soup, like Beefy Black Bean Soup (page 73), and a simple salad make for a great lunch or dinner. Don’t tackle too many recipes at once. Start simple. Choose one that engages your interest—for instance, something that you love to order when you go out, like Pulled Pork (page 165) or Malaysian-Style Mussels (page 182). Then fill out the meal with familiar sides, ones you are used to making. Even the most accomplished cooks I know stick with adding only one or two new things at a time to a routine repertoire.

think strategy

Chunk out your time and stay one step ahead of the game. Rather than feel pressured to make dinner in thirty minutes, strategize. Doing some prep the night before or the morning of leaves less to do at dinnertime. Think down the road to a couple of meals. If you’re turning your oven on to roast a chicken, roast two: one for dinner and one for sandwiches and soup the next day. Firing up the grill? Make a steak for dinner and grill the vegetables for tomorrow’s pasta. Thoughtful meal planning is easier, cheaper, and more wholesome than winging it!

enlist family members or roommates to tag-team tasks

Engage your household in the pleasures of cooking and eating good food. First learn to cook what you love to eat and make it part of your daily routine. Next, involve the folks you live with in the process. Make it enjoyable. A shopping trip can be a learning experience for little ones—especially if they’re given the opportunity to choose a favorite cereal or ice cream—and revelatory for older ones. As soon as they are old enough, give your kids tasks in the kitchen and dining room. Make these part of the family chores. Teach your family to love what they eat so much that they want to learn it themselves. When they succeed, which they will, they will want to share their food with others.

there is pleasure in gathering at the table

Once you’ve gathered—whether you are two or ten—important interactions begin. The dinner table is the first place where our kids gather in a small “community” to express themselves. Around-the-table talk starts with dinner and progresses to sharing thoughts, events, and musings of the day. To listen to your dining companions is a skill needed for everything we engage in outside the home. Regard eating together as one-stop shopping for wellness. While your body is being fed, your mind and sensory awareness are too. As a regular activity, it sure beats pulling the plastic containers out of the bag (the detritus of which could build a small home in a third world village) and mindlessly chowing down in front of the television. Sure, that can feel liberating now and then—but the next time you do it, ask yourself: Who made this food? Where did it come from? What does the kitchen look like? I guarantee you will not know the answers to any of these questions!

learn from the world around you

Identify your skills in the kitchen—what are your strengths and weaknesses? Then set out to teach yourself what you need to feel comfortable cooking. Start by equipping your kitchen with the basics, or replacing worn tools and appliances. Be on the lookout for such items in newspaper advertisements, at online stores, or on casual shopping excursions. There are deals to be had everywhere. If you aren’t too swift with a knife, pick up a book or DVD, or take a class. Investigate ingredients, new and old (see the pantry sections on pages 11–27). Learn where your food comes from—not only will it be culturally interesting, but it will be empowering as well. Discover food traditions in different regions of the country, ethnic neighborhoods, and countries around the world. If you can’t travel, just let your mind go: television, films, books, magazines, and newspapers offer worlds within reach.

have fun

Eating food you cook yourself will give you countless gifts in return. People love to gather around food. When you’re shopping, folks at the market chat, converse, and share ideas with you. Stand in the kitchen, chopping an onion for dinner, and listen to some music—make it active meditation. Start sautéing those spices, and someone is sure to walk through and say, “Wow, that smells good. What are you making?” I have an armchair in the kitchen, where I can sit and read a newspaper or cookbook while waiting for the water to boil, and maybe enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine. But most of the time, it’s a family member or friend who sits there and hangs out with me while I cook. Sometimes we cook together. When my extended family gets together, three generations gather in the kitchen. That is where the party is! Make the necessity of nourishing yourselves a daily privilege and pleasure.

Broaden Your Horizons

Of course, when we’re traveling for work or pleasure, cooking is not an option. Make that an opportunity. Sample the regional dishes—chowder in the northeast, barbecue in the South—or ethnic specialties in neighborhoods known for their Italian, Chinese, Greek, or Latin food. There’s no greater thrill for me than seeking out new foods in faraway countries. Explore an unfamiliar culture through the local foods. Watch a noodle maker hand-pull noodles, an expert pat out a homemade tortilla, a master cooking spicy chicken in a tandoor oven, or a sausage maker forming links. The experience of seeing how food is made will spark ideas for your own repertoire and engage your family in the process.

Resist the temptation to eat at chain restaurants that offer the same formula regardless of what city you’re in. The allure of familiar foods, made exactly the same way every time, is undeniable, but eating them is a soulless experience. There is so much more to life! Trying new foods in a new place is a great way to expand your child’s palate. Use it as inspiration for feeding your family. Expose them to new foods out in the world, then cook it healthier, cheaper, and tastier at home.

look for teachable moments

The foods eaten by family members outside your home, without coaxing or cajoling, can be a window into their untapped appetites. An unadventurous eater may surprise you with his or her choices on unfamiliar ground. My own children illustrate this phenomenon perfectly.

When he was young, my middle son, Miles, was not a fan of any types of beans. However, he couldn’t get enough of the “doubles” from a Brooklyn take-out purveyor of West Indian foods. A “double” stuffs spicy chickpeas inside a soft, saucy dough wrap. Who knew?

It’s hard to believe now, but my firstborn, Calder, hated burgers, and he wouldn’t eat the ones I made at home. It mystified me, given that every red-blooded American meat eater loves a good burger. But Calder had to discover them himself when he went with friends to McDonald’s, a place I didn’t allow him to frequent. That prompted me to learn how to make a spot-on fast-food burger (thin patties, butter-toasted bun, special sauce, shredded lettuce), and he started requesting them for dinner. Now he slathers them up with mayonnaise—a condiment he wouldn’t eat at home up to that point either.

My youngest, Luca, was absolutely sure he hated two things: mushrooms and shrimp. Yet he thought nothing of gobbling up a moo-shu pork pancake filled with an array of vegetables, including unfamiliar wood ear mushrooms. And the shumai dumplings he always ordered (shrimp-stuffed), although he hated shrimp.

When you do eat out or order in, everyone gets his or her own choice. Notice who orders what when they get the chance to choose for themselves; then you can begin to slip a few favorites into your own cooking repertoire. An Indian meal ordered out might include chicken tikka masala. Morph that into an Indian-themed dinner at home with a simplified version of the chicken (see page 171) and a vegetable biryani (see page 203). Add some yogurt, store-bought naan bread, and grocery-store mango chutney for an authentic experience easily assembled at home.

If your child gets a muffin when you get your coffee to go from the local coffee shop, make a better one at home for a grab-and-go breakfast—for example, a Date Walnut Muffin (page 48). Observe the mas-terly ways vegetables are employed in delicious restaurant items. For some reason, spinach isn’t as feared by kids if it’s tucked into the flaky layers of phyllo dough (see page 87). Fried chicken (see page 170) keeping company with collard greens (see page 225) seems a lot more appetizing than when just plopped onto a dinner plate with no contextual partner.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one dinner for everyone. No exceptions. If you haven’t had such a policy before, your family will probably object. Try to incorporate each person’s favorites throughout the week and emphasize the fairness of this approach. For instance, when I was growing up, creamy pork tenderloin was my brother’s favorite, not mine. I ate it, knowing my beloved meat loaf night was coming up soon. Just know that it is impossible to please everyone, every time.

The Larder

if you stock it, you will make it

If you love to eat food from any corner of the globe, it’s helpful to think of the array of dishes in this book as drawn from the supply cabinet of four basic pantries: American, Asian, Mediterranean, and Latin. If you keep yourself well supplied with the ingredients commonly used in those cuisines, the likelihood of jumping into the kitchen to cook a favorite food you crave—rather than taking out or ordering in—is much greater. Keep a running list taped on the inside of a cabinet, adding to it as items need to be replaced.

This is especially true if you live in a location where specialty grocery items are hard to come by. Nowadays online ordering makes virtually anything available at your fingertips—as long as you plan ahead. Even the multitude of ethnic shops in New York City, where I live, counts for nothing if I haven’t stocked the pantry to cook my favorite foods when I have a hankering for them: if the cupboard is bare, I’m still a grocery trip away from my meal. Cooking and shopping are two entirely different activities, yet the former is dependent on the latter. If you have to shop every time you want to cook, the experience is a much more lengthy and exhausting one. However, most of the recipes in this book do not require anything too esoteric. And frequently one ingredient can be subbed for another. For example, fish sauce, which brings a particular savory saltiness to a dish, can often be replaced by soy sauce. It mightn’t be the perfect choice, but it will do the job.

When you’re trying to put a couple of dishes together to create a menu, peruse all your recipes first and get organized before cooking. Gang up th
define vegan, famous recipe, make your own beer kit, what is brew, healthy pasta recipes, Tea m 3

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two of them were my best friends growing up. I spent my summer vacations at Grandma Sugar’s home and this is

where I received most of my tea education.

The taking of Afternoon Tea, every day at 4:00 p.m., was

something my family always did and I have wonderful

memories of this from the age of four. My first tea expe-

rience was with “milk tea,” which is three-quarters milk

and one-quarter tea.

Grandma Pet set her tea table with the fine bone china

dishes, and proper tea etiquette was shared with me from

the time I could sit upright in a chair. Grandma Sugar

spent hours, it seemed, teaching me how to hold a cup

and saucer properly, how to handle a spoon gracefully,

the proper way of eating the scones with the Devon cream

and strawberry preserves and, of course, how to make

pleasant conversation with one’s attending company.

I am most fortunate to be able to say the belief that

“children should be seen and not heard” was not part of

our family ways and I have continued that philosophy

with my own. The sound level at our family functions

would deafen some, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On very, very, special occasions we would go to the

Empress Hotel for Sunday Afternoon Tea. The grandmas

said the Empress Hotel was the place to go and the place

to be seen, and it made me feel extraordinarily special. We

4 m a f t e r n o o n t e a

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would go to the 11:00 a.m. service at church and then on to the Empress for Afternoon Tea and, each and every time

we went, it was as magical as the time before.

I would wear my best pinafore dress with white anklet

socks rolled twice over to make a perfect cuff, black patent

shoes, white lace gloves that took forever to put on, only

to be removed the moment we stepped inside the build-

ing, as that was the proper way I had been taught and, of

course, a hat, the kind with the ribbons falling from the

crown, to control the hair. My hair would be rolled in rags

the day before in the hopes of releasing a mass of curls for

the special outing.

My grandmothers shared lots of stories about the hotel

and some of the people who lived there. As a little girl, I

would make believe the Empress was my very own big,

beautiful castle of a home and all the people coming and

going were friends and acquaintances of mine visiting

from around the world because I was so important.

No matter how many times I have been to the Empress

since my childhood, I continually enjoy the same feel-

ing of “being special.” I think this pleasant emotion must

have been built into its stone and mortar, for I don’t know

of many that are not affected in the same manner.

During my lifetime, I have enjoyed tea at the Empress

with four generations of my family. As a mother of four

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daughters and grandmother of eight, I have shared the same wonderful tradition of taking tea at the Empress

with all of them. Even my grandsons have been exposed

to taking tea from a very young age and, although they

would probably prefer to be doing something else, they do

seem to settle in and enjoy the occasion as much as we do.

To me, the tradition of taking tea is one of the great-

est communication vessels ever created and certainly far

more civilized than the Internet and cell phones of today’s


This book is dedicated to all those who continue to pass

down the time-honoured tradition of taking tea with the

ones they love, for it is their commitment that will keep

this experience alive for generations to come.

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c h I n A D I s c o v e r s t e A ,

t h e B r I t I s h M A k e I t A t r A D I t I o n

WhAt stArteD More than five thousand years ago

and is still popular today? If you answered “tea,”

you are absolutely right!

Next to water, tea is the world’s most popular bever-

age. It is an economical libation offering endless varieties

to one’s palate, keeping you warm in the winter and cool

in the summer. It has brought solace to millions of people,

around the world, each and every day.

In 2737 bc, the Chinese Emperor Sheen Nun, who was

known as the “Divine Cultivator” and the “Divine Healer,”

discovered tea quite by accident, so the story goes.

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One afternoon, Sheen Nun was resting in his garden,

sipping boiled water. His edicts required that all drinking

water be boiled first, as a hygienic precaution. A few dried

leaves fell from a nearby bush into his cauldron of boil-

ing water one day, and these leaves soon emitted a deli-

cate aroma and changed the colour of the water to brown.

He was curious, decided to taste it and found himself

pleasantly surprised. He instructed his servants to care-

fully cultivate the plant, known as Camellia Sinensis, a

distant cousin of the camellia bush, and that was how tea

was discovered.

Tea consumption spread throughout the Chinese cul-

ture, reaching into every aspect of society. From the

beginning, the Chinese believed tea calmed the mind and

improved thought and overall health. For many centuries,

tea’s purpose was solely medicinal or spiritual.

The English started drinking tea in the late 1650s when

Catherine of Brogans arrived in Portsmouth, England, and

asked for a cup of tea. Although not British by birth, she

had married King Charles ii and she had brought her tea-

drinking habit from her native Portugal to England. Part

of her dowry was tea packed in large chests that were

transported along with her. At the time, the brewed bev-

erage was extremely expensive, around $100 per pound,

so tea was enjoyed by only the wealthy, the aristocracy

and the royals.

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Before tea was introduced to Britain, the English had two main meals a day: breakfast and dinner. A typical

breakfast would consist of ale, bread and beef. During the

18th century, dinner was a generous meal enjoyed at the

end of the day, between 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. It was

found that another meal had to be introduced to provide

food between the breakfast and dinner hours and, hence,

lunch was founded. This lunch meal was on the light side,

which left the afternoon without any refreshments, and

this gap in the daily affairs of the rich and the royal is

what created the tradition of Afternoon Tea.

Queen Anne introduced tea for breakfast, displacing

the traditional ale. In 1840, Anna Maria, the 7th Duch-

ess of Bedford of Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, England,

experienced a “sinking feeling” in the late afternoon and

to alleviate this discomfort, created the actual Afternoon

Tea experience.

The Duchess of Bedford was known as a trendsetter in

her high society circles and she, unhappy with the two

meals a day, adopted the European tea service format.

She would invite friends to join her for an afternoon meal,

around 4:00 p.m., at her Beloit Castle estate. Small cakes,

sandwiches and sweets were served with the tea.

Queen Mary’s favourite time of the day was 4:00 p.m.,

at which time everything had to be ready for the taking of

tea. Silver platters were adorned with petite sandwiches,

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sweets and cakes and biscuits and placed on tea trolleys: wooden crafted tables with wheels. Queen Mary herself

insisted on measuring the right amount of tea leaves and

adding them to the teapot to ensure the perfect pot of tea.

Only after it had brewed for the required minutes, did

she allow the footman to pour from the silver teapots into

the fine china teacups of her guests. Her silver tea service

once belonged to her favourite royal, Queen Victoria.

Afternoon Tea was very much a social event, enjoyed

primarily by ladies who gathered to gossip, to discuss the

latest in fashion and to be seen in the right places, at the

right times and with the right company.

Alive and well once more, the traditions of Afternoon

Tea have enjoyed a tremendous resurgence of popularity

among all classes of society. It is an excellent way to enter-

tain and spend time with family, friends and business

associates. To take time out of our busy schedules to sit,

relax and enjoy… What could possibly be better?

High tea and low tea were differentiated not only by

the food that was served but by the table it was served

upon. High tea was served at the dining or kitchen table

and was less of a social occasion and more of a sustenance

meal for the manual labourers and farmers. It was served

around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. and consisted of meats, cheeses,

thick sandwiches, coddled eggs, scones, cakes and pies

and was the main meal of the day.

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Low tea, which eventually became Afternoon tea, was

generally served from a low table, placed by the fireplace,

in the parlor or sitting room and it was more of a social

gathering. Its offerings were less substantial and did not

include hot savories.

Whether it’s high or low tea, many fond memories

have been created and shared by millions who have expe-

rienced the tradition of Afternoon Tea.

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t h e A r t o f M A k I n g

A n D t A k I n g t e A

If you DIDn’t have an English grandmother, you

couldn’t possibly be expected to know the proper way

of making or taking tea, so I hope the following informa-

tion is helpful to you.

t e A e t I q u e t t e

 Setting a proper table for tea is essential to the full tea expe-

rience. One always uses their best bone china, preferably

from England. The table setting consists of cups and sau-

cers, small side plates, cream and sugar, tongs or a spoon

for sugar, lemon slices, honey and honey spoon, serving

tongs for food, linen napkins and, of course, the teapot.

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 The teapot is always positioned to the right of the hostess, as she will be pouring the tea in the role of “Mother.”

The phrase “would you like to play Mommy” comes from

this occurrence.

 If your guest wants sugar and lemon added to their tea,

the sugar should be added first. The acid of the lemon pre-

vents the sugar from dissolving if you put it in first.

 The cup and saucer must be picked up together, holding

the saucer in one hand and the teacup in the other. Your

index finger is placed through the handle of the teacup and

balanced by placing the thumb on the top of the handle.

Your middle finger should rest on the bottom of the han-

dle. The teacup should be held lightly by the handle and

the ring and pinkie fingers should not be extended in the

air but, rather, should rest back towards the wrist. Arch-

ing your hand and fingers was deemed a sign of arrogance.

At all times, your saucer should be held under the teacup

and, without moving your head, your eyes should be low-

ered to the teacup and delicate sips should be taken from it.

 If stirring of the tea is required, the spoon is not to make

any noise on the inside of the teacup. Once the stirring is

completed, the spoon is to be laid to the right of your tea-

cup, on the saucer.

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 Gloves must be removed before taking tea and, in fact, should be removed upon entering the place of tea.

h o w t o M A k e A p e r f e c t p o t o f t e A

 First and foremost, you should always temper your teapot

and what that basically means is you heat your teapot first

before actually brewing the tea in it. So while your water

is being brought to a boil, you should fill your teapot with

hot tap water and place the lid upon it. Pre-heating the

teapot is much kinder to fine bone china and will ensure

years of happy use without cracking.

It also will give you a better cup of tea and keep the tea

hotter and longer, as the pot is already warmed.

 You always use fresh, cold water to make tea, never warm

or hot water. Some say that distilled water makes the per-

fect tea. Once your water has come to a full boil, pour your

hot tap water out of the teapot from the spout (to ensure

the spout is also heated) and pour your boiled water into

it. Add one teaspoon of good quality tea per six-ounce cup

for the number of cups you wish to make and add one extra

teaspoon “for the pot.” Stir the tea in the pot.

 Allow black tea to brew for three to five minutes, green tea

for three to five minutes and herbal teas for five to seven

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If Teapots Could Talk

In 1904, an enterprising Englishman, wishing to make

a living doing business in Chicago, Illinois, offered

over-heated business associates tea poured over ice.

The United States consumes more iced tea than

any other country, with 90% of tea consumption being

that of iced tea.

minutes. Please keep in mind that steeping or brewing

your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness

from the leaves or teabags.

 If using loose-leaf tea, remember that loose tea expands

when it steeps, so only fill the infuser half-full. Use a

strainer when pouring, if you wish, to ensure no leaves

enter the teacup. If the tea is too strong, add more boiling

water and if too weak, add more tea.

 Once the tea is brewed to your taste, pour your tea into

the teacups, and then add your milk and sugar to your cup.

The pouring of milk into the cup before adding your tea

was started in England during the 18th century; however,

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Queen Elizabeth adds her milk after the tea is poured and that is how I was always taught by my English grandmothers. Some think the same concept of tempering bone

china teapots also applies to the cup; however, tea has

already cooled as it was brewing and is not as hot. I sup-

pose it all comes down to personal preference.

 A tea cozy should be placed on the teapot after the first go

round of tea is poured, to ensure the following cups of tea

are still hot.

w A n t t o k n o w y o u r f o r t u n e ?

The reading of tea leaves after taking tea was very popular

in England, but it was believed that fortune telling from

tea leaves also originated from the Chinese. My Grandma

Pet always said that gypsies were the best at it!

 To read one’s tea leaves, you make a pot of tea, as instructed

previously, and when brewed, you pour the tea into the

teacups without straining the leaves. The individual drinks

her cup of tea, all but the last spoonful where the leaves are.

She takes the cup in her left hand and swirls it around, in a

counterclockwise direction, three times.

 The person then turns the teacup upside down into the

saucer, waits one minute and removes the cup, leaving the

tea leaves on the saucer.

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 A skillful tea leaf reader will be able to read the symbols and images made by the tea leaves and foresee the owner’s future. The handle of the teacup represents the person

and the readings always begin at the left of the handle and

proceed around the cup in the same direction.

 Leaves farthest from the handle are events in the physi-

cal distance, leaves closest to the rim are the present and

the tea leaves closest to bottom of the cup represent the


What you want to see in your tea leaves are depictions of

certain shapes, such as a cow, bird, star, tree or dog, as

they all mean good fortune.

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