My late Centenarian Nana had a Martini and hors d’oeuvres comprised of olives, crackers, aged Gouda and Societe Roquefort cheese every evening of her adult life. After her passing this spring, I thought that I would like to enrich my days and feel her presence with a similar ritual. Perhaps it was even the secret to longevity?
I made a little plate in her honor, and since I’m alcohol-free I substituted sparkling water for the Martini. I know that she savored that time and did not rush through it. I happen to love salt so naturally olives are a favorite of mine. Yet, I have been making a concerted effort to cut back on salt because it’s the one bad eating habit I’ve clung to stubbornly. Nana rarely if ever salted her food, so like everything else in her life it was about moderation and balance.
I decided that moving forward, in lieu of cold fizzy mocktails & savory but salty hors d’oeuvres I would have an afternoon tea. This new ritual has been so relaxing, rewarding and delicious (I’ve been baking my own adaptations of new-to-me British recipes!), I wish I had started sooner. There’s something centering about sitting down with beautiful pottery or my late maternal grandma’s English china, hot tea, treats and special spreads. I feel connected to both of my grandmothers, who used to dote on me, and even feel somewhat regal!