To me “tea” was just that black, brown, green or yellow liquid that we drink. So when my mother-in-law, who is British, asked “What would you like for tea?”, my response was “Oh, no thank you”. I remember thinking to myself “What other tea has she got apart from PG tips AND I’m still drinking from the cup she made me minutes before!”.
Probably taken aback slightly by my response she asked again, “Are you sure you wouldn’t like tea?” to which I responded while pointing to my half-filled tea cup “I still have some left”, a little embarrassed by my lack of tea-drinking speed.
That was when my husband, Daniel, intervened to explain what “tea” my mother-in-law was offering. She was not referring to drinking tea, of course. Instead, she was referring to “tea as a meal” which is a light meal consisting of cakes, crisps, cookies, finger food and sandwiches. That was one of my first British Culture 101 lesson.
To create the feeling of “Britishness” at home, I do make tea occasionally. Last weekend, I made some lovely Chewy Oats & Raisins cookies which I found on BBC Good Food
. These cookies are meant to be slightly chewy and go really well with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon. Here is an adaptation of the recipe and I hope you will like it.