Canadian Breakfast Tea With The First CousinsSunday, October 06, 2013
|Alex, Inesita, Elizabeth& Diane|
I knew weeks in advance that I was going to have tea on Friday, October 4 with my three Argentine first cousins (on my father’s side) in Buenos Aires. It was to be at Inesita O’ Reilly Kuker’s apartment in Belgrano C. The principal reason why I was going to travel to Buenos Airs was that Inesita, also my godmother was going to celebrate her 90th on October 2. Our two other first cousins, Elizabeth Blew and Diane Hayward did not want to attend the huge celebration to be held at the highfalutin Club Náutico San Isidro and were opting for a more quiet tea.
What was I to bring for the occasion from Vancouver? At Murchie’s I found Canadian Breakfast Tea. This was a concoction that contained maple syrup. I tried a sample and it wasn’t too bad. Most important it was Canadian.
When I brought the bag of loose tea a few days before, Lorena, Inesita’s live-in nurse asked me how to prepare the tea. I gave her all the necessary instructions including the heating of the tea pot with boiling water and the drying of it (something that British author Anthony Burgess always insisted was a most important part of the process).
The day of the tea we all sat down and our foursome had an extra person. This was Dolly, Inesita’s friend. She is her last remaining friend, alive. That is what happens when you celebrate your 90th.
The best part of the tea consisted in some homemade alfajores (a sort of Argentine cookie filled with dulce de leche and covered with dark chocolate) that Elizabeth Blew brought and the wonderful sanwiches de miga. These are a typical Argentine improvement over the English sandwiches made with bread with the crusts cut out. The difference is that the Argentine variety is made from very large loaves so that the sandwiches are not miniature finger ones.
The women seemed to enjoy the tea but I noticed that as soon as we finished the first pot the usual Argentine (quite good) Taragüí brand tea was used.
Perhaps the most amazing event of a most pleasant afternoon is that the usually dour Diane Hayward seemed to smile more than she has in the past. Some of us believe that perhaps of late she must have gotten lucky. It is the formerly red-haired Elizabeth who told me that could be the only explanation for that strange turn of events.
After giving our goodbyes the two first cousins walked down the sloping park, Barrancas de Belgrano to the Belgrano C station to return to their homes at the Olivos station going north. I took my train south to Retiro where I changed from the Mitre Line to the San Martín Line to Buena Vista and home with Nora Patrich and Roberto Baschetti.