This evening, Katherine asked if we could make tea in the teapot we brought back from China. So we did. Katherine likes the idea of tea better than the actual stuff. Rachel, however, got excited as soon as she saw the teapot. She begged for me to hold her up to watch the tea steep. Then she eagerly guzzled two cups. I realized that this must be comfort food for her. I'd never thought of it before, but her foster parents most certainly made tea on probably a daily basis. Even babies drink tea in China. Seeing Rae slurping cooled tea made me determined to make it more often. I can try to keep this one tiny bit of her culture alive.
When we were in Guangzhou in September, it was 100 degrees and about 95% humidity. Utterly miserable weather. Even the locals complained about how hot it was. One afternoon, I took advantage of nap time to slip out into the unbearable heat to go shopping. Many of the shopkeepers in the little stores had turned off their lights and were sitting motionless in the depths of their stores, waiting for the relative cool of evening. They turned on the lights when I came in, the only shopper in sight. In several shops the workers offered to make me tea. They swore that it would help cool me off. I laughed, but never took them up on it even when one man offered a cup of the "coolest" tea - made from tea leaves picked before the dew dried in the morning. Hot tea in a steam bath? No thanks. But hot (or at least lukewarm) tea on a cool evening with my daughters? Mighty fine.