Sunday, 2 December 2012

Kitchen Tea Etiquette

This past weekend I attended the kitchen tea of a dear friend and watching as she sat in a pile of presents opening them one by one, it was becoming increasingly obvious that the rules of a Kitchen tea were unknown to more than one of the guests. Despite the looming cost of the wedding presents, the bride was unwrapping expensive tea sets and seasonal plates by Rob Ryan, gifts that surely cost far more than the $2 that will get you a perfectly functional spatula from Kmart.

As dictated to me by my mother, when she and previous generations married the bride went from being a daughter in her parent's house to owning and running her own house, a house that needed kitting out before she moved in as a newly married woman. Then, the groom provided the house but as the bride's role in the new house was running the household and ensuring her husband was fed, it was her duty to fill the kitchen and linen closets. The bride's dowry box contained the household linen, and the bridal registry contained the more expensive, more important items, the typical white goods of the house: the microwave, the toaster, and the crockery and cutlery of the house. But the kitchen drawers still needed to be stocked with those utensils so necessary to preparing dinner like vegetable peelers, spatulas and potato mashers. To accommodate this, the female family and friends of the bride would gather together and present to the bride these utensils.

As my generation has preferred the practise of moving out of our parent's home before marriage, we have acquired for ourselves the household of furniture and medley of kitchen utensils. However the tradition of the kitchen tea has quietly hung on and is now making a come back. Unfortunately in conjunction with this the etiquette of this occasion is not experiencing an equal resurgence: mothers have forgotten to pass this vital information on to their daughters to the extent that some girlfriends have no idea of what a kitchen tea actually is. And of those who do, some still don't realise that they are supposed to arrive with nothing more than the eponymous vegetable peeler.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...