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Mother's Day tea tips and history

Cup and saucer from the author's grandmother's everyday china.
Cup and saucer from the author's grandmother's everyday china.
Elizabeth Urbach

Did you know that 2014 is the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day, as we know it, in the U.S.? Julia Ward Howe, an American poet who also wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", called, in 1870, for all mothers to band together in peace, establishing June 2 as Mother's Day. When Howe died, a group of women in West Virginia adapted the holiday as a Mother's Friendship Day, to re-unite those who had been driven apart by wartime politics. In 1908, Anna Jarvis, the daughter of the Mother's Friendship Day committee leader, petitioned to establish the 2nd Sunday in May as an official, annual celebration, in honor of her mother. Jarvis trademarked the phrase "Mother's Day" in 1912, to indicate that the purpose of the holiday was "for each family to honor its mother, not ... all mothers of the world." After a few years of petitions from Jarvis, the YMCA, and other organizations, President Woodrow Wilson made Mother's Day a national holiday in May of 1914. For more information, click here.

It's not too late to celebrate with tea! A well-stocked tea party pantry will help. Here are a few menu suggestions:

A pot of hot tea or tisane

Cucumber-smoked salmon tea sandwiches

English Tea Scones
Raspberry Scones
Rose jelly
Lemon curd

Cinnamon-raisin bread pudding
Spiced chocolate bread pudding

Rose petal jam tarts
Rosewater sugar cookies

In Miss Jarvis' original Mother's Day spirit, don't buy things for your mother, so much as give of yourself to her. If you have access to old or vintage family items like dishes or table linens, use them to set the table. Use framed family photos of your mom as table decorations. If you can, make your mom's favorite foods using family recipes. Avoid the crowds at the restaurant and make your mom something; if you can't cook, many local tea rooms, like regular restaurants, offer take-out options. You can put together breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or a fancy afternoon tea!

Copyright 2014, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

For more information:
"Review: Lisa's Tea Treasures - Campbell location"
“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?"
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“San Jose women celebrate 100 years of voting with tea”
"Mother's Day History"
"Women: Mother's Day, Inc." from _Time_ magazine, 1938.
"Mother's Day's Dark History" from _National Geographic_ magazine.

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