When I turned 5 years old, my mother followed in her mother’s footsteps: She started a dowry for me, the daughter of the family, following an ancient tradition that has been around in our part of the world for centuries if not millennia; She gathered all kinds of things for me and kept them apart from the rest. I am going to tell you how all of this inspired me to make this relaxing tea: a wonderful mix of rose buds, lavender, lemon geranium and mountain tea.
Making a dowry
The idea behind a dowry is that when the moment comes for a young woman to start her own home or family, the parents in that moment don’t have to look frantically for things to support her with for this new and challenging task. To truly understand this, you have to imagine a time in history when to find all items to set up a new kitchen, you would have to travel for days to the nearest big city. Instead of buying stuff to take home, you needed to order everything at special stores to have them ready in a few months.
A lot of dowry items included things girls had to prepare by themselves with the help of their mothers, grandmothers and other family members. Tablecloths for example had to be embroidered, kitchen towels and beautiful bed linen had to be sown, floor rugs or carpets had to be woven and wool blankets had to be made. It could take a few months to make just one blanket.
So ‘the good house-wives’ (with a different meaning than the one of the popular series on tv) knew that they had to be prepared for the wedding of their daughters. The more you had, the higher your status. The more things you had prepared, the more you could let people admire at the wedding. What people left for the end was actually the big furniture pieces; at least that was the tradition in our area, my mother coming from Troizin (a village nearby) and my father from Poros.
One of the things that my mother had collected for my wedding since I was a child, was the beautiful silver tea pot and tray that you see in the pictures. With that she thought I could invite my friends for a tea party. I don’t have a clue how she came up with this idea, as she never organized tea parties herself. She organized big parties with a lot of food and wine and music and dance, but never ever a tea party in our house for as long as I can remember. Never mind though, since I like inviting people for tea. Ideally, I would have you all come over, but since that’s not possible I invite you to try my relaxing tea at home. I made it with love and you in mind for the cold days of winter.
The aroma of this beautiful mixture of rose buds, lavender, lemon geranium and mountain tea will make you feel warm and happy. All of the ingredients have a relaxing affect. Mountain tea is probably the healthiest ingredient of them all. I truly love it. To learn more about mountain tea, go to my blog called Greek tea.
The most relaxing ingredient is of course lavender. We are very happy this beautiful herb in Spring grows in abundance on our farm next to our olive trees. Lavender always knows how to calm your nerves and has many more qualities. For example, it can help against headaches, high anxiety, arthritis and insomnia. It has a high concentration of calcium, iron and vitamin A.
Rose buds are the most romantic ingredient! I love the way they look and smell and give an elegant touch to this tea. They have anti-inflammatory properties that make them a wonderful treatment for sore throats and a lot of other conditions. Lemon geranium I would say is the most refreshing ingredient, with its strong and fresh smell.
Try to create a special moment in your day to drink this relaxing tea, or drink it when you feel stressed and want to relax. Make sure all the ingredients have been grown organically and are free of any chemicals. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a silver tea pot or tray like the one my mother gave me. Actually, I am not using them either, but I was very happy that I finally did use them for this blog for a change after all those years of them collecting dust in my cupboard.
Food photography: Annette Spaan
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