|Tempest in a Teapot - June 2014|
By: Sophie Taylor
From: Teapot Collector Mysteries
Book 1: Tempest in a Teapot
Publication Date: June 3rd, 2014
Author: Victoria Hamilton writing as Amanda Cooper
I'm new at this blogging thing, but they tell me it's easy, so here goes... my name is Sophie Taylor, I'm twenty nine years old, and I'm a restaurateur with a double degree in cooking and hospitality management from the ICE, the Institute of Culinary Education. The love of my life is In Fashion, my restaurant in the garment district of Manhattan. The area has taken a beating in recent years from off shore manufacturing and the problems with the economy - hasn't everyone? I hear folks moaning about it all the time - but we carved out a little niche and created a sweet chi chi restaurant (chi chi in a good way!) that I'm fiercely proud of.
And that I'm going to lose very soon. There are no two ways about it; I just had a meeting with my partners, and they are resolute in not pouring any more money into what they call a losing venture. Not another penny. It's weird, four years ago when we began this journey they couldn't throw money at me fast enough and now, nothing, nada, zip. The problems aren't that deep; we could fix it, but they are closing the purse strings. We aren't even losing money, just not making as much as they want but... no use fighting them anymore.
Last night I dreamed I was back in Gracious Grove in the kitchen of my Nana's tearoom, Auntie Rose's Victorian Teahouse, and I was cooking. All the tension of In Fashion had slipped away; it was sunny, and I was serene. No stress, just the food, good, simple tearoom fare.
But it was just a dream. If I lose In Fashion, I won't be serene, I can tell you that much. I don't know what my mother will say... or, yes, I actually do. She'll say 'forget your dreams and let me set you up with one of our sort, a rich guy who will take care of you'. Maybe that was okay for her, but she and Dad live separate lives, for the most part, and that's not what I want in a relationship. Not that you can't have both - a wealthy beau and a good relationship - but I haven't seen it often in my life.
My mother decided early that her family's plebeian lifestyle was not good enough, so she snagged a wealthy man - my father - and had the three of us (I have two brothers) in rapid succession. The only time I ever saw a family member cooking was when I went to stay with my grandma - I call her Nana - in Gracious Grove, New York, a town nestled in the Finger Lakes region, the most beautiful spot in the United States. I would stand at Nana's elbow chopping pecans or whipping butter while she made scones and tea cakes for her tearoom. And then I would help her dust and carefully put back all of her wonderful collection of teapots, her other abiding passion in life.
|Photo courtesy of Chris 73 through Wikimedia Commons.|
Oh yes, did I not mention the teapots, our other shared passion? My Nana loves china and figural teapots (you know the whimsical type, teapots shaped like hats or cats) but I have a gorgeous collection of art deco and art nouveau teapots that I've gathered from antique shops and auctions.
But it all started - the cooking and the collecting - in that sweet chintz and china tearoom in Gracious Grove. When I think of home, that's what I picture.
Home... what is home to you? Is it where you live now, or is it a place in your memory? Home, for me, is Gracious Grove and my Nana.