Monday, 3 June 2013

Saucered and Blowed ....

I love reading facebook blog updates while having my morning coffee & learnt today about saucer & blowed which I found on Junk & Roses on facebook.

Memories suddenly came flooding back of my maternal grandfather doing it.  I did not know it was even a 'proper tradition' - I always just thought it was another of Grandpa's teutonic ways.

When asked about it,  he would only reply 'this is how we always did it at home' and that was that! At the awkward teenage age,  I always dreaded that he would do it in company & thankfully he did not.

I was astounded that it even had a name & the explanation given makes perfect sense now that I know it ...

This from Junk & Roses post:

"It was many years later, while reading a novel by the late Robert Heinlien that I came across the term “Saucered and Blowed”. He explained that it was a custom inherited from the Danish, the Scots, the Germans, et.al. He said it grew from the early use of a shallow bowl or ‘saucer’ to drink tea’. Our pioneer ancesters cooked with wood or coal as fuel. They boiled the coffee and served it boiling hot. One source that I read said, “My Granny served coffee so hot that the only reason that it didn’t catch fire was because it was wet.” Pouring the coffee into the saucer created a larger surface area and permitted the coffee to cool to drinking temperature quickly.

In many trades the term “Saucered and Blown” has come to mean the completion of a job or the thorough study of a problem, as in, “That new manufacturing process has been ‘saucered and blown.’” I guess this post is "Saucered and Blowed."

Thanks Junk & Roses for that explanation.


My Grandpa was born in 1911 to pioneer stock in South Africa - a German father & a Dutch mother. Times were austere after the devastation of the Boer War & his parental combination made him a determined & strong person, not given to sentiments easily.


We visited his Mother's sister, our Dutch great aunt in a large rambling farmhouse when I was a child & she still had oil lamps, a coal stove, elaborate lace curtains, brass beds with colourful covers & a large verander that hugged the house. She brewed coffee in an enamel coffee pot on her large coal range stove, then served traditional melk tert / milk tart  while they exchanged news & enjoyed their boiling coffee on the stoep / verander ....

My love of shabby chic started way back then as the house was 'comfortably worn' ...


So this is obviously something that they did at home & I suppose as he got older he clung to certain traditions because they reminded him of his heritage & he always had his tea or coffee really hot with a little milk then if comfortable, he would pour it into the saucer, gently blow it & then sip it with enjoyment.  I remember as a child sharing the coffee from the saucer but never the reason!

My late Mom also had her tea really hot with little milk but often blowing across the cup to cool it enough to drink ...

What strange traditions / ways do your family have? Had you heard of this one before?

Thanks for stopping by, your comments are always welcome!

Dee ~♥~

12 comments:

  1. Hi Dee! I don't know if it is for the same reason but in the village of my grandma, people serve coffee so hot that they say: "This coffee burns the eyelashes to the devil". And they blow

    Marina

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    1. What a lovely way to describe it Marina - the funny traditions that we know. I find them so interesting! Thanks for stopping by again ....

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  2. Here in central FL, my "pioneer" grandfather would eat "milk toast" for supper. The toast would have cinnamon and sugar on it before you place it in a bowl and pour milk on top~they were extremely poor. His 5 children worked all of their lives. We are blessed and live comfortably, reaping the benefits of their work ethic. Thanks for the thoughtful post on family traditions! I have started a few new ones with my children.

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    1. What a tribute to your ancestors Lynda - times were really hard then & we all enjoy so many blessings that they did not but I firmly believe that we should remain grounded in the values they had. Thanks for stopping by & for your support

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  3. I have never heard of this phrase - sounds marvelous. There's an old movie that this post reminded me of. I think, if you haven't seen it already, you'd like it and perhaps it would remind you of your family. It is called, 'I Remember Mama' starring Irene Dunne. Love it. I hope you have a blessed week,
    Kathy

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    1. The phrase is new to me too Kathy - I will keep an eye out for that movie on your recommendation. Have a blessed week too ...

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  4. Such a lovely story Dee and the photographs are beautiful. We need more of them and to share them with our children. Thanks darling!

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    1. Thanks my dear - the top photo is from an old postcard I have of a wagon on the way to Pretoria where Grandpa was born so it is the right time, the second photo is of his parents & that & one of my grandmothers father hung in my grandparents home, then the folks & they have been with me for the past 10 years - Paul describes them as 'severe' - he prefers grandma's father heheee whose oval photo can often be seen in photos of our dining-room ... keep well xx

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  5. My Mum used to pour her tea into saucer if she was thirsty and it was too hot to drink immediately. She was born and brought up in North Wales, so not sure if it's tradition there. Her Mum (my Grandma) was a lady's maid before she married, so it might have come from her, her birthplace was Melksham in Wiltshire. Hmm, must blog a bit of what I know of the family history!

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    1. Very interesting to know it is practised elsewhere Maggie - it makes it more normal ... I think we all have a duty to pass on our heritage so blog away so there is a record of your history. Thanks for stopping by ...

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  6. We have always said "saucered and blowed", but did not know the origin. And our family members also prefer liquids so hot they would catch on fire if it weren't a liquid. In fact, it is the DNA test for our family - we don't have to go on Maury :-)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Alf - amazing how many share this tradition. Like yourself, I still love my tea really hot but being a mug person, I don't have a saucer for it …. Please stop by again!

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