I’ve finally found them! I sorted through a dozen or so boxes with the word ‘Kitchen’ scrawled across the side and in ‘Kitchen Bits Misc’ I found our two Mucky Mugs along with a butter dish, a couple of colanders, a fruit bowl, two huge cappuccino cups and my baking items – icing bags and nozzles, bun cases, biscuit cutters and a rock solid slab of black fondant icing (best check the ‘use by’ date on that one). I think ‘Kitchen Bits Misc’ perfectly sums up that atrocity of a packed box (although everything was, of course, bubble wrapped!) And the funny thing is I was actually looking for my icing bits and not the Mucky Mugs. Long story short it involved friends for lunch, a Nigella Italian banana bread recipe, with a last minute swap for a muffin tin rather than a loaf tin and a crazy idea to pipe ‘mascarpone’ on top instead of the usual buttercream flourish … ooh and a dusting of cinnamon – yum! But with the Mucky Mugs unearthed at the same time, and the banana and ‘mascarpone’ cupcakes now all gone, it was time to put them to good use.
Whenever we’ve had outside ‘jobs’ to do, be it gardening, building houses or even just hanging around on a cold morning waiting for a delivery driver from a builders’ merchant to make a hash of reversing into our driveway, we’ve usually got a cup of tea on the go. In fact it’s only really since we’ve stopped building, and probably a lot to do with a move to Italy – land of ‘espresso’, ‘cappucino’ and the odd americano (I’m guilty of that last one) – that we’re now major coffee drinkers. But outside work to us is still only possible with a cup of tea in hand so the Mucky Mugs were a welcome find. Seriously, those of you who know me, do you think I’d let our ‘best crockery’ outside? (Although in the caravan its more of a numbers game in that we’ve only got two mugs and if one got broken I’d no longer have a matching set!)
Over the years our tastes in the various ‘bagged teas’ have changed. I think we both started as Yorkshire Tea fans, obviously, and may have wandered into the realms of fruit teas briefly (they always smell really nice but only ever taste of boiled water, whatever the flavour) but we both now have our favourites – and they’re not your typical ‘Builders’ Brew’. Marcus is a Rooibos ‘Tick Tock’ man – not too strong with just a splash of milk whereas I’m a Lapsang Souchong girl – stewed (I think the length of time I leave my teabag in, we’re way past using the word brewed) within an inch of its life and definitely no milk. They are our thirst quenchers when it’s hot, our hand warmers when it’s cold and our reason to stop and take a look at where we are for five minutes – and if there’s a banana and mascarpone cupcake to go with it – those five minutes can be pretty good!