Aragorn: Gentlemen, we do not stop ’til nightfall.
Pippin: What about breakfast?
Aragorn: You’ve already had it.
Pippin: We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?
[Aragorn turns and walks away]
Merry: I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?
Merry: I wouldn’t count on it.
~The Fellowship of the Ring
I’m a Harry Potter girl, for sure, but I have read all the Lord of the Rings books and I’m quite fond of the hobbits and the Shire. Since I claim hobbit-ness as one of my characteristics, it should make a little bit of sense!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this scene (or are having trouble placing it), Merry and Pippin are two hobbit friends of Frodo’s who join him on his adventure to destroy the Ring. Aragorn (who at this point in the story is usually called Strider) is a human who agreed to be their guide. Merry and Pippin aren’t quite yet…adjusted…to the rigors of travel, and Aragorn is, perhaps, lacking a bit of patience for them.
Many people joke about second breakfast and elevenses, but as I begin teaching again I’m finding that snacks are an integral part of my routine. I eat breakfast around 5:45am, so by the time 9:30 roles around, I’m hungry again. Time for second breakfast! I snack again around eleven, and then eat lunch at 12:35. Afternoon tea is yet another snack at 3:00 when school lets out, and then I eat dinner when I get home (any time between five and seven). Out of all of those mealtimes Pippin listed, I only miss one!
I don’t remember snacking this much when I was in high school – perhaps I ate larger lunches and dinners – but I can’t function if I don’t snack now. I pack fruit, nuts, granola bars, chocolate, carrots and hummus, crackers…anything is fair game.
One of my colleagues has a planning period during my sixth block, when I sneak into my back office and grab a handful of something. He laughs at me and tells me he could set a clock by my snacking. But the days when I miss my snacks, I really do find myself getting cranky.
The other integral thing I imbibe is tea. I like any kind of tea with one glaring exception: hibiscus teas. Mom used to make the Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger when I was sick, and I have never ever liked it.
The first tea I ever did like was also a Celestial Seasonings tea; their Tension Tamer. I always have a box of this around for when I get a sore throat or want something in the evening. My senior year of high school I got on a kick with green tea, and my sophomore year of college I added black teas to my repertoire. Now I seem to go through phases; last fall I drank Good Earth’s Sweet and Spicy tea almost exclusively, and last spring I possibly drank more jasmine green tea than water. This fall I’ve cycled back to Twining’s Lady Grey tea, although I’m also very much in love with a lavender chamomile I’ve discovered.
I got spoiled my sophomore year of college, when my roommate worked at Celestial Seasonings. She would bring home two to four boxes of tea a week and we would try all sorts of different things. We almost always had iced tea in the fridge! Even now, I have six different kinds of tea at home and three at school, for whatever tea moment I might be having.
I’m extra fortunate because Marilyn, whose house I live in, also has a major love affair with tea. She travels to India on a regular basis and knows more about Darjeeling and Assam and tea grades than I ever thought it was possible to know. I’ve learned that Assam is a lowland tea with a stronger flavor, while Darjeeling grows at higher elevation and has a milder flavor. As for the grades of tea, the names are absolutely hilarious and you can check them out on Wikipedia.
I like tea because of the wide range of flavors, and because it’s warm, but I also like the ritual of making tea. Different teas steep for different amounts of time, and hearing water is a process that simply cannot be rushed. It forces me to slow down in the craziness that are my days.
Your homework: How do you replenish throughout the day? What’s your favorite snack?