Most Popular Post

Friday, 6 May 2016

The Mug Up

My grandfather, Samuel Pretty was an unusual man of his generation though he was orphaned and widowed at an early age which was not unusual.

 

Pop, as we called him, worked as an engineer on the railway and was away from home for days at a time. While he had a housekeeper after he was widowed, he became the chief cook at home in his later years. Pop was a good cook due to his life on the railway and made tasty, rustic meals while many men of his generation could not boil water.

 

My grandfather loved his mug up, a refreshment between meals or before bedtime. To Pop, this mug up was an important part of his daily life which never included coffee or a mug but rather tea, cup and saucer. He often had biscuits, toast, cookies or cake with his tea as well.

Pop was never one to waste anything, which was a testament to the difficult times he experienced as a child. He always had the tea bags which provided two cups and saved the bag from his previous cup of tea for the next mug up. This tea bag he placed in the middle of the saucer and inverted the cup over the bag so as to protect or hide it. Sometimes several bags were revealed when he lifted the cup though guests always received a clean cup and saucer and a new tea bag. 

Today, many people have taken up the fancy coffee or tea trends for their mug ups. Even Canadian favourite, Tim Horton's, has taken to the fancy coffee blends in addition to the basic double double, two cream/two sugar. Coffee shops, offering the fanciest brews imaginable, with costs between $4.00 and $7.00 each, abound.

 

However, I can't look at one of those fancy drinks without thinking of Pop and that overturned cup, the multiple tea bags, and the pleasure he derived from a mug up, for pennies a cup. 


16 comments:

  1. What a lovely portrait of a different era, and the fine tradition of a "mug up," something I never heard before. Must be a Canadian phrase. I know Tim Horton's, of course, since I live close to the border and have been to several in Vancouver. I have a cup of tea in the morning but fancy latte at the coffee shop to really start my day. I sure enjoyed this post, Marie. Thanks for introducing me to Pop. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mug up is a Newfoundland phrase. Pop was a special character.

      Delete
  2. He looks a competent and contented man. The fishermen in the south west used to keep a pot of tea going the whole trip, only adding tea and water but never emptying it unless in port.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great infirmation about the fishermen's tea. Thanks for sharing.

      Pop was contented. He loved his job.

      Delete
  3. Tea will always cure what ails ya!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'll bet your grandfather's mug up was far more rewarding than a $5+ cup at Starbucks. Although there's usually a cup of coffee in my morning, I'll have up to two cups of chai at some point during the day, and I'll reuse the teabag for the second cup too. That's where it ends though. I loved the details and images in your post. Just wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all have our tea or coffee rituals it seems. Thank you for dropping by!

      Delete
  5. Lovely post and different too as here in the US most are reflecting on their Moms. My grandpa (P) was a railroad engineer with the Chicago and Northwestern RR. He lost his Mom about the time he left home in 1900, and lost his wife to ALS some thirty years before he died, so he had to 'make do' also. He was a wonderful grandfather and thank you for this post, You spurred me to remember him today.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So many of our ancestors had tough times but persevered. We were lucky to have grandfathers like these.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting. I never heard the term "mug up" either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a Newfoundland term, listed in The Dictionary Of Newfoundland English

      Delete
  8. I always enjoy reading about your ancestors, "mug up" is a new one on me too! Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many of my ancestors are from your part of England. Thank you for visitng!

      Delete
  9. Sue is a tea granny. I tolerate it at lunch. Love my morning coffee but only one -- good size mug though.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Either brew is good here. Coffee in the a.m. though.

    ReplyDelete