It used to be an annual tradition, getting our tea leaves read. My mother, my sister, and I would take a scenic drive through the country from my parents’ house in Rusticoville, past the kids gleefully throwing themselves off of Stanley Bridge, past the gleaming white and green historical kitsch of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s birthplace in New London, to Long River Road. To The Kitchen Witch.
The cracked white paint job of the refurbished 19th-century schoolhouse turned into a homey restaurant and gift shop, has been a familiar sight for almost as long as I can remember at this point. I was always happy to scramble through the gravel parking lot, up the rickety steps and into the old fashioned dining room, eager to see what banalities my future would hold. Homemade soups and sandwiches, like the classic open-face ham and Swiss with a ring of sweet pineapple, set the scene for a whole lot of tea drinking. Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey were our standards back then; there weren’t as many exotic and floral options available to us in rural PEI. So we’d sip our steaming cups and then hope for the best.