My friend Cricket has been a friend for life, literally. We shared a playpen - that should give you an idea of how long we've been pals. We rode horses together in our early teens. We polished off the dregs of some liquor bottles together after her parents' cocktail party and so, were sick as dogs together in our later teens. We cruised Detroit's Woodward Avenue together in her Dad's Corvette flirting with boys. In short, it's one of those friendships that survive long absences as if we had never been apart. She is one of the storied Davenport clan that I frequently write about. It's a long, warm, family friendship.
Anyway, Cricket knows that I like duckies. For several years, I collected rubber duckies and had found over 100 different ones when I decided to donate most of the collection to our annual sale that supports Point Richmond's tiny live theater troupe. I still have a few, mostly ones that were gifts from friends during my Duckie Phase.
A few weeks ago, in the mail came a small package from Cricket. Intrigued and puzzled, I opened it to find this wonderful little tea ball. Under the duckie who floats in your cup hangs a fine mesh strainer for the tea leaves.
I have caught cold this week from my tutoring students, all of whom were hacking and sneezing as we read together last week.(However, they are all making progress - yay!) Feeling like crap and searching through the kitchen cupboards for a cup of tea, I found my little yellow duckie, just waiting to be called to action. I filled the strainer with some of the wonderful Mariage Frères tea I bought in Paris last time, boiled a mug of water, and put him to work. If having this silly duck floating in your mug doesn't cheer you up, you are more seriously ill than you thought. Call your doctor, although not Cricket, as she recently retired.
The second genius part of this little cutie is that, once your tea is brewed, you pluck him out to sit in his own blue cup that is scalloped at the top like wavelets and that catches the drips.
After a couple of cups of tea augmented by the cheerful little duck, I was feeling well enough to research where to buy them for certain favorite people I know. Just Google "duckie tea infuser" and you'll see lots of choices. Don't forget to order one for yourself, too. Especially if you feel a cold coming on.