What are tea towels for? This is a question I get asked often.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a tea towel as "a cloth for drying dishes." Often made of linen, cloth, or a combination of the two, tea towels date back to England in the 18th century, when they were used to insulate tea pots at tea ceremonies (hence the name), dry fine china, and cover baked goods…
Here is my 3 tips on how I use my tea towels (and it is not to dry the fine china with!):
1. Wrap some baked goods in it: This is a good idea I got from my mom. Whenever she wanted to give the neighbours or her friends something out of the kitchen (you know, those it's-not-a-specific-occasion-gift), she would grab one of her tea towels and give it a "wrapping paper" use for the freshly baked bread, muffins or cookies. And voila, two gifts in one!
2. Let it hang, because it's so beautiful! Sometimes you don't have to be practical with it. Just let it be pretty. You will be amazed at how lovely a colourful tea towel can make a dull corner in your kitchen. Never underestimate the value of a beautiful tea towel. I have several that hang in the kitchen (one next to the fridge, one over the handle of the oven and one next to the kitchen sink).
3. It brings in the ahhh and ooohhhs in a table setting: My tea towels are a bit smaller (45cm x 70cm) than the regular towel and therefore easy to fold up neatly and set the table with it. Put it in the plate, next to the plate, under a plate. Really, anywhere one will notice it. And believe me, people will notice! Fold it open and use it on your lap... the perfect napkin!