Monday, January 21, 2008
Tea in the Snow
Now for those of you outside the South, you have to understand that we southerners have gotten to where we're a bit excited about mere raindrops these days. So to get some snow, and to get it twice in one week ... well, some of us are quite beside ourselves, to put it mildly. Some of us, also, were scheduled to have our first tea party of the year this weekend, and I am happy to report it went off quite splendidly. All three of the invitees made it over just fine on Sunday afternoon, and the tea met my two great requirements for a successful event: 1) There was lots of laughter all around and 2) all the food was edible, some of it even quite tasty.
First, the decor. Now you need to know that ever since I won a certain icy blue vintage tablecloth on eBay on July 4 last year, I have been planning to make it the centerpiece of a tea. The cloth is not quite large enough for my table, so I used it as a topper and was pleased with the results. I was also able to put into service a certain set of teacups and saucers I found for $1 each at an antique mall last year. At first I was bemoaning the fact I hadn't been looking for blue dishes, but the pink flowers on these teacups were a nice accent to the pink flowers on the teapots on the tablecloth. (Not that I obsess over such things.)
I was able to use a vintage blue basket I've had in my sewing room for a while, and also called up for service were these blue napkins (fashioned into bows courtesy of my napkin folding book) that were actually bought to match the striped upholstery on my deck furniture. The tea party favors were almost an afterthought, and -- NOTE: if you were at the tea, please don't read this next part -- quite inexpensive. Michaels has these pearl letters and icy blue notepads for $1 each, and tied together with blue ribbon, I thought the effect was nice.
I'll have more to say about the menu another day, but let me just mention that I managed to completely MASTER a certain shell-shaped French cookie/cake long revered in tea party circles. Yesssss! That's what I'm talking about! And the rest of the menu included: Raisin Mini Scones with Lemon Curd, Ham and Cheese Scones, Salmon Pinwheels, Cucumber Sandwiches, Chocolate Truffles, that certain shell-shaped French cookie/cake, and Cranberry/White Chocolate/Walnut Tea Bread. Our teas included a Czech Republic Pear blend, Chocolate Mint tea from Harney & Sons, and a Peach/Raspberry tea one of the guests found for us at Whole Foods.
Not surprisingly, I was so excited by the time my guests arrived that I forgot to take photos of the food-laden table. Happily, I did go a little camera nutty the day before with all the snow. Cold as it's been this weekend, my lady friends said they'd looked forward all day to getting over here and enjoying all those nice hot cups of tea. It makes me smile just to remember it!