My friends Amy and Angie and I share a love of writing, and each other. We've met semi-regularly for a couple of years now, and I'd been wanting to have them over to the house. Just in time to mark the end of summer, they and Angie's precious girls, Olivia and Isabel, came over for tea last week! From left are Olivia, Isabel, Angie and Amy.
Choosing the teawares and menu is half the fun of preparing for any tea, and I decided to use my pink Tea Room pattern glassware and mix and match some cups, saucers and plates as well. I didn't want it to be too "flowery" since summer was, after all, on the way out. This soft, faded pink palette seemed just right to me!
For the girls, I pulled out some paper teawares I found at a party supply store in Wisconsin last fall. Perfect!
The menu started with Cinnamon-Pecan Scones, served with honey butter.
For our tea sandwiches, we had Waldorf Chicken Salad on mini-croissants and Cucumber Sandwiches cut into teapot shapes. (I should mention that I followed the wonderful advice of Marilyn, who has revolutionized my tea-giving with her very sensible advice to cut out your fancy bread shapes from frozen bread the night before. No more frantic bread cutting 10 minutes before showtime!)
And here are the Harvest Apple Tea Sandwiches, consisting of Pepperidge Farm's Swirl Bread, peanut butter, and slices of Granny Smith apples.
Some of the edges are spread with peanut butter and dipped in pecans.
Last year I loved Pepperidge Farm's Pumpkin Swirl and Cranberry Swirl breads, but last week I came across Caramel Apple, the best one so far!
Here are Olivia and Isabel drinking apple juice out of their little plastic teacups. The grownups had Whittard of Chelsea's Breakfast Earl Grey and the Caramel Apple tea from Zhena's Gypsy Tea. Amy said she never thought she cared for Earl Grey before but she loved this one. Nice!
For our sweets, we had Lemon Madeleines and ...
... Peanut Butter Blondies. Pretty much everything but the scones was made in advance, so this was a real no-pressure assembly the morning of the tea.
Afterwards we went outside because Angie and Amy were interested in seeing all the bamboo I'd told them was growing near our creek. I got a kick out of watching the girls shake the giant bamboo stalks to see if any pandas would appear. Angie told me they were still talking pandas later that night! And after the girls wore themselves out watering my plants, sweet Olivia came in and just made herself right at home, which horrified her mother but thoroughly amused me. I hope the girls (the little ones and big ones) always feel this relaxed at teatime!