Monday, January 20, 2020

Cousins, cookies, cupcakes, and Callaway

For about the sixth year in a row, Alex and I joined the McRae side of the family for their annual "cousins reunion" at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Everyone pitches in and brings something for the meal or dessert, and this year, I was asked to help with a light "welcome tea" consisting of simply tea and cookies. I said to count me in, especially when reunion-organizer whiz Berta said she would provide the china teacups and sterling teaspoons, so I just needed to provide the actual tea and a couple of  teapots.

Berta (shown here wearing her McRae plaid skirt) had the much harder job, yet when I got there, she gave me a gift she'd picked up for me in London, some tea from my favorite department store in the world, Fortnum & Mason. How awesome was that! And it was some of their delicious Royal Blend Tea. I told her I even love their bags, and she smiled and said, "I know." Ha!

Two of the younger generation, sisters Sophie and KK, always look forward to the simple tea, and I am quite happy to assist in their love of teatime.

Here, I'm pouring some Orange Creamsicle tea, one of the varieties I suspected (accurately) would be a crowd favorite.

One of the cousins who is a, well, magnificent baker make some lavish chocolate chip cookies with flakes of some exotic type of sea salt on top. They were wonderful! I had offered to make my trusty brown sugar shortbread cookies in the shape of teapots, and they all disappeared too.

My other contribution was to make chocolate cupcakes for dessert following the Saturday evening barbecue dinner. I've made these so many times that I'm quite comfortable whipping these up, and this time, I even liked the way my icing looked. I started using the "1M" size Wilton tip, and by holding it vertically and piping one big swirl from the inside out, I got that "rose" look I was going for. Best of all, the entire batch of 30 cupcakes got eaten, so I didn't have to bring any home with me. It's become a delightful custom to meet up with my husband's cousins from all over the country each January, and I'm so glad we were able to join them again this year. (And since I was busy pouring tea and forgot to get photos, I'm also grateful that my sweet stepdaughter, Heather, took most of these photos and shared them with me!)


  1. Pretty china teacups. How nice to include tea in your family reunion, and your cookies are darling. I'm so impressed with the cupcakes, they are totally professional! And your Harrod's gift is perfect, of course.

  2. That sounds like such a nice family event! Everything looks so pretty. And your cupcakes are simply gorgeous!

  3. Everything looks so pretty. Glad you had a nice time.

  4. What a lovely tradition. Your cupcakes and the teapot cookies both look wonderful. How fun to be acknowledged as the one to bring tea (tea lady) in the family. Now even to be brought a tea gift from Fortnum and Mason is a real treat for sure.


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