Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tea Party or Jury Duty?

What do you do when you have planned on having a tea party on a particular date, and your tea group is depending on that date, and then you get summoned for jury duty that week? That was the dilemma I was faced with. I didn't want to change the date for the tea party because it's so hard for everyone to change dates. These people are so busy! I also didn't want to go ahead and prepare all the food and then be called to report for jury duty. Usually, when one is called, you can just call in the night before and they tell you that you do not have to attend the next day. So, I have decided to take a chance, and send out the invitations as planned. Instead of preparing all the food, I am asking each lady to bring a tea lunch for one in a pretty decorated box, like a hat box or something. Then we'll draw numbers for the boxes, and everyone will get a surprise lunch and a pretty box to take home. I will furnish tea and a dessert. If it does turn out that I have to go to court that day, a dear friend has volunteered to host the party in her home instead of mine, and I'll send the dessert over to her. I was still planning on table decorations and favors, and looking for things in the stores. While rummaging through a closet looking for something completely unrelated I came across a big bag from "Body and Bath." Inside were 8 lovely scented candles and pretty holders that I had bought while on vacation in Arizona. They were on sale and I thought at the time that they'd make great table favors for a tea party sometime. So, on with the tea party!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scones come in so many different types. Some are like a cookie, some like a muffin, some are more cakelike. A scone can be crunchy or not. Dry or moist. But whatever they are, I've never met a scone I didn't like. Of course, lemon curd and Devonshire cream go a long way in dressing up a bland, dry scone. The verdict is still out on when a scone should be served. Some insist it comes before the tea sandwich, and there's those that serve it last, more like a dessert. Personally, I'm happy with just tea and scones. I have read conflicting views from reliable sources on when a scone should be served. Most of the hostessess of tea parties I attend serve the scone first. I'm thinking of offering a scone recipe every month, either on the blog, or sending it out to everyone on my newsletter list. Perhaps start a sign up list for those who want the recipes? Please let me know what you think. Do you have a favorite scone recipe you'd like to share? I asked a friend who came from England for her best scone recipe. She thought a minute, and then said, "Do you ever bake with Bisquick?" Here's the recipe she gave me: 2 cups Bisquick 1/2 cup chocolate chips or dried cranberries 1/3 cup whipping cream 3 Tablespoons sugar 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla (omit if using cranberries) Mix all together. On floured surface, pat into circle and cut into triangles OR drop from spoon onto greased baking sheet. Bake 425 for 10-12 minutes. 400 for drop scones.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tea Party Napkin Etiquette

You're at a tea party and one of the first things you see is the lovely linen napkin placed beside your plate. It's almost too pretty to use. As you take your seat you wonder if there are any etiquette rules you are supposed to follow.
So glad you asked! You did ask, didn't you?
The first thing to do is keep an eye on your hostess. You should not pick up your napkin until she does. When she places her napkin on her lap, you can unfold your napkin under the table and place it on your lap. If it is a large napkin, leave it folded in half and place it on your lap with the fold facing you. If it is a smaller napkin, o0pen it all the way.
Once the napkin is placed on your lap, it should never go back on the table unltill you are ready to leave the table, at the end of the meal.
If you need to use your napkin, just dab the corners of your mouth with it. Do not blot your lips, leaving an ugly sipstick stain.
If you need to leave the table for a short period, but plan on returning, place the napkin on the seat of your chair. At the end of the party, when you are ready to leave, fold the napkin, loosely, and place it to the left of your plate. Again, follow your hostess. If she finishes before you, and places her napkin on the table, you should do the same. Follow her lead, even if you have not finished eating.
Most tea parties are not so formal that you need to worry about the "Napkin Police" coming to arrest you, but it's nice to know the right thing to do.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tea for what ails you

I usually don't catch colds or flu, but this year it seems they have caught me. I have a scratchy throat, and my voice sounds more like a fog horn than a human voice. I don't have fever or chills or aches, just not much energy.
So, I am drinking tea with lemon and honey, lots and lots of tea. Stash Tea makes a very nice blend of peach and ginger tea and also lemon and ginger and I've been drinking alot of those. Ginger is supposed to be beneficial for sore throats.
Hope you all keep drinking your tea, it really does help ward off colds and flu. I'm sure the amount of tea I drink on a daily basis has helped me stay well in the past and is probably why I only have a slight case of whatever this is now.
I am planning on attending a tea luncheon at a tea house in Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, so I must be 100% by then!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tea and Hospitality

Did you ever notice that the word "Hospitality" ends with the sound of the word "tea?" A coincidence? I think not.
There's just something so friendly and comforting about sharing a cup of tea with a friend. Tea can't be rushed, for one thing. You have to bring the water to a boil and then wait for the tea to steep a few minutes. That gives one enough time to fill a plate with cookies or cake and make your guest feel welcome.
The day's happenings then are shared as you relax, unwind and enjoy sharing a cup of tea with a friend.
I like to keep some scones in the freezer so I can invite someone for tea on the spur of the moment.

Friday, January 6, 2012

How to Eat a Scone

Scones. I love them! Scones come in different sizes and shapes. Some are like biscuits, some more like cookies and some have a more cake like textures. I love them all!
To add to the enjoyment of eating these delicious treats, one adds lemon curd, jam, and/or Devonshire Cream to them. But just what is the proper way togo about eating a scone? Here's a short lesson, Scone Eating 101.

Just remember that scones are finger food. They are not to be eaten with a fork. The correct way to eat a scone is to break it apart. Never cut a scone in half with a knife, always break it. The lemon curd, preserves and cream should be placed to one side of your plate. Then add a little dab to the corner of the scone as you take a bite. It is not correct to spread each side with your knife. Just dab and enjoy each bite. Mmmm.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January - Hot Tea Month

January is a time for new beginnings, new dreams and new resolutions or goals. For many of us, taking better care of our health was at the top of the list. January is also national Hot Tea Month, and tea is a very fitting way to begin striving for a year of good health.
There are detox teas, teas that aid in digestion, and teas that are high in antioxidents and vitamin C.
Celebrate National Hot Tea Month by trying some new teas. Visit a tea shop and invest in at least one high quality tea that you've not tried before. You may be surprised at the difference in flavor between loose leaf tea and teabags.
Add a dash of lemon to your tea for a nice citrusy taste. I like to add a sprinkle of cinammon to my green tea.
To get the most health benefits from tea, drink at least 4 cups of tea a day.