Last week I hosted a tea for my garden club. It was my first time hosting this event. In addition to eating a variety of attractive food we also played my Tea Party Trivia Game.
A member of my club volunteered to make the gorgeous arrangements that were on the beverage and food tables.
I wanted to use tea cups and saucers. I had 12 from my great-grandmother’s set. I borrowed 11 from my mother-in-law. I borrowed the silver tea service from my mom. This was my first time using a tea service. Before the party I Googled how to use it. Basically you need to figure out what will work for you. In my case because of the number of guests, I used a separate carafe for coffee. I used both of the silver tea pots for tea. I think that it is poor because I was the party host but I ended up not pouring the tea. I became busy with something and a guest poured for me. If I host this party again next year, I will need to make sure I take on the task of pouring the tea.
I served Twinings English Afternoon Tea and had a basket with assorted tea and herbal tea. I had lemon slices, sugar dots, half and half, and milk on the table.
I wanted to decorate sugar cubes but when I attempted it I did not have enough time. The first time the icing was too runny and when I adjusted the icing it was too firm. Maybe if I host again next year I will decorate sugar cubes. One of my issues with not doing it too far in advance was that I did not want to use royal icing and was concerned about using a different icing too far in advance.
I added different combinations but mostly made cherry tomato, fresh mozzeralla and basil leaf skewers. I added black olives to some skewers. I kept it plain and did not add olive oil or salt.
I had planned to use this recipe for the Flower Crisps and to save time fill them with store bought Red Pepper Hummus. I basically followed this plan but I had issues with the Flower Crisps. I could not find the egg roll wrappers in my store and did not have time to go 30 minutes away to a store that had them. I had some gyoza (dumpling) skins in my freezer and used those instead. But because they were smaller, I could not use the correct size cookie cutter and follow the directions exactly. I tried making them slightly smaller and they looked bad. So I ended up making them much smaller and put them inside the muffin tin instead of around the cups on an inverted tin. They did not look as beautiful as in the original recipe and it did bother me a little but I think that my party guests thought they looked cute.
My mom made this chocolate roll cake for me. We used a vanilla buttercream because even though I love cream cheese frosting I was concerned that it does not have universal appeal. I made the chocolate covered strawberries as a garnish.
I used Pepperidge Farm Very Thin white bread to make these open-faced tea sandwiches. I cut the slices with a flower shaped cookie cutter. For the radish sandwiches I spread softened butter on the bread, added some freshly ground pepper and then thinly sliced radish (I used my mandoline slicer). For the cucumber sandwiches I added dill and a splash of lemon juice to softened 1/3 less Fat Cream Cheese. I spread some of the cream cheese mixture on the flower shaped bread, then added some thinly sliced cucumber (cut with my mandoline slicer).
I made scones from the recipes in the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. I love the recipes because they can be made in advance and then frozen. I baked them a few hours before the party. I made Oat and Dried Apricot, Cranberry (used dried cranberries in place of currents), and Blueberry (used dried blueberries in place of currents) scones. I cut the scones smaller than the recipes indicated. Alongside the scones I served homemade strawberry jam, apricot jam, and whipped cream.
This photo shows the Fruit Salad. I just mixed together cut watermelon, pineapple, and red grapes. Not shown in this photo (behind the scones) is a bowl of mints.
I used Wilton paper cups to serve individual portions of mixed nuts.
This view of the food table shows the invitation to this tea party.
I enjoyed putting on this tea. If I host again next year there are some things I would do different but I think that my guests had a wonderful time.