For Americans afternoon tea isn’t an everyday thing. We consider it a special event, a celebration. Each year during the Christmas holidays I invite four woman to take time for themselves. It is never the same group of women. I also ask one of the ladies to invite someone they know who has had a tough year or just needs some ‘me’ time to join us. This lady I’ve never met until they enter my home. I get to make a new friend and that person gets to have a soothing afternoon way from their worries. It is a win-win for us both.
I pull out my silver, fine china and best table cloth for the occasion. The event also deserves pressed cloth napkins. The table is glorious in its finery and the ladies smiling as we sit down to enjoy our hot tea and warm conversation.
There is no better way to rejoice in life then a restful time spent with friends. Serving tea makes me feel I’m do something nice for others when I’m really the person receiving the gift.
Below is my standard menu but I do substitute new recipes when I find them. Check out the recipe of Shrimp Croustades. I serve them at every afternoon tea. You won’t be disappointed.
The Perfect Tea Menu
Apple Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Lemon Butter Cookies
Glazed Kiwi Tartlets Chocolate Lemon Creams
Cream Cheese Scones
Lemon Curd, Clotted Cream, Jam
Tea, Sugar Cubes, Cream
36(½ inch-thick) sourdough bread slices
¼ cup olive oil
4 ½ cups water
1½ pounds unpeeled, small fresh shrimp
1 cup mayonnaise
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
Cut bread slices with a 2½ inch round cutter; flatten circles with a rolling pin. Brush both sides of circles evenly with olive oil and press into baking cups of miniature muffin pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp; cool and serve. Makes 36
A couple of years ago I compiled my tea recipes in to a book that I share with family and friends so they might enjoy afternoon tea.
This post is an entry in the Whittard of Chelsea Afternoon Tea Blogger Carnival
Return for Tuesday Tea each week where I will be sharing recipes, stories of where I’ve experienced tea and other tea news.