Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spring Tea Party

I work with a group of amazing women who have managed, despite our reluctance of mixing business with pleasure, to become friends. We all take turns hosting in our own style; one friend hosts a cookout every year, another hosts an appetizer extravaganza, yet another can't cook worth spit (her words) so she takes the whole gang out to dinner . . . Me, I just love the idea of sitting around cups of steaming tea, sharing finger food and catching up on each other's lives - talking about anything but the latest work craziness that occassionally has us snapping at each other from the stress . . . Besides, it's a great excuse to make cucumber sandwiches . . . I adore cucumber sandwiches . . .

So here was the menu: Egg salad daisies . . .

Rosebud cupcakes . . .

I wish I could say that I cooked all this food myself, but I had a little help from some delightful local vendors. The cupcakes were from Jewel, our local supermarket. When I mentioned to the lady at the bakery that I was having a tea party, she was so enthusiastic about their rosebud cupcakes, that I ordered them sight unseen. They were as delicious as they were pretty . . .

I got to play with my new dessert dishes (more on that later). The napkins were given to me 20 years ago by my godmother, and I used them for the first time at my son David's baptism.

Phyllo tartlets filled with lemon custard and topped with fresh berries . . . Herbed cucumber sandwiches on nutty wheat bread . . . Ham and cheese bites on rye bread . . . Fresh berries with clotted cream . . .

Strawberry Scones, Wild Blueberry Scones, Glazed Orange Scones and Shortbread Cookies . . . all from Panera Bread . . . and if you happen to go there around dinnertime to place your order, go ahead and have one of their Cuban Panini Sandwiches - not authentic but delicious just the same!

I first saw these dessert dishes at Macy's, they are part of the "Conservatory" pattern, in the Martha Stewart Collection for Wedgwood. Then I spotted them at HomeGoods for a third of the price, and, well . . . they were meant to be mine . . . There are six little birds hidden in the design of this plate. Can you spot them?

Here's one of them . . .

Here's another one . . .

Some leftover Baby's Breath that was just too pretty to discard got tucked in a vase . . .

And a little party favor to take home: An embroidered handkerchief . . .

Each was unique . . . just like the lovely ladies who took them home . . .

This is how they ended up being displayed . . . My Aunt Olga gave me this cake stand 18 years ago. I remember the look in my aunt's eyes, hoping that I liked her present, bought at a garage sale, the only thing she could afford to give me at the time . . . there was so much love in those eyes . . . Isn't it beautiful?

A huge thank you to my three boys: My husband, Lee, and my sons, John and David. They sliced bread, spread filling, brewed tea and helped me set up this lovely table . . . and then they thoughtfully took themselves off to do manly things so my friends and I could have the house all to ourselves . . . You guys truly are my cup of tea!

7 comments:

Nancy said...

WOW Maria, what a beautiful, lovely tea party you had. You sound like such a dear person; one that I would love to have as a friend!!! Your coharts that work with you are certainly lucky to be treated to such a wonderful day!!

Reds said...

That is one beautiful table!! Everything looks so good!! Your friends are so lucky!

Bobbi said...

This is too adorable. I love all the details you thought of, your friends are so lucky!

Samantha said...

Maria, that looks like it was a beautiful tea party, and your pictures are lovely!

Angela2932 said...

Maria, your coworkers were treated like royalty! Your employer should write your tea party into the company benefits package!The phyllo tartlets look incredible! And it all looks so beautiful together!

Barb said...

Maria, very elegant! It all looks very good and it is so nice that you can socialize with your co-workers.

Ryan said...

How did I miss this delicious post? Beautifully laid out and oh so yummy. And that cake plate - be.u.ti.ful! (BTW - this is Nicki and not Ryan, didn't realize my son was still logged in before I started to post my comment - too much info I know, but didn't want you to think ...Ryan,...who the heck is Ryan!)