Tea Time: A Popular Tradition

Tea Time: A Popular Tradition
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Of all the “Country Kitchen” columns I’ve written over the years, those about tea, tea time, tea recipes, tea traditions and tea implements have drawn the most consistent interest from readers. There seems to be something about this beverage and its traditions that fascinate people and establish memories.
Due to this interest and questions I receiveÂ…often asking for suggestions about various types of tea parties and what to serve, IÂ’ve decided to establish a blog (web site) where IÂ’ll post information and answer readersÂ’ questions. YouÂ’ll find it at: http://tea-time-notes.blogspot.com.

Variety of Tea Parties

You may be interested in some of the tea party ideas readers have shared with me or asked about.

Tea Cup Display – One reader said her club hosted a tea and invited an authority to speak about tea cup collecting. They also could bring a favorite tea cup, relate its story, and ask her opinion on it. Then they served tea using these cups.

Tea Sampling – Another reader told me when she and friends meet, they try different teas and are discovering just how many there are. They’re looking into foods served with tea in various countries.

Beach Tea Party – A program director for a women’s organization e-mailed me about her dilemma. She was planning a party with a beach theme. The president of the organization wanted a tea party. What should she do?

I suggested they decorate the room with a beach theme. Then serve different types of teas, both hot and iced. If members had decorative tea cups and iced tea glasses, they could bring them and share any stories connected with them. Then plan refreshments one would serve in summertime. She said this worked out very well and everyone had fun.

ChildrenÂ’s Tea Parties - Frequently tea parties are organized for youngsters, possibly at a library or museum. Sometimes the coordinators even provide old-fashioned clothing for the youngsters to wear for a Victorian type tea party.

Birthday Tea Party – Recreating a tea party for a birthday party can be fun for girls of all ages. Tie it in with a theme or a book they’re reading, movie, or TV show for added interest. It can be an old-fashioned theme or more modern one.

Nursing Home Tea Party – My grandchildren and I enjoyed tea parties with my mom when she was in the nursing home with Alzheimer’s. Tea had become my mom’s favorite beverage and a tradition in our family. We carried this on during our visits, making tea in the microwave at the nurse’s station or bringing it from a nearby fast food restaurant. These parties still endure in my grandchildren’s memories.

Also, old-fashioned tea parties for residents and their families could be on the agenda for an occasional activity or monthly event.

Tea Party Recipe

The foods at tea parties will vary depending on the event.

Try some HERMITS, an old-fashioned recipe my mother-in-law enjoyed. Cover 2 cups raisins with cold water and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Cream 1/2 cup margarine with 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add 2 eggs, one at a time and stir.

Sift together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture and blend well. Stir in raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

(c)2006 Mary Emma Allen


About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes

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