To The Tune Of Tea Tuesdays ~ Virtual Teaparties

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Peculiar at How do we get there from here? has a lovely entry each week about tea. This week it has a Mr. Linky! It is a lovely writing challenge, admirably taken up by Jen. I love Jen's post because it is such a good example of how to write an answer, and gives courage to write about a virtual tea party. So I am going to think about this fictious tea party. The thinking exercise is great, because it really gets to the heart of what you think these days. As a Mum with a older family it is good to review things like that and have a good think, and practise writing. Thanks Jen and Peculiar for the encouragement.

First, tell if you would have a casual tea party or something fancy?
Would yours be a fresh, springy one outdoors like the picture at the top, or would it be an inside fancy set-up like the one above?
I will use (fresh, artificial, or combination flowers)...
I will require my guests to dress...
Children are/are not invited...I'm inviting (this many) people... (or, are we all invited?)
Would you send out invites, call by phone, or email?
My theme or goal for my party is...
I'm serving (this kind) of tea... and I'm using (loose leaf or bagged)...
I have decorated in this way...
I'm having (low tea or high), therefore the foods I'll serve will be...
I am/am not using edible flowers...
I will be serving other beverages, and they are...
Will you have a poetry reading or tea talk at your party?
I will use (casual, or oriental, or English, or other style) tea ware at my party...
I will give away...
My party will last...
And my answers are:

At first I didn't know what to write. Now I have a basic idea for my tea party so I will start there. My most favourite memories of tea and cake have a real Australian character. I especially liked the Old Time Dances and the suppers afterwards. One of the things there were mixed sandwiches. I haven't been to too many recent things like this, when I came here I wasn't quite old enough for the local CWA and I wasn't ready to join Red Cross. I know some sandwiches were egg.

I would have to have my favourite retro scones from my cooking classes at school. Ham scones, wholemeal date scones with butter.

I would have passionfruit icing on cakes. Here is a passionfruit pic. I remember going to the football and having a cake like that there once. My favourite of all supper was one I had in Minyip at a family reunion, book launch. I would have some patty cakes with tradional Australian decorations of Dollar Fives and cachous. I would have my Nana's sponge lillies. I would have Laura's Ma's vanity cakes just to try them. A cold drink would be raspberry vinegar mixed with ice.

So I will write up a menu and see how it looks as it is very one sided with my favourites atm.

My take home gift would be Australian preserves, that I haven't tasted myself, Lilipilli and Quandong preserves. I would have something made with wattleseed it in to try. I really need to buy one of these books as there is probably lots of wildcrafting opportunities going to waste.

I am going to visit as many of Set The Table, Tea Is On posts that I can to pick out things that I like. Here is another one. Also Tea Room Ventures and Venues.

While I was thinking about this post. A teaparty I had read about kept coming to mind. I have remembered it and found it online. It is chapter two of Earlene Fowler's Steps To The Altar. You can read chapter two if you click on the sample chapter and turn a couple of pages. Earlene is a mystery writer, her interviews are on YouTube.

I have decided on Lemon Tassies and Lavender Biscuits as I haven't tried them and I would like to. Tassie's are American not our most southern State in Australia, and lavender biscuits are probably cookies.

Lavender Biscuits

100g butter
100g sugar
1/2 - 1 tablespoons English lavender flowers
200g Self Raising flour
1 egg

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add lavender flowers and mix well. Add sieved flour.

Put teaspoons of mixture onto greased tray and bake in a preheated oven 190oC for 10-15 minutes.

From CWA cookbook 2003

I was at the hospital once and the older people were having these, so they must be suitable for everyone.

I would also like to try River Cottage Curd Tart.

I don't know a lot about low or high tea. I will go for low tea, though I am not sure how this relates to my party. My Grandma always said she had some connection to the Duchess of Bedford.

I will have cinnamon sticks and slices of lemon. I will have butter curls, cucumber sandwiches because I don't think I have tried them. Fresh flowers in a chrystal vase, preferably a retro one. While you are on that site, check out the plum pudding pin cushions. I will serve jelly cakes, can I have lots?

We could visit a garden in Marysville with camellias in flower or something like that. That would require a log fire and a nice misty view. Lots of treeferns and hopefully no wind. Is there such a thing? Maybe I could allow some children and make cambric tea, I wonder if it is OK and they like it? However, I think it would be autumn so we could have a herb theme. We could have lemon verbena amongst the flower arrangements, and lemon verbena used in some of the recipes. There would be chamomile tea available, and honey in a wild garden setting. I had such a tea in a garden in a casual setting when I was little. A self-sufficient garden would be nice.

So how to pull a typical Australian, plus hippy and old-fashioned country hotel style of tea together? I remember a hotel that I remember the butter curls from. It had a beautiful cottage or even 1920s style garden, wild, Edna Walling has come to mind twice. So maybe an open garden at a homestead, like Australian Country Style magazine of a few years ago. The hotel actually had a lemon verbena that is how I came to know the herb.

I wonder if such a hotel exists we could have it there, complete with weather ornament on the wall where if it is raining the rainy day man or lady comes out and the other one stays inside.

I have included elderflower cupcakes so I could see an elderflower.

So here is the original menu with all the other thoughts added in:


Ham Scones
Wholemeal Date Scones
Large cake with Passionfruit Icing
Patty Cakes with Pink Icing
Sponge Lillies
Ma' s Vanity Cakes
Mixed Sandwiches including Egg
Lavender Biscuits
Lemon Tassies
Curd Tart
Jelly Cakes
Pumpkin Scones
Wattleseed Lamingtons
Elderflower Cupcakes
Lemon Verbena Tea Bread
Raspberry Vinegar Cordial
Camomile Tea & Honey

So, after all that, since we will be in a garden, we will have baroque music. The theme Pioneering of the 19th Century. A prize for the best straw hat. So will be set in an 19th century garden, with English teaware, perhaps in a rotunda?

It is casual, with loose tea. It will be all afternoon, I think with special sourced paper or plastic plates and forks for the cakes, if there is such a thing. I will ask people what they wish to discuss for entertainment. So I guess mine is a garden party.



Peculiar said…
Why Linda!! You have completely outdone yourself!! This is PERFECT in literally every way--from your description of your party, to the imagery it invokes, to the pictures, to all of the LINKS!! You really did put thought into it!! And I love it when my participants out-do me. I get so much pleasure and so many ideas.

Thanks so much for playing along. This was so neat! I would absolutely love for my daughters and I to be guests at your party. I wish I now knew more about genuine Australian tea parties or tea-taking times. I'm assuming that most Australians drink black tea.

Glad we met via the internet or blogging. It's been a pleasure to read your comments.

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