What fun, for today’s first. Seven members of my family joined me for afternoon tea, which in my book, constitutes a party! Due to the heat and humidity this afternoon, rather than meet in the garden, I took the party to my mom’s house, where she and my stepdad, my sister Debbie, my niece Ashley, her husband Jon, and their two sons, Ethan and Kaleb, gathered around the dining room table for a formal high tea.
This is what afternoon tea is all about, taking time out of the day to gather, visit, take refreshment and sip tea. The three year old, Kaleb, met me as I came into the house, showing me a treat his mom had bought him at the store. “For the tea party,” he said. The children pulled up chairs and joined us. They didn’t have the hot tea but they enjoyed the rest of the refreshments.
For this tea, and sharing it for the first time with members of my family, I wanted the experience to be as authentic as I could make it, based on my afternoon teas in Scotland. I got to set up and use the three tier server that I purchased yesterday. The scones went on the middle tier, and strawberry jam and butter were nearby to accompany this treat. My mom helped me make finger sandwiches….thinly sliced ham or turkey with Swiss cheese and cream cheese, cucumber and fresh tomato. These occupied the lower tier at the base of the stand. On the top tier my niece Ashley arranged Walker’s shortbread cookies, brownie bites with cream cheese and raspberry preserves and red velvet mini cupcakes.
Debbie and Ashley helped me to prepare the tea. We fixed a pot of Heather Tea and individual cups of Highland Blend Tea. A small ceramic container of milk, tea cups and saucers, teaspoons, small plates, and knives for the butter and jam were all placed on the table, and we were ready. I was “mother” and poured the tea, for those of us savoring the Heather Tea and our afternoon tea party was launched.
This was an incredibly meaningful afternoon. I so enjoyed sharing tea with these seven dear family members. None had had hot Scottish tea with milk in it before. The scones were a hit, as were the cream cheese, cucumber, and tomato sandwiches. Ethan, who is nine, asked questions as he sampled the food. Kaleb sat by me. It was cozy. It was delightful. It was fun. I loved it.
I am blessed with more family members, and wonderful friends. I look forward to sharing this beautiful ritual with many others. I believe I’ll be ordering more Scottish tea soon!