Sunday, June 19, 2016

An English Summer Tea Party: Part 2


Years after my sister mailed me an unexpected mangled box of bunting, I finally opened it, hanging up its Union Jacks under the stifling hot sunshine that afternoon. As some of our guests had never visited before, the bunting not only helped invite them in to our English Tea, it served as a perfect backdrop for easily spotting us from the road as well.

Any time we host such gatherings, adorning our place and the food just so is always made that much more worthwhile when thinking on just how much we'd love to be the guest on such a special occasion! After all, as in this case, it's not every day (especially in Colorado) one has the chance to nibble cold cucumber sandwiches, sample perfectly home-made scones with Farmer's Market rhuberry (strawberry and rhubarb) jam, or tuck into that divine berry-centred, creamy mascarpone layered Whole Foods Chantilly cake — all washed down, of course, with pots of English black tea or jars of cold pink lemonade for those preferring something rather more chilled.

Whilst Alexandra made the scones, I tasked myself with braving my fear of heights, stepping atop a chair and reaching high to pin up that bunting whilst squinting against the radiant sunshine glare. Already having been outside far too long for my liking, sweeping our small porch out from dusty sticky pollen and pine, I found myself deliriously humming that diddly, Mad Dogs and Englishmen (go out in the mid-day sun)! Afterwards, a shower was certainly in order. (Tell me again, just why do people actually enjoy blazing hot summers?!)

Not to be deterred, however, revived once again and buoyed with freshness, I bounded down the stairs, ready to tackle my next task: the making of our cornerstone offering. Not any cucumber sandwiches, mind you. No, these had to be deliciously crisp, lightly salted, and offered with enough variety that there would be something on hand for anyone's palette (well, all but the gluten-intolerant among us, I suppose). Firstly, there's the choice between a hearty whole wheat bread, seeded for extra nutritional crunch, or a softer white for more of the traditional flare. Different plates were also offered for those who preferred an American style cream cheese spread vs. the classic English buttered kind. While most of the finger sandwiches had thin slices of cheese and tomato inside, some were loaded with sprouts and others not, noted by having no cucumber slice on top.

Further adding to our array, one of our friends bought along wonderfully made salmon yogurt filled sandwiches. How inventive. I should have known. After all, this was the same couple who flashed a little creative flourish when choosing to label their drinks with Fifi and Rock! Turns out, they use these names every now and then when making reservations. How fun! Talk about making an instant impression. :)

Those few hours passed by all too quickly, enjoying a room filled with laughter, good stories, and the company of an eclectic group of individuals, most of them fairly new friends. While a few never showed up, it was lovely having the opportunity to invite over a handful of neighbours. Good times. Getting to know your neighbours is always a good thing too, even if moving in just six weeks!

With that said, it's going to be hard not seeing the "kids" for a while but I'm thankful knowing that they've not only grown up into responsible, fairly mature adults, they have each other, allowing me to step away for a while to take care of my mother who's reaching the end of her own incredible journey. More on that later...

~ Michael 

P.S. And yes, I just noticed, Alexandra does rather match the cucumber garnish, doesn't she?  :D

12 comments:

  1. your tea looks and sounds delicious, glad it was a successful party!

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    1. Thank you, Christine. It was lovely. Wish you lived closer, we'd have you attend our next tea party! ;)

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  2. Your tea looks and sounds like something I've longed to be a part of all my life. So happy it turned out so well for one of my favorite sweet couples. I'm sure you will be missed by many, and they will look forward to your return. I pray you have a safe journey and all goes well upon your arrival.

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    1. Awww...well, maybe one day your dream will come true! ;) Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. :)

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  3. Well done, this all sounds oh so delicious and no doubt good fun was had by all. You were both, no doubt, the perfect hosts and your friends will miss you.

    On another note sorry I did not make CT this time, as it would have been just my 'cup of tea'! I have been in hospital undergoing major surgery and have only just returned home for a lengthy convalescence.

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    1. Wow, Linda, I am so sorry to learn that. Yes, I was looking forward to seeing what you would do as it would have so been your style but some things are just more pressing and important. We both hope you recover well and as speedily as possible too! thank you for your lovely comments too btw.

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    2. It was quite enjoyable - you would have loved it! I do hope you're OK and on the road to recover. Sending you many hugs and well wishes! xx

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    3. Yes, Alexandra I would have thoroughly enjoyed it as there is nothing quite like afternoon tea with all the trimmings, spent in the company of lovely people. Thank you and Michael for all your best wishes.

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  4. PS. the picture montage is fabulous as well! Just love the shot of the british flags through the door.

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    1. It was absolutely lovely outside on the front steps. Michael did a fabulous job of hanging them.

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  5. What a wonderful tea party and send off. You too are embarking on a journey that will be blessed from above. I can't think of a sweeter couple following the journey the Lord has placed before you. You will be in my prayers and thoughts always. Love and Hugs.

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    1. It was so wonderful and wish you could have been there. It's a big journey and we look forward to everything it brings. xx

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