Happy May Day!

What? It’s spring, you say?

The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. The trees are dropping flowery and/or fuzzy things that cause that slight constriction in my chest (despite a year’s worth of allergy shots.)

Yep! It’s spring! Whooo Hoooo! Where I grew up, spring never seemed like a big deal. It was generally windy for a few weeks and then suddenly it would be 95 degrees by the time I got up in the morning. And, if you think I’m allergic to spring here in Boston, you should have seen me in Joshua Tree. I generally missed a week of school every spring, because my high school was overrun with mulberry trees and I’m desperately allergic to the little flowery caterpillers they spread all over campus.

But, when you live in New England, spring is a cause for celebration. It’s a sign that we’ve survived another winter, and that we’re headed into another six months of spending every possible moment outside until the cold forces us indoors again.

So, how do I celebrate spring?

Okay, there were only eleven of us, but Tea for Eleven doesn’t have quite the same ring to it!

Over the past few years, I’ve become an expert at hosting tea parties.  Tea parties combine all my favorite things:  friends, food, tea, alcohol, and teapots.  You can’t forget about the teapots.

Here’s my recipe for a successful tea.

First, you’ll need to go to the grocery store:

Oooh...the pretty, pretty food!

I really love experimenting with food for tea parties. With so many little bites of food to choose from, it’s no big deal if something bombs. So, consider this your opportunity to try out new foods, new recipes, and new ideas.

The Menu

Apple and Boursin Sandwiches
Turkey, Raspberry, and Goat Cheese Pinwheels
Pepper and Parmesan Mini-Quiches
Kristine’s Cucumber Sandwiches
Mini-Lime Curd Tartlets
Tina’s “famous” Chocolate Salt Muffins
Christie’s Cookies
Annemarie’s Scones
Joanne’s Favorite Cupcakes
Andrea’s Strawberry/Banana and Aged Balsamic Salad
Mimosas
and, of course, tea!

As you can see, I enlisted the help of my guests to make this happen.  Preparing that much mini-food would take me all week!  The basic rule is this:  It doesn’t much matter what you choose to bring, as long as it’s cute!

Now that the food’s sorted, you’ll need some flowers.

Everyone needs a teacup.  Mine are mix and match.  I have a few from Homegoods and two from my late Grandmother’s collection, but most of these are from the Brimfield antique’s show.  I attend every year (sometimes more than once) and pick out the prettiest teacup for $5 or less.  What a bargain!

Each teacups is actually “matched” to a teapot in my collection. Yeah, I know.  I’m a freak.  But, with twelve people, twelve teapots seemed unmanageable.  (Note:  It’s not that I don’t own twelve teapots.  It’s just that it seemed insane to try to boil enough hot water to fill them all at once!)  So, we picked four different types of tea and filled my four biggest pots.

Finally, the most important ingredient for a successful tea party is a bunch of fantastic friends.  I warned my guests that I’d be dressing “for the occasion” and they did not disappoint!

With friends like these, a great time is guaranteed!

I have to admit, we drank more mimosas than tea.  And, we ate more desserts than sandwiches.  But, isn’t that what a beautiful spring day is all about?

After a few hours, the food table was nearly empty.

Gee...do you think we were hungry?

And I felt happy, blessed, and like the Hostess with the Most-est.

Yes, every dish in my house was dirty. Sure, the floor needed vacuuming from where Jen dropped a cupcake. But, screw that. It was a beautiful spring day and I had just consumed about 10,000 calories.

So, I changed out of my pearls and into my jog bra and set out for a sunset run along the Charles River. Sure, it’s hard to run with that much food, bubbly, and tea sloshing around in my stomach, but the views along the way made it so much easier.

The Blue Heron bridge is three miles from my house, guaranteeing that I won't turn around early on my six mile run. Perfection!

Coming soon, I’ll share a couple of the successful recipes from my tea parties. (I will not be sharing the mini-quiche recipe.  Sadly, that one still needs a little work.)

In the meantime, how do you celebrate spring?

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6 Responses to “Happy May Day!”

  1. Nice. You busted me and my toppled cupcake. Thanks.

  2. Lovely party by Tea Party Karen! 🙂

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