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Posts tagged ‘Tea’

Victorian Tea – Tour of Tables

As I mentioned in my last post, our church has a Victorian Tea each spring. I was on the kitchen staff which meant I had the chance early Saturday morning to see all of the beautiful tables that had been set up by the hostesses the prior evening. I decided to take pictures. Some of them are missing centerpieces that probably arrived later in the day while I was busy with food, but they were still beautiful. I’d love to hear which ones were your favorites if you care to comment!
We’ll start with the first table I photographed, which was also probably my favorite. I love the colors and theme. The tea pot is an Appaloosa horse, which is named for the area where we currently live – The Palouse.

Here’s the table that was set by Shelley who did a marvelous job of coordinating the whole event. I love the colors and the fun bottles of old-fashioned soda she set out for her ladies.

Here you see beautiful soothing colors from our very-gifted Children’s Ministry coordinator.

Fun bright colors from one of our most dedicated youth workers who just had a precious new baby.

I love the feminine feel and colors of this classy table.

This one had gorgeous china and napkin rings with a cute tea-cozy from The Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC if I’m not missing my guess?

What fun colors with the classic vintage glassware on this beauty.

Serene colors and a very dignified arrangement for this lovely table. Photography falls a little short on this one.

I’m a sucker for blue and yellow, so this was one of my favorite tables. I loved the lemon drops and little packages. (I would like to know what was in them but I resisted the urge to sneak a peak in the empty room on Saturday morning.)

More fun and festive colors from a very fun hostess. I wanted to sneak some of those malted eggs too. Good thing she had them tied up in such cute bundles.

Here we have one decorated by our middle-school girls with the help of my delightful neighbor. It had a gummy theme, with gummy worms and bears. Adorable!!

The high school girls, with the help of our youth pastor’s wife, decorated their entire table with duct tape. The flowers for the centerpiece were even made of duct tape. It was really cool and I’m sure that the girls at the table have a cooler word than “cool” to describe their work.

By contrast, this one was so classy with its formal setting and lovely gold utensils and chargers.

This table was almost as striking as the beautiful hostess. Her husband helped her set it and the red was gorgeous.

Here’s another fun one that really fit the vivacious personality of the hostess.

This setting was by our pastor’s sweet wife. I love that her daughter’s places were set with extra special care.

Here we have one that was simply gorgeous and so well appointed.

This table was by our International Pastor’s wife. She is the nicest lady you could ever meet. Her centerpiece was pictured at the top of this post. Check out the dishes and tea pot.

Another one of my neighbors set this one. (I live on a very talented block.) I love Fiesta ware and the colors on this pretty table were so vibrant! I couldn’t resist taking an extra picture of the place set for her daughter.

The last table I photographed had one of my favorite centerpieces. I like the combination of deep colors and spring flowers – very fitting for the spring we’re having on The Palouse.

Thanks to Shelley and all of the hostesses for such an extravaganza of eye candy!
If you’d like a behind the scene’s look in the kitchen, go to my prior post.

Victorian Tea – View into the Kitchen

Our church has a Ladies Victorian Tea every spring and for the last two years I’ve gotten to work in the kitchen for the event. It makes me feel like a member of an elite team. I’ve dubbed it the dream team because these ladies are so good that it’s a dream to work with them. Sandy moves so fast, she couldn’t even freeze for a photo.

Susie and Sandy are the ones who do all the planning and they are geniuses when it comes to large scale production with pretty presentation. Sandy handles most of the sweet treats and Susie is the sandwich and salad queen. Diane and I do what we’re told, as efficiently as possible. A lot has to happen at the end of two days of hard core prep work.

There were 160 ladies this year seated at twenty tables, so everything had to be done 160 times and divided into groups of eight to be placed on trays for the twenty servers. To complicate things further, some things need to stay cold until the very end and the kitchen barely holds 20 trays set out at once, let alone the one’s were trying to load for the next course. Garnishing has to be done at lightening speed! It’s fun.

This is the list of courses:

Day one of preparation looks something like this hodgepodge. Thankfully, we had some extra help that morning.

On Saturday morning it all starts to come together.

Sandy handles the scones which go out as the first course.

Then the parade of tea sandwiches begins.
The cucumber sandwiches were very cute. The dill and pimentos on top make it pretty and force us to hustle at the end! Here’s Susie holding out the first prototype.

Then, she repeated the procedure 160 times.

Egg salad is spread on egg-shaped bread with a little “yolk” window cut in the top. Diane and Ruth cut all of those tops and bottoms…and cut all of those cute little holes. I made the filling and we all worked fast to poke little parsley sprigs in at the last minute.

The turkey avocado sandwiches don’t require cookie cutters so they assemble a little bit more efficiently, but they are garnished with – get this, blanched chives tied into a cute little knot – a sandwich bow tie atop a tomato. Picture me and Diane tying knots in 160 little sprigs of blanched chives. They were adorable…once we were done.

Next up is pasta. Susie handled this one and it gives us a breather during the rush. Easy to put on trays and no garnishes at the end, but delicious!

Kebabs were the very pretty fruit of Sandy’s labor with a sweet creamy dip.

Once the fruit is out, the dessert round begins.

The lemon cupcakes were wonderful – another one of Sandy’s masterpieces.

These little Bavarian cream tarts were Susie’s idea and they came with pre-baked shells, which was great. I got to pipe in the filling and put the raspberries on these little guys.

Last, but certainly not least…brownie bites. Oh, how I wish you could taste the raspberry cream frosting on the top of these guys. I LOVE chocolate and raspberry! Thankfully we had a few extras to “check for quality” in the morning.

Of course, it takes a lot of tea for a Tea. This was about a third of the final pile. We brewed 12 batches in large pots.

In my next post I’ll show you the GORGEOUS tables!