Tea Party

Friday, June 23, 2017
 When I started teacher 16 years ago, I was a sixth grade teacher and the two teammates I started with are two of my closest friends even today.  We still work together in different capacities.  Mary is retired, but tutors at our school (a different one from where we began).  Sonia and I are both specialist together.  We moved together after our second year to a school closer to us.  She turned 50 this past spring and we decided to surprise her with a tea and some of the friends we collected along the way.
 I made a little birthday banner with scrap fabrics that reminded me of her.
 For a 'game' Mary pulled out more than ten different kinds of teas and we served different teas for all three courses and had them write down a guess each time on a card.  At the end, the people with the most correct answers got a 'prize.'  It created fun conversation regardless.  We served each person a different combination.
We lined the tables with milk, lemons, and sugar cubes.  We started out with scones, clotted cream, and jam on each plate.  We also went ahead and put some dishes in the middle of the table for used tea bags.  
 Mary had a collection of cups....which always reminds me I want to start doing this.  I don't drink teas, but (ironically) I've hosted quite a few now.
 For course number one, we served tomato soup and cheese straws.
 Course two was three different kinds of sandwiches and strawberries.
 Last up-sugar cookies, chocolate truffles, lemon cups, and petit fours.
 To get Sonia there, I had told her we wanted to take her to lunch at a new tea room near Mary's house.  I told her I made reservations at 2:30, so to arrive by 2:15 and we'd all drive together.  She was pretty shocked when she arrived to a table full of friends.
We ate, laughed, and ate some more.  A lot of the guest brought her their favorite teas, and we also had everyone sign the back of this little sign for her to take home as a moment.  
Just a few tips.  We plated everything but the soup in advance.  To keep the sandwiches from drying out we put a damp paper towel over each plate.  I put tags with each person's name on them on the cups so we could quickly dump out any left over tea, quick rinse, add a different tea bag, and then a new kind of tea.  It was a really fun way to get together and much easier than I thought with everything planted in advance!

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