Tea Parties for Grown Ups

HI-Teacups

 

Adults, just as much as children, enjoy a tea party that celebrates any sort of occasion. Serving loose leaf tea is a healthy alternative to any  party option, and with the wide range of teas available, you can incorporate any theme or celebrate any occasion.

From birthdays to anniversaries or other events, tea is a fun, unique, and easy way to create a party.

Use the event (is it a birthday or anniversary?) to determine the best types of tea to serve or, consider hosting a themed party. A theme can be based on anything from a book character to the time of year.

Your party can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Just use your imagination, because you are sure to find a tea that is perfect for the occasion!

 

Activities

 

Depending on the celebration, activities may range from traditional to unusual or even none at all! In the fast-paced world we live in, many adults will welcome the chance to sit and enjoy a hot cup of tea and good conversation. Sometimes people need a reason to relax, and a tea party can be just that.

However, if you want to incorporate activities, these can easily be based on the reason for the gathering. Consult with your local party supply store or do a quick search online.

You can incorporate a “tea twist” on many common games, for example. Bridal and baby shower games can include a tea theme (such as word scrambles or searches), and tea gifts make wonderful party favors for your attendees.

Package loose teas in festive netting and tie it with a beautiful ribbon.

Love bingo?  Try Teago and let your guests learn about tea and its customs while competing in a familiar game.  (www.teago.com)

 

Decorations

 

Decorations will depend on the activity, such as a birthday, anniversary, or baby shower. Create a theme for the party, such as a vacation getaway for an anniversary.

Decorate the room with beach balls, beach towels, and have guests sit in outdoor lounge chairs (or if the weather is nice, take the party outside!). A “famous babies” theme for a baby shower is much more interesting than decorations that are all green and yellow.

Try filling the room with photos of actors who got their start in “pampers.”  The key is to put a twist on your party, and then, of course, offer a twist on the tea you serve such as a fruity tea for the beach party or bubble tea for a baby shower.

 

Music

 

Music selections for your parties can vary greatly. To make it easy on yourself, look for compilation CDs that incorporate the theme.

A CD of soft love songs is a great choice for an anniversary, for example, or an orchestrated mix of lullabies for a baby shower.

Visit your local music retailer for specific suggestions, or do an online search for CDs that pertain to your theme.

 

 

Invitation Ideas

 

Use your theme to determine the types of invitations you will use. Get creative and make your own using specialty papers, or throw in a few loose tealeaves for a scented and enticing invitation (although some people may not appreciate tea leaves falling out, so consider some type of mesh envelope!).

Because you’ll be centering your party on tea, think of using naturally colored invitations and alternative papers.

A traditional birthday invitation may not be quite what you’re looking for, so look into blank cards as well, as you can then add your own words.

 

Foods

 

What should you serve at a tea party? Again, your theme will have a lot to do with the food selections. If your theme is an anniversary beach party, for example, serve exotic fruits and finger sandwiches.

If you are hosting a famous baby tea try collecting and serving favorite recipes of the stars then let your guests vote on the best appetizer.

 

Teas

 

Many parties lend themselves well to lighthearted and fruity teas and tisanes. Consider offering teas that your guests may not encounter otherwise.

This is a fun way to introduce new teas and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Creativity is a fountain of youth.  Now grab a pencil, jot down your ideas and get started.

 

Tea Party Girl Asks: What’s your favorite tea party occasion?

Grandma Hoerner’s Makes Tea Menu’s Easy

Grandma Hoerners

Grandma Hoerners

On a recent drive to Topeka (about 110 miles from my Tea Events office) I decided to stop at Grandma Hoerner’s Food & Factory located just off the highway in Alma, KS. Grandma’s big red barn glimmers in the sun beckoning cars to “stop by.” Well, let me say that I was glad I did. Inside the big red barn is a small showroom filled with award winning foods along with samples galore. Through a glass window you can watch the Grandma Hoerner team creating these classic recipes day in and day out.

Grandma Hoerner’s has an array of products from Big Slice Apple Sauce to assorted preserves, pie filling, sauces and more. My personal pick was their amazing Pumpkin Butter which I found perfect for a variety of tea time treats. (think scone topping, tart filling, drizzled on mini cheesecakes and more!) I also loved their line of Chutneys which would be a true delight in a variety of tea sandwiches.

Grandma Hoerners Tea Foods

Here’s grandma’s story

Yes, there was a real Grandma Hoerner. Mabel grew up on a farm in Kansas in the late 1800s. Her family’s farm included an apple orchard, and Mabel became known as a talented cook. Her apple sauce, made with thick slices of fresh apples, was a frequently requested treat from family and friends. Every autumn, she preserved the bounty of the orchard as it matured and ripened. Grandma never used an apple that wasn’t ripe enough. She peeled bushels of crisp apples and added cold spring water, freshly ground cinnamon, and pungent nutmeg. As the sauce cooked slowly over a low flame, the thick slices of apples grew soft and flavorful. The jars of applesauce sitting in the cellar were a vivid reminder of the summer bounty even on the coldest nights of winter.

All natural. The way Grandma used to do it.  

Mabel’s applesauce recipe was passed down to her grandson, Duane McCoy. Recalling the wonderful flavor from his youth, Duane worked hard to replicate Grandma’s recipe. Cooking batch after batch, he found that Fuji and Pink Lady apples were best at maintaining their firm texture and sweet-tart flavor, and made the sweetest applesauce. As Duane experimented he did make one change to Grandma’s recipe—he replaced refined sugar with natural juice concentrate. Today’s Big Slice™ Apple Sauce provides the health benefit of natural juice while maintaining the wonderful sweetness of Grandma’s tradition.

Duane searched the marketplace for something similar to Grandma’s applesauce but found nothing like it. In 1987, he started producing and marketing Grandma’s Big Slice Apple Sauce. From that first basic recipe, eight more fabulous flavors were developed.

As demand for Grandma’s wonderful applesauce grew customers also began to ask for other foods made with the same high quality, attention to detail, and all natural ingredients. Now, from sauces, jams and preserves, pie fillings, toppings, chutneys, and relishes to premium dry mixes, gourmet coffee, and candles, Grandma Hoerner’s stands for the old fashioned pure products Grandma Mabel would have made herself.

 

Grandma’s is available at Safeway and Super Targets. They are also available online at http://www.GrandmaHoerners.com

 

Here are a couple recipes that would work well at the tea table (there are more featured on their website) :

 

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

1 package (18-1/4 oz.) yellow cake mix
2-1/2 cups quick cooking oats
¾ cup butter, melted
¾ cup Grandma Hoerner’s Raspberry Preserves
1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, oats and butter until crumbly. Press 3 cups of the crumb mixture into a greased 13-in x 9-in baking pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir the preserves and water until blended. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Pineapple Ginger Chicken Lettuce Spread

Mix together 3 cups cubed cooked chicken, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup golden raisins, and 4-oz. Monterey Jack cheese (1/2” cubes). In a small bowl combine ¼ cup Grandma Hoerner’s Pineapple Ginger Chutney, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour over chicken mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve on lettuce leaves.

 

Apple Struesel Bread

2 ½ cups Bisquick
½ cup flour
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
4 eggs
1 cup Grandma Hoerner’s Big Slice Natural Apple Sauce
3 cups Grandma Hoerner’s Apple Pie Filling
3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
2/3 cup oil
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the Bisquick, flour and apple pie spice.
In another bowl, combine eggs, apple sauce, apple pie filling, ½ cup brown sugar, and oil. Add to Bisquick mixture, stir till just moistened. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans.
Top each loaf with a mixture of the remaining brown sugar and the walnuts. Bake 55-60 min. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Wrap and store overnight for easier slicing.

 

Like this article?  Read these as well:

 Awesome Tea Menus For Summer

A Scrumptious Vegan Tea Party<

Tea Party Girl asks : Have you tried Grandma Hoerner’s before?

 

Are You Prepared for the Formal Tea Party?

spoon


Don’t get caught with an empty table!

This post comes during the process of preparing my family’s wardrobe for a semi-formal Saturday evening wedding. It’s taking a lot of work! Not only do I need to gather all the items for all five of us (“hmm…I guess Plays with Fire can’t wear his hiking boot socks with his suit”), but I need to make sure the items that we rarely pull out of the closet are clean, pressed, and mended. My daily lifestyle doesn’t prepare me for this level of wardrobe scrutiny! But every once-in-a-while, special events pull us out of our dailiness and require more preparation. Any work and investment done ahead of time (Boy, am I glad we accepted that suit when my parents offered to buy it!) means a greater ease when the time for needing it all comes.

The tea party can be the same way. While I am a believer in the daily tea ritual and the ability to take advantage of impromptu hospitality opportunities, to prepare for the special occasion tea party takes time, work, and investment. Is it possible you need to be prepared?

From The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners, and Tableware:

“The accoutrements of the formal tea service include a teapot, hot-water kettle with an alcohol burner (to keep water hot), a sugar bowl with sugar cubes, sugar tongs, a creamer with whole milk, a tea caddy with loose-leaf tea, a caddy spoon to measure tea, a tea strainer to strain tea, a waste bowl to hold the dregs of tea, and a lemon plate with sliced lemon, a lemon fork, or a lemon pick.”

 

Here’s a few of Tea Party Girl’s own thoughts about the formal tea party:

  1. Give the tea center-stage. Make sure it stays hot and is brewed correctly from quality looseleaf tea.
  2. Pour the tea well. This means not filling the cups too full, separating the cups from their saucers, or having to reach across your guests to pour it.
  3. If you’ve been invited to a formal tea as a guest, DO NOT fill your cup to the rim with milk and sugar. Ideally, someone else is preparing your tea for you as is proper at a formal tea party. And nibble, don’t gobble the food provided.
  4. Lay out, borrow, or buy the best you can of silver, porcelain, and white linen.
  5. If you can’t brew the tea neatly in front of your guests with the process described above, brew the tea in the kitchen. Do not expect your guests to brew their own tea, with bags or with leaves.

 

The book provides a thorough explanation of the serving process and tea table setting. The etiquette of tea pouring at a formal tea party places the proper importance of the beverage as the center of the event and worth reading.

Any other thoughts on the formal tea? My dear mother who went to college in the early 60s in the South was quite surprised to learn the local college sororities couldn’t care less about tea education. What occasions still call for a formal tea service? Do you think it will ever find mainstream status again? Please leave a comment and tell us what you think.

A special note for my email subscribers: If you click on the title of my post in your email or any item highlighted in blue, it will take you directly to my site where you can post a comment or participate in a poll. Please vote in Monday’s poll if you haven’t yet, as I know it’s not possible without directly visiting my site. We’d like to know your opinion, too!

Lastly, I expect to be off-line most of the rest of the week because of the out-of-town wedding this weekend. But look for a new post Monday!