I recently wrote an exhaustive article on the Steps to Creating a Tea Party Menu and confessed that despite loving Tea Parties, I don’t relish time in the kitchen. Currently, I am sharing the process of planning for my August Tea Party Event. The day to plan the menu is upon me. With high standards and a limited budget, I am determined to find The Lazy Baker’s Way to Plan a Tea Party Menu.
Using my own suggestions, here’s my plan:
- Serve a cold summer fruit-based soup. A local deli makes wonderful cold soup in the summer. I will call them to find out how much a family-sized soup costs and what they will offer during that weekend.
- Serve a corn, tomato, pepper and basil-based salad. I will make this myself. Summer produce abounds and is relatively inexpensive. Almost everyone loves these flavors and it will be colorful. I can make it ahead of time and dress it at the last minute.
- Omit the quiche. The party is at 2:3o so it’s not a mealtime, decent quiche is expensive, and I don’t relish making it or eating it.
- Put my energy into the sandwiches. These are difficult to delegate. My husband can help me. One of the sandwiches will be on the square, thin, bread I can buy at the grocery store deli. I can roll it up and cut it into pinwheels. My three sandwiches will be:
- Open-face traditional cucumber (they’re in season!) and butter on white bread cut with my teapot cookie cutter and garnished with edible violet flowers.
- Turkey Salad with Dried Blueberries on whole-grain bread
- Dijon Pesto Tea Pinwheel Sandwiches-a recipe from a nationally famous local tearoom
- Ask a local bakery (a new Safeway Lifestyles store) to make the scones, some bite-sized fruit tarts, and either petit fours or mini cupcakes. This is where I am willing to spend some money and compromise my love of all-natural food. It will save me so much time and emotional energy, it will be worth it. I will also serve jarred lemon curd and creme fraiche from Trader Joe’s.
- Buy some semi-decent chocolates at Trader Joe’s (I love Trader Joe’s-do you have one where you live?) to fill out the dessert-tier. Not the best season (the best time to buy chocolate at TJ’s is around the holidays), but my choco-holic friends won’t care and the price is right.
- Garnish with in-season green purple grapes. They’re heavy on the neighbor’s vines and the children will enjoy picking them.
- Pre-make Grasshopper ice cream sundaes~a recipe from a recent issue of Every Day with Rachel Ray. I will serve it as the last course on a day that will most likely be warm. But I will need to find an alternate serving vessel as much as I love the stainless steel martini glass in the mag pic.
- Make peach-iced tea and a Ceylon hot tea. I would rather serve Darjeeling because it goes with more of what I’m serving, but I don’t currently have one in stock. I might as well use one of the many others I do to avoid another way to spend money.
- Save enough money for a decent bottle of wine. This group of girls don’t drink, but Plays with Fire and I will enjoy sharing a bottle of Riesling on the back deck when it’s all over.
So what does this mean for this lazy baker exactly?
- Make the salad
- Make the sandwiches
- Make the sundaes
- Buy and Assemble the resst
Tomorrow I will post my shopping list to make sure it is reasonable and within the budget. What do you all think? Am I on the right track?