I’ve been a fan of tea parties for most of my life. Witness this photo of me from a very, very long time ago, taking tea with my doll, Sweetie Pie, and our stuffed collie.
Yes, this really is me. Little Orphan Annie meets the Campbell’s Soup Kid.
It’s hard to tell from the photo, but that’s a lovely Blue Willow china tea set. It’s long gone, but I still have the furniture. Over the years, my children have had numerous tea parties at that table, sometimes with real tea and sometimes with the make-believe kind.
Have you noticed how good imaginary tea can be? I hope you’re enjoying yours now.
When I was a teenager, I started collecting a real set of china.
It’s hopelessly impractical, but it looks so romantic and it’s a perfect tea service, don’t you think? For grown-up tea parties with real tea, of course.
As I wrote these tea blogs, I tried to remember tea parties in various books I’ve read over the years. I didn’t come up with a very long list, but I have to say my all-time favorite is in Anne of Green Gables. Remember the disaster when Anne invited Diana for tea?
“Oh, Marilla, can I use the rosebud spray tea set?"
"No, indeed! The rosebud tea set! Well, what next? You know I never use that except for the minister or the Aids. You'll put down the old brown tea set. But you can open the little yellow crock of cherry preserves. It's time it was being used anyhow—I believe it's beginning to work. And you can cut some fruit cake and have some of the cookies and snaps."
There was also half a bottle of raspberry cordial in the closet and Marilla said they could have that, too. Of course Anne unwittingly gave her friend a bottle of homemade current wine. Diana drank three glassfuls and became completely intoxicated.
For Afternoon Tea, it’s quite common to offer guests a glass of sherry, but usually just one, and a small one at that!
Poor Diana. In the film version, she staggered home and threw up in front of the minister’s wife.
In my first book, The Man for Maggie, it seemed perfectly natural to have a heroine who drank herbal teas and ran a natural spa. I was especially thrilled when the Silk Road tea shop and spa agreed to host my book launch party. Isn't that a beautiful display of teapots?
If you're planning a summer tea party, your guests might enjoy a nice tall frosty glass of iced tea. This one’s delicious.
Green Tea LemonadeYou’ll find a wonderful recipe for Lemonade Concentrate on my website. I much prefer it to the frozen kind from the grocery store.
3 parts freshly steeped green tea
1 part lemonade concentrate
Put the ice in a pitcher. Pour the green tea over the ice, add the lemonade concentrate, and stir. Fill those tall, frosty glasses and garnish with a twist of lemon or a spring of mint.
I’m giving away a variety of my favorite teas today, and most of them are organic teas from Silk Road. To be eligible to win one of these awesome prizes, simply post a comment.
After you've done that, please follow these links to find out about Afternoon Tea on the Harlequin American Romance Authors blog, and some interesting tidbits about exotic teas on the Wet Noodle Posse blog.