On Saturday, I had a tiny tea party for a few friends. My birthday was the excuse, but really I just wanted to serve them some delicious bites on beautiful plates. So I did. Though my entire kitchen was packed and my pantry contents auctioned off, I kept my great aunt's plates (below) and my grandmother's silver tea set, which I'd never used before Saturday, out of boxes for the morning. Packing paper covered the table for the tablecloth and lemons and blossoms from the bushy tree out back were centerpiece.
The food was simple (one mixing bowl left). So the menu:
*teas: Black lychee tea (my favorite) and Mandarin Orange Spice
*I wanted some variation of cucumber sandwiches and wondered if this would be good -- baguette with a little chew to it, a thick layer of boursin, thinly sliced cucumbers -- it was. We made three batches.
*Chicken salad -- chicken, celery, grapes, toasted almonds, mayo (not too much), salt and pepper, a little seasoned salt. Some of the chicken I used was the leftover friend chicken my friend Joan had made the night before -- nailed it. Served this with mache (circumflex over the a) and balsamic vinaigrette
*Magic cookie bars cut in tiny squares. My friend Amy used to make these all the time and since I've been pregnant, they've been the only sweet food I've wanted (besides cadbury chocolate eggs...). Friday she came over and made a giant pan with (for) me.
*I was planning to make these scones but after tasting the tiny lemon cakes Joan brought over, I knew they would more than suffice as vehicles for thick whipped cream, strawberries and strawberry jam -- intensely lemony, moist, but dense enough to hold their own. Love this cake! (Joan made it as mini muffins).
And now after describing this, what I wish I had is still a cup of tea but instead of secretive cake, a plate of mini lemon cakes with a handful of blueberries. That would hit it. Or my table filled again with these friends who pack most of my California memories, who love food and eating together, and whom I will miss so much...