afternoon tea

When my sister and I were little we would have tea parties with Grandma Simpson.  She had the teeniest little china cups, one with a chick on the side that I loved.  She’d serve it with sugar cubes – the cups were so small 1 cube filled half the cup.  But it was great, it was the sweetest tea you’d ever have.  In fact it was probably 30% tea, 30% milk and 40% sugar.  Yum!

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A couple of years ago Ashley and I were gifted some tea cups of hers including our favourites that we always used.  I was gifted a box of tea cups from an old distant Aunt who had put some aside for me as well.  And then just a couple of months ago I was lucky enough to get a couple tea cups from Grandma Proctor.  I must say my collection is pretty beautiful.

At the same time Grandma Proctor passed on her cups, she passed on her china to my Mum, and in turn my Mum passed her china to me.

And on top of all of this, earlier this year Brandon and I bought our first home, and I was lucky enough to be gifted Grandma Simpson’s antique sideboard that was given to her and Grandpa as a wedding gift.

If you couldn’t tell from all of that, I love family heirlooms.

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So now that I have a place to hold all these lovely pieces I couldn’t wait to host a tea party of my own.

This past weekend I invited a couple girlfriends over and I must say we had a lovely afternoon on the patio using some beautiful dishware, having great conversation and enjoying a much needed breeze.

I prepared a few light snacks for us!  We had orange pekoe tea with milk and sugar, scones with cream and coconut pineapple jam, and finally cucumber cream cheese sandwiches.

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All of these things were very simple to make and the perfect light treat for an afternoon tea!

scones with cream and coconut pineapple jam:

1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 egg, beaten (only use half)
1/2 cup milk

1 20oz can of pineapple chunks, drained (juice saved for later)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

What you’ll do – for the scones:

Preheat oven to 400º.

Combine all dry ingredients (sift if you have a sifter).

Cut butter into cubes and work into dry mixture with your hands, making a breadcrumb-like consistency.

Mix in the egg and milk and mix until just moistened.

Press out onto a lightly floured surface with your hands until it it 1/2 inch thick.

Use a glass to cut out a perfect circle.

Place circles on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

What you’ll do – for the jam:

Put aside juice from drained pineapple.

Put pineapple chunks in food processor and blend until smooth.

In a saucepan mix blended pineapple, reserved juice and white sugar.  Bring to a boil and let thicken about 20 minutes.

Add coconut and let flavours mix for about 5 minutes.

What you’ll do – for the cream:

I used a magic bullet.  It actually gave me the exact consistency I was looking for.  It gets the cream smooth and delicious but much more dense than when using a hand mixer.

Put cream, 1/2 teaspoon of white sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla in the magic bullet.  Blend until thick.

cucumber cream cheese sandwiches:

1 loaf white bread
spreadable cream cheese
sliced cucumber

This is one pretty basic.  Spread the cream cheese on the bread, place slices of cucumber on, and cut into fun pieces (3-4 pieces per sandwich).

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I hope this has inspired some of you to look through your cupboards and use those beautiful dishes so many of us push to the back or put into safe places so we don’t ruin them.  What is the point in having them if you can’t admire them from time to time?!

(PS, the next day we had my birthday dinner at my Mum’s house and I made sure we used Grandma’s china for our dinner and dessert – it’s so much more fun!)

Yumbo!

 

 

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