Our Tea Parties

Left to Right: Katherine Ann Heatherly, Maudie Parker, Shirley Noakes, Lynn Hogg, Judy Murray, Ruth Schmidt, Arlene Dinnen, Kathy Aurelia Kneeling:Gloria Dragstedt (left) and Diane Layng (right)Another member, Sandy Maloney, not pictured

After reading Sandy's Tea Society book I was encouraged to start a tea group here in Palm Coast, FL. I had lived in the same house for 35 years before we moved here February 2001. Missing my friends, I wanted to find new close friends who enjoy relaxing and taking tea. Having tea parties is a wonderful way to find our kindred spirit friends.

Our group is limited to twelve people, one to host a tea each month of the year. Each hostess will have a co-hostess to help her. Our goal is to bond in love as we get to know each other better. We are excited about growing and bonding together and having our friendships steeped in love! We are still contemplating a perfect name for our group.

We now have eleven people from different walks of life. Gloria is a photographer and organizer and has just become a realtor; Shirley received her PhD in psychology a few years ago, she is retired and has a home based business selling dolls and vintage jewelry. Lynne is British and a soloist! Arlene also enjoys singing and is a cat lover. Katherine is a fabric artist and professional crafter. Maudie also enjoys crafts and swimming. Always smiling, Ruth is a devoted grandmother raising her two granddaughters. Judy is a dollmaker and former antique dealer. Sandy is a lovely soft spoken Southern belle and former home economics teacher. Diane's passion is reading and teaching children with learning disabilities to read. Kathy enjoys collecting and decorating and teaching preserving photos with Creative Memories photo albums. Gloria Dragstedt volunteered to host our first Friendship Tea at her home, Thursday, December 6, 2001, with Kathy Aurelia as co-hostess. Gloria created a pretty invitation on her computer and hand carried them to the guests in the neighborhood.

Decorations: Christmas decor, table set with gold and silver chargers, lace doilies and a gold or silver plate. Centerpiece was a garland of greenery doubled with gold and silver poinsettias, gold and silver braid, and gold berries tucked in the garland. Favors were five packages of tea tied inside a tulle bag with the gold and silver braid, and a small three-page booklet of Linda Gaither's "Of Teacups and Friends" poem covered in gold or silver tied with curly ribbon. The fun entertainment was provided by an animated white stuffed teddybear singing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas!"

Menu consisted of fruit salad, chicken salad sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, salmon spread and crackers, cranberry bread, mock clotted cream, homemade jam, lemon curd, and assorted homemade cookies. Earl Grey and English Breakfast teas were served.

Games were played pertaining to Christmas in different languages, and trivial questions about Christmas. Ceramic teacup and saucer Christmas ornaments were given as prizes.

Eight ladies attended in addition to Gloria and Kathy: Since most guests didn't know each other, each guest told a little about herself. A planning session was conducted after tea and a sign-up calendar to host a themed tea was provided. Future monthly teas are planned with themes of snowmen, teddybears, yellow roses, and holiday teas.

Recipes:

Kathy's Chicken Salad

2 cooked chicken breast, finely chopped
Sliced almonds, chopped into smaller pieces
Finely chopped celery
Onion, finely chopped
Mayo

Mix the night before so flavors will set. Spread onto wheat bread that has been cut out with a shaped cookie cutter.

Aunt Thelma's Cucumber Spread
8 oz. cream cheese
2 Tblsp. onion finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cucumber peeled, seeded and finely chopped

Mix the night before. Cut white bread into circles with a biscuit cutter, spread with cream cheese mixture, top with a very thinly sliced and seeded cucumber slice. Serve open faced. Salt just before serving.

Gloria's Fruit Salad

Chop up fruit, any fruit in season - Mix with 8 oz. vanilla yogurt



January Snowman Tea Party

Katherine Heatherly was hostess to a Snowman Tea Party with Ruth Schmidt as co-hostess. Katherine is experienced with having tea parties, as she grew up with mother and grandmother teaching her about tea parties. What a wonderful extraordinary job she did! Katherine's daughter, Lusanne helped and was our gracious server. She also made some of the homemade food. Invitations were handmade with rubber-stamping. A teabag was included in the invitations.

Katherine greeted us at the door wearing a long dark blue velvet dress and a darling matching blue hat! The table was set with a blue tablecloth with white snowflakes and blue and white Debbie Mumm snowman china and unique tea party type spoons and serving pieces. The food was fabulous, and so much of it! A hot chicken ring with mustard sauce was a big hit along with egg salad sandwiches, and cucumber sandwiches. Scones with Devonshire cream, homemade lemon curd, homemade elderberry jam, and apricot preserves were yummy. A mini fruit kabob complimented these. Dessert was cream puffs, pecan tassies, banana bread, coconut macaroons and homemade lemon cookies. The lemon cookies were made with fresh lemons grown in her back yard and the sweet/tart taste of lemon juice/rind was very savory. The banana bread was made with fresh orange juice and rind from oranges in her yard! We felt as though we were at Martha Stewart's house! Two beautiful teapots served either Sugarplum Tea or Lemon Honey Tea.

Handmade snowflake place cards denoted the seating arrangement. Each place setting had a miniature china teacup ornament as gift favor. Everyone brought twelve teabags for a teabag exchange, going home with twelve different tea samples! Numbers were drawn and "door prizes" were presented to four people. The prizes were items Katherine had made (and sells in craft shows) such as Comfort Tea (instant tea mixture), candles, etc. Since we had four new members who didn't attend the first tea we all took turns reintroducing ourselves telling a little about our interests.

Instead of games or a program, Katherine treated us to a Show and Tell time of things she makes and offered to have a future craft session to teach us how to do these things. Some of the items she shared were: A gorgeous white fleece 3/4 length coat with the collar decorated in a beautiful floral design of ribbon embroidery; several denim vests decorated in different designs of Victorian decor, unusual quilting, etc. all very unique and gorgeous! Floral pins made from wide wired ribbon; pins made from antique buttons and jewelry; tea cozies; and decorated boxes.

Everyone was very impressed with Katherine and Ruth's special tea party. We are off to a great start and as we grow to a fun and loving group! A day trip to Jacksonville was planned for January 29th to visit The Sisters Tea Room! The next home tea party is February 14th, Shirley and Lynne will be hostesses to a Valentine Party.


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