Lady B. threw a surprise “thank you” tea in honor of Lady J. who served as our Victorian Tea Society (VTS) coordinator for the past six years. Additionally, Lady J. introduced the ritual of afternoon tea to several of us (including yours truly) so we had much to be thankful for!
The biggest challenge in planning the surprise tea was scheduling. Finding a day/time that suited Lady J. but also the rest of the VTS members was difficult (4 months in the planning). In the end, six members were able to make it, so it was well worth the effort! Secondly, organizing a ruse for a visit to Lady B.’s house without giving away the surprise was yet another challenge. Lady J. thought she was visiting Lady B. for an afternoon of quilting. Lady J.’s reaction was priceless. She was genuinely (and maybe even shockingly) surprised, especially when we all yelled, “Surprise!” and she couldn’t figure out what the surprise was. After all, it wasn’t her birthday, there was no special anniversary, and … why were we all dressed in purple?
Since Lady J.’s favorite color is purple, we decided to honor her by hosting an all-purple tea by wearing purple and serving purple foods! Ironically, between seven of us, none of us owned any purple table settings! Lady J.’s monopoly on the color purple is indeed indisputable! 😉 But Lady B. got creative and did a beautiful job utilizing existing resources! Good job, Lady B.!
Three types of purple themed tea were served: “Recognition” Huckleberry tea, “Tribute to you” Vanilla Rooibos tea, and “Thankful for you” Blueberry black tea.
Lady S. knitted these cute and lovely tea cozies which looked fabulous on the tea table and also kept the tea nice and hot! I secretly (well, not so secretly–I declared it aloud) wanted to wear them as hats!
The menu offered many ways to say thank you to Lady J. Purple dishes with sentiments of gratitude!
Great beginning …
Enticing savory and tea sandwiches …
Pickled red onions
(From the kitchen of Lady S.)
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thin, then rinsed in cold water
1 cup mild vinegar (red wine, white wine, or rice vinegar work well—if you use white vinegar, dilute with water in a 50/50 ratio)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Place sliced onion in a mason jar or heat proof bowl. Bring vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan just enough to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour hot vinegar mixture over onions and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate. May be eaten right away or kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Palate cleanser …
And now for some purple fashions!
Thank you to Lady B. and all the wonderful ladies of VTS for a colorful afternoon tea that Lady J. will not soon forget! The table setting and foods were fantastic! Lady J., thank you for your leadership, guidance, friendship and for sharing the joys of afternoon tea with us. We look forward to enjoying many more afternoon teas with you!