A red, white, and blue affair

Lady T. hosted our 2nd Victorian Society tea for 2012. She had a red, white, and blue themed tea to celebrate our nation’s birth.  To add to the fun, guests were appropriately instructed to come attired in red, white, and/or blue.  We were a bunch of smart-looking ladies indeed! 🙂

Lady T.’s vintage tea invitation!

Let’s talk about invitations …It’s always fun to receive an invitation.  It can help set the mood and build anticipation for a tea party.  When hosting a tea party, it is proper and expected to send an invitation (handwritten preferred but printed is also acceptable) to your guests at least 2 weeks in advance.  In addition to the date and location, a good hostess will also specify beginning and ending times, dress attire, and a RSVP deadline on her invitations.  Guests should RSVP in a timely manner, whether accepting or declining–it would be considered discourteous to do otherwise as it takes a lot of time and effort to organize a tea party.

Guests were greeted by this lovely patriotic table for 8

Lady T.’s attention to detail was impeccable and she made almost all the food herself!

Table setting with embroidered bookmark favors and lots of reds, whites, and blues

Tea party favors are fun but not expected.  It is at the hostess’ discretion to give a tea party favor to each Lady in attendance.

1st course: Chilled blueberry soup with sour cream

Lady T. offered 3 types of iced teas: Lemon white/green tea with mint and cucumber, raspberry lemon herbal tea, and blueberry black tea.

2nd course: Lady J.’s wonderful mesclun salad with grilled shrimp, drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette

Sandwiches and savories

(Top) Raisin bread with carrot cream cheese filling (imagine a carrot cake sandwich!?), maraschino cherry and pineapple sandwich (sweet enough to be dessert!), (middle) albacore tuna salad in a pasta shell (yummy), (bottom) Lady Henni’s red, white, and blue deconstructed BLT with caramelized onion, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, and Gorgonzola ranch dressing in a baby Romaine lettuce cup (a Henni original).

Cucumber sandwiches with veggie cream cheese on wheat and white bread

Plate full of goodies

Lemon curd, clotted cream, and blackberry jam

Lady ML’s zucchini cheddar bread (this delicious savory bread is nothing like the traditional sweet zucchini bread!)

Zucchini Cheddar Bread
(adapted from Joy of Cooking, yield: one loaf)

Mix together in a large bowl:

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Add and toss to separate and coat with flour:

1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini
1 1/4 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 c. scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried

Whisk together in another bowl:

2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) warm melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil

Add to the flour mixture and mix with a few light strokes just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Do not overmix; the batter will be lumpy.  Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

Lady T. makes the best scones!  Here is her star-shaped lemon raspberry scone.

Dessert course: Red, white, and blue ice cream dessert (raspberry sorbet, vanilla bean ice cream, blueberry sauce, white chocolate covered strawberry, Lady BP’s pretty patriotic iced sugar cookie)

Lady BJ made these delicious white chocolate macadamia nut cookies for us all to take home

Lady T., thank you for a lovely and enjoyable afternoon!  The food was delicious and the company even better.

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits.”

–Thomas Jefferson