Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hosting My First Tea

A long, long time ago in a state far, far away, I entertained a group of ladies for the very first time.  My dearest friend from childhood through high school was to be wed.  Margaret Ellen was choosing marital bliss over higher education and her mother suggested that I might like to entertain her at a tea.  Why didn't I think of this?  Well, as I said, it was a first for me.

I'd seen my mother and grandmother entertain quite often.  How hard could it be?  Well, without the aid of experience and the internet, it turned out to be quite a challenge.  Mother said I could have the tea at home.  My grandmother said I was welcome to use her tea set.  For the rest, I was on my own.

Betty Crocker and I chose the menu.  Egg salad sandwiches, ham salad sandwiches, deviled ham sandwiches (I did say it was my first time and I had plenty of ham) and cucumber sandwiches (which no one ate).  Plain brownies, frosted brownies (the same brownie for both), pecan sandies (from Nabisco if I remember correctly) and chocolate pudding (Jello) in mother's Lenox crystal wine glasses.  And Luzianne tea.





The ladies (eight of us under the age of nineteen) were invited for 2 p.m. as I had ascertained that was an appropriate time for tea.  Everything was ready, including the hot water, a little before 2 p.m..  The first two guests arrived around 2:15 p.m..  The other six straggled in for the next half hour or so.  The guest of honor who was always very late (and the main reason why I am ALWAYS on time and have no tolerance for people who are late) arrived a bit after 3 p.m..   By the time everyone arrived, the bread on the sandwiches was very dry because I didn't think to cover them.  Hmmm, maybe that's why no one ate the cucumber sandwiches.

My grandmother's tea set was ready.  I did reheat the water and read the directions for steeping the tea.  I had arranged for the bride-to-be's sister (who was equally late) to pour.  The conversation was lively and we oohed and aahed over the gifts.  I picked up my tea cup to have a sip and noticed an unpleasant "scum" on top of the hot brew.  I believe there was a unanimous "yuck" from all the young ladies.

After the shower participants had left and I was cleaning  trying to talk my mother into cleaning up, I mentioned the problem with the tea.  My mother took a look--after all, no one had hardly taken a sip--and asked me if I'd washed the tea set before using it.  Well, no!  Why should I?  It was sitting in the china cupboard with the doors closed.  My mother, stifling a laugh, pointed out that it had been sitting there for years and dust and grease and whatever else was in the air had collected on the cups and serving pieces.

And she didn't even help with the cleanup!

25 comments:

  1. ~oops~ better next time. I am sure it was a beautiful day besides the tea!And just look at the story you have to tell :)

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  2. Is that the same lovely tea set? I was reading this story just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and you didn't dissapoint! Actually, the little sandwiches sound lovely, who deosn't like egg salad and ham salad? Julia Child always kept a can of deviled ham in her pantry, Underwood!! I saw her show it and talk about it on a show all about what she kept in her pantry!

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  3. LOL! Live and learn. I love cucumber sandwiches. The tea set is just beautiful.

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  4. I love the story of your first tea party! (And I love your tea set as well.) That just shows how we live and learn. I know your guests enjoyed your party even with the dusty teacups. :)

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  5. Oh no! What a lovely story though...you had me captivated from the very beginning. The tea set is beautiful though...and your tea-parties will only improve with practice!

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  6. That was such a wonderful post; love to hear stories of long ago; all part of gpong though it.... and I love tea.
    Rita

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  7. Oh oh! Happens to us all! I cringe when I think of all the "firsts" and the disasters thereof.
    Love that tea service, and you know everyone had a wonderful time anyway!

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  8. Oh, the mistakes of youth! I really enjoyed reading about your tea.
    It brought back memories of my early entertaining years.

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  9. I for one, love cucumber sandwiches!! That story will be remembered over the years...........and you will never again forget to rinse out the tea set!!!LOL Beautiful lustreware set, btw.

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  10. Well, the menu sounded delicious! Surely they enjoyed the food. Sounds like you made a good memory anyway. Pretty tea set.

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  11. LOL i am really smiling. what a wonderful story. it amazes me how things in the cabinets get covered with grease and dirt when not in use. i would have eaten the cucumber sandwiches, i love them and in fact had one last week. i have to say I have never had a tea party and if i ever do i will remebmber what NOT to do. thanks for a morning smile

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  12. Bet you never again forgot to wash rarely used china :-). The tea service is just beautiful. Is it still in your family? I'm so old I can't remember being 18. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  13. Very funny story. It really is a balancing act when you host people over for food and they show up late. It's not easy.

    By the way, Audi has taken very well to his little bro who really is not too intimidated by the 22 lb Audi. Number 5 is a whole 6.4 lbs and he spends the day wrestling with Audi who swats him around like a fly. Too funny.

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  14. Oh No! I hate to say it, but I'm laughing...the things we do inadvertently.

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  15. Lesson we learn over the years...LOL. Great post and I adore the tea set.

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  16. Thank ya, ma'am, for checking size of the numbers. After having them for a few days, they no longer "jump out and slap me down" each time I go into the kitchen...:) some things just take a while to get used to.

    The stacking boxes..cardboard..wooden knob on top of "THIS" . If you can find different sized boxes, ya got it made. Good luck..I googled but didn't find any like there and there's not a sticker or anything on the bottom...

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  17. Uh, oh... I am quite often late; I guess that means you don't tolerate me very well! :-(

    I don't remember seeing that tea set, but it's just gorgeous!

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  18. Hi, i popped by to say I use the card reader on my computer and don't use the usb cable that says STOP. i laughed out loud when i read your comment. the CD puts itself in in you want to use the cable, or if you have the card reader on the front of computer, just pop in the memory card. good luck and i am waiting with bated breath for those Madly Snapped photos.
    if you ever have questions, my email is listen under my profile and you can send me questions and i will answer if i know.

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  19. Too funny. :) It sounds like you learned a lot - and I think your menu was perfect. You certainly had the right idea.

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  20. Oh, Bonnie! You gave me a good chuckle!!! That is a wonderful story. Loved it!

    Your photos are off with a bang! I am looking forward to enjoying the photos to come!

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  21. What a fun read! I'm sorry about the tea, but the sandwiches sound yummy and you're so brave to host something like that.

    I've only hosted parties like Princess House, or Mary Kay....where it's ok to just serve soft drinks and snacks (fruit, cheese, cookies and some kind of chip with dip).

    I don't know that I'd ever be ok with taking on anything like a real 'tea'.....

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  22. My cups would probably be the same as most of your readers. I am just impressed you invited guests and prepared food. Pat yourself on the back. It is more than many do these days.

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  23. Haha... don't feel bad - we all have to learn. The first time I made gravy for Thanksgiving dinner, it turned out green :O

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  24. Oh, the lessons of our first attempts at hospitality. We have learned so much.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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