July 21, 2012

Auntie, Mother, and Junior have Teatime

Auntie, Mother, and Junior have Tea at Junior's house. 

Officially to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary and another anniversary, but the joke is on Mother and Auntie, because they think they are simply having tea and watching birds, but Junior has planned something more elegant: little do they know that tea and birdwatching includes nibbling some treats in the near future.

So here they come, Mother and Auntie stroll slowly through the garden path on their way to the door. Wonder of wonders! Junior has trimmed and neatened and even sprayed the walk clean of windfall. The walkway smells of Spring showers on a warm summer day...oh, the magic of it all!

Enter, dear friends, Junior entreats, tea awaits.

Unbeknownst to Mother and Auntie, Junior as done it up to the nines!

There, awaiting them, is a tea party made in heaven (Or perhaps in the Saint Francis kitchens on Union Square! But truly on the counters of Gopher Flats!). You see, Junior had decided to serve watercress sandwiches and cookies. 

The table setting:

Find that beautiful yellow and blue French tablecloth brought by an exchange student and set it on the scarred old kitchen table. Set it diagonally as it doesn't fit otherwise. There! It brightens up the whole room.

Place flower vase of colorful varied stems in the center back. Pick chive flowers to garnish the dishes.

Drag out Grandmothers' mismatched silver and china and teacups and teapots (well, some had been purchased by Junior herself, especially the elephants). This takes a few minutes due to the fact that Junior rarely uses these items due to the fact that they have to be hand-washed and dried and Junior has other things to do and she worries about the stains in the old cups until, later, Auntie mentions baking soda AND J. has to look around and under pieces of kitchen furniture to find it all. It is a mishmash, but looks elegant in a mishmashy way.  

Previously and luckily, Doctor, another dear friend, approved of newish ringed glasses going with varied gold and flowered china.

The menu:

Work started in the morning, 9-ish. Junior gets the tea, several varieties; although she knows Mother will most likely choose English Breakfast, but who knows what Auntie will choose? Meanwhile the Tetrarche stirs up some delicious tuna for the tuna sandwiches and Junior cuts them into small squares. Now for the buttered bread to go with the watercress. Find the last two slices of firm Country Buttermilk Bread, butter liberally and cut into the tiniest triangles. Then find blueberries, and who knows what all else, possibly cookies, and crackers but no scones for which Auntie is thankful, she never warmed up to the dense, crunchy scones of modern times. 

The party:

The sitting at eleven began as tea should (Winne the Pooh would have called it "elevenses"). Junior sets one whole teapot each in front of the guests and herself, the party-goers choose tea and Junior pours hot water and then there the three sit at the cluttered-in-a-deliciously-good-way party table. They ate, drank, bird watched and chattered on about any thing that came to mind as they are wont to do. 

The presents:  

The dramatically black and white bagged hostess gift, in clouds of dark purple tissue, was opened with delight as it contained a book of "Humor" from the last millennium. And humor trumps all, when you think about it! Currently said book is hogged by the Tetrarche who deigns to read portions as Junior drifts off to sleep in the evenings. 

Dear Mother opened the hand made colorful gift wrap: acrylic-spattered-newspaper, discovering a little notebook from Florence (known for their excellent paper by the way) with a cover of painted ducks, which are birds after all and a note urging the recipient to use it as it was intended as the giver was never able to in the 8 years since purchased!

Then the birthday woman: Auntie carefully, as had Mother, almost to the distraction of the other two, unwrapped a book. Cow. Joyful she was, visualizing a sweet, possibly humorous, read.

The thrill of adoration of all gifts by all guests finished the magical tea party on an up note. Fun was had by all. Even the Tetrarche was touched.

1.) One week later, Mother, dutiful denzion of a more well mannered past, sent a sentimental thank you note, cleverly written on an actual wedding invitation from her wedding in a millenium before. The Tetrarche and Junior reveled in the wit of the thing and were tempted to write a thank you note themselves as the aforementioned note so entertained!

2.) Oh, Lord, Junior forgot the three tiered silver plated serving piece that would have appeared astounding amidst the mish mash of the table service if you call it that!

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