Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tea Time

Lady Carlyle cup & saucer
My favorite teacup, Lady Carlyle!

Oh, I've been so bad lately! I only pop onto Blogger sporadically to catch up with you all, and haven't posted anything for months! Truth is, I've been hanging out a lot more on Facebook and Pinterest lately. I try to keep my "real" identity private, but my Pinterest boards can be accessed through the link on my sidebar (if you want to see all my Victorian pins!).

Overview

Every year, we have an annual tea at Eastlake Victorian! This year, we had it later than most. Our goal is to invite our tea-loving friends over for some lively conversation, delicious teas and scrumptious desserts.

Sweets

This year, I started baking a week early, and either baked or prepared something almost every evening leading up to the event.

Overview

Just before the guests arrived, I set the plates and napkins out on the sideboard.

Sideboard, dessert plates, napkins

I set out the cookies on the center table.

Sweets

I opened up the old 1908 White treadle sewing machine, and used it as a serving table for the cakes!

White Sewing Machine used as table

I made two varieties of cakes this year. One was a cake I've made many times before, a Tomato Cake. It's quite like a fruit cake, and freezes well for leftovers.

Cakes

The other cake I tried was from a new recipe I found on Pinterest, a Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake. It was the best lemon cake recipe I've ever made! I'll definitely be making that recipe again!

Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake

I also make 2 different cookie recipes found on Pinterest. The first was a Strawberry Cream Cookie which turned out really well.

Strawberry Cream Cookies

The second were Viennese Fingers, which were a pressed butter cookie dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. Yum!

Viennese Finger Cookies

I also tried these miniature Fruit Tarts from a Pinterest recipe.

Fruit Tartlets

I altered them a bit by filling with a custard I like to make for eclairs, and leaving out the almond meal from the crusts. I wanted the sweets I baked to be nut-free, since a few people who were coming have nut allergies.

Fruit Tartlets

I supplemented the homemade sweets with store-bought orange chocolate Piroulines, which I placed upright in a goblet, some chocolate raspberry candies, and some ginger snaps.

Piroulines

And what's a tea without scones? As usual, I made some scones using the Sticky Fingers brand mixes, and served them with blackberry jam, lemon curd and homemade Devonshire cream. I don't shape them into triangles, but plop them onto the baking sheet like drop biscuits. I always prepare these just before the people begin arriving, so they're very fresh and still a bit warm!

Scones with jam & lemon curd

We had a variety of teas, including decaf and herbal varieties, for everyone to try.

Tea

And as usual, we let everyone chose their cup and saucer!

Tea cups

We set up our 42-cup Westbend pot, which made self-serve extremely easy.

Westbend 42-cup

Our tea was an open house, from noon till 5PM. People came and went, and it seemed everyone had a good time!

Overview

In all, we had 23 friends stop by to enjoy our tea.

Sweets Table

If you'd like to try any of these recipes, here are the links to them on Pinterest:



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