An Endless Summer Tea

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Please come on back, cool off in the shade and relax!  I’ve prepared something special today to counteract the weather.

While everyone else barrels towards fall, we are facing 100 degree temperatures and non-stop sunshine.  I’m not complaining.  I know plenty of folks would trade places with me in a minute.  I just happen to love all four seasons.  When my boys were small, I bought fake leaves and we played with them in the living room.  fall sizedWe threw them off the stairs, enjoyed watching as they drifted to the floor, and piled them on top of each other.  It’s a memory my children still talk about, even though we only did it once.  That’s how desperate I get for fall!

I had a busy summer, including a wonderful trip to Europe (more about my search for the perfect tea room in a future blog).  I received some disturbing news from a friend recently.  While I know sharing a cup of tea won’t solve anyone’s problems, it remains a good place to start.  A comforting cup, along with caring fellowship and maybe even a prayer request or two, might be just the ticket.

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My children still aren’t back to school, so now my days are spent in preparation for that milestone.  My oldest will be a senior in high school, which includes added responsibilities, transitions, and stress, both for him and his parents!  Tell me, how did you spend your vacation and what challenges do you see on the horizon?

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Let’s start with a taste of my grape slush. You’ll find it refreshing!

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Please settle in while I pour you a cup of my newfound (rediscovered) favorite tea, Lady Grey.  It’s not easy to find in the States, so I loaded up while in England.  I hope you’ll enjoy this bright, zesty brew with a hint of citrus.

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Enjoy a cold sandwich.  The mini squaw buns are filled with fresh pineapple and cream cheese, along with honey-cured ham slices.  Turkey breast, fresh spinach and cranberry jelly fill French bread wedges.  I’ve chilled some fresh fruit kabobs and baked pecan diamonds and coconut cookies.  What do you think of the flowers?  I love apricot roses!

Check out this adorable creamer and sugar bowl.  I got them as souvenirs when I visited the Queen Mary as a child, in Long Beach, California.

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  • Consider using old souvenirs and collectibles to brighten up your table. They’ll spur conversation among your guests!
  • Throw a lace cloth on your table. It will add a special touch to your gathering.
  • If it’s hot, chill as much of your food as possible. It will create a nice balance to the hot tea.
  • In warm weather, choose a lighter flavored brew, as opposed to a heavy, spicy flavor.
  • Keep barbeque skewers on hand from your local grocery for fruit kabobs. I cut the wooden spears in half with pruning shears to keep things dainty.
  • One can’t go wrong with a crisp blue and white color scheme — no matter the season.
  • Utilize interesting glassware, such as cordial stems, for bite-sized portions of custards, ices, etc.

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Grape Slush

This recipe is simple, yet requires some elbow grease.  Your family will love cooling off with the leftovers.  Make at least one day in advance.

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  • 1 large bottle concord grape juice
  • 1 bottle Squirt lemon lime soft drink

Carefully pour above ingredients into 12 x 9 inch, glass baking dish.  Cover and place in freezer.  Check every hour.  As soon as liquid begins to freeze, scrape with spoon.  Continue to scrape during freezing process until entire pan has slushy texture.  Cover until ready to serve.  Garnish with mint leaves and maraschino cherries.

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Thank you for joining my respite from a busy summer.  Do pop by again soon!

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