I think it’s entirely appropriate to blame the English for the silly custom of “high tea.” I’m not sure I really understand the point of stopping your work to enjoy a cup of tea, but my husband would tell me it’s because I don’t know how to relax and just sit idle for a few minutes. Either way, those English made a custom out of it, and then America had to go and turn it into an overly elaborate affair.
There are a lot of things I like about tea. I like that it’s served from pretty little teapots in all shapes, sizes and colors. I like that there’s caffeine in it. I like that it smells really good when it’s steeping. I like all things associated with the Boston Tea Party. I love the story of Alice in Wonderland. But I’ve never been a big fan of the tea party.
When I was in college I was put in charge of organizing the food for our annual tea. To be fair, I didn’t ask to be put in charge. In fact, I didn’t even want to go. I was 19 and had no means of transportation, so I would have never agreed to such responsibility. However, I was gone when the other resident assistants divided up responsibilities for the event and I got stuck with what no one else wanted. There were to be nearly 500 people there, including some of the most prominent wives of those on our college board. I’m not sure what they were thinking. I say they had it coming.
I was super stressed about the whole thing and quickly realized why nobody else took the job. I hadn’t planned a simple birthday party for anyone in my mere 19 years of life thus far, let alone an event of this magnitude. The result…
The tea was cold
I didn’t order enough food, so several had to go without
It was a really bad night. The only redeeming part about it was when Aaron came to pick me up at the end of the night and knew that nothing would make me feel better about my failure except for a plain cheeseburger from In-N-Out, followed by fries and a milkshake. Even if I had been able to partake in the food I had so horribly organized, who could survive on little triangle sandwiches with cucumber on them?
I like to think I do teas just a little bit better these days. I’ve got 10 more years of life on me now, a few really great parties under my belt, and a very reliable vehicle. 🙂 So when I was asked to cater all of the desserts for Westside Church’s annual Christmas Tea, I jumped at the chance, with only a brief flashback of my massive failure 10 years ago.
50 pounds of flour, 25 pounds of sugar, massive amounts of butter, 10 dozen eggs, loads of crushed up candy canes, 15 pounds of chocolate, gallons of whipping cream, lots of lemons, and a house that smelled like the bakery I dream of, later…
I packaged up 500 chocolate truffle bites, 500 scones, 500 creme puffs, and 7 quarts of lemon curd and delivered them to Westside Church.
Sometimes life has a funny way of repeating itself. My lofty goal is to make sure that if I’m allowed a second time at anything, it is always better than the first. The fact that there was enough food to go around this time already makes this goal one that was reached, so…SUCCESS!