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Food Other than teaspoons, no cutlery should be required at tea. All sandwiches and sweets should be dainty finger-food. Try sandwiches of watercress, cucumber, or egg with crusts removed and cut in quarters. Sugar cookies and petit fours are traditional sweets. You can substitute mini-cupcakes or tiny tarts.
Tea One of first things that I learned in seventh grade home economics class was how to brew a proper pot of hot tea, but that was many years ago. I suspect that tea-making is becoming a lost art.
Tea is actually common name of one plant: Camillia sinesis. The three basic types of tea -- black, green and oolong -- are distinguished by amount of oxidization that tea leaves have undergone. The more than 3,000 varieties of tea in world are all derived from those three basic types.
Herbal teas -- more properly, tisane or infusion -- are made from a wide variety of flowers, herbs, barks, berries, fruits and spices.
At a minimum, offer your guests a traditional tea and a caffeine-free herbal choice. Have milk (not cream!), sugar and fresh lemon wedges available.
So, dust off your teacups and your manners and sit down with your girlfriends for a proper tea party. It's a lovely summer interlude!
Debbie Rodgers, the haven maven, owns and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Her latest how-to guide “Attracting Butterflies to Your Home and Garden” is now available on her web site. Visit her at www.paradiseporch.com and get a free report on “Eight easy ways to create privacy in your outdoor space”. Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org