...to our Victorian Tea Party...
Date: Friday, November 13, 2009
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place: Mommy's Dining Room
Please wear your best tea party attire.
...The girls had three days off of school. It was quite a surprise to me because I was led to believe that their only vacation day was Wednesday for Veterans' Day. However, they came home on Tuesday boasting about how their school had both Thursday or Friday off for Parent Teacher Conferences.
Now, before you start wondering how I could be such an irresponsible parent, remember that we only started the week before, and I've been busy working out bus passes, doctor's and pharmacy appointments for Xoe's medicine during school, meal passes, etc. And on the school calendar, it only stated "Parent Teacher Conferences", which to me meant AFTER school, especially since no other American school around were taking these dates off. I should have guessed they would have taken the days off for these conferences seeing as they have about 600 students. That's a lot of conferences to hold AFTER school. What do I know?
The first thing I said to the girls when I was enlightened with such startling information was, "Oh man! I have to entertain you guys for 5 days!?" The girls started laughing and said, "Yup! You're stuck with us!"
And even though I was joking, I was kind of serious. I totally am not done unpacking the house, and there is still so much to do. Wednesday and Thursday the girls just did their own thing...which meant playing the computer, playing the Wii, helping me every so often, running errands and dilly dallying with a few other odds and ends activities. By Thursday night, I was feeling super guilty, so I thought I needed to pull together something fun. It was a little bit rainy, so I decided we needed to do something indoors.
So, on Friday morning when the girls realized we had another boring day ahead of us adamantly declared, "Mom, PLEASE can we do something fun. I'm getting cabin fever!" haha. I replied jokingly, but acting as if I was mad, "GO TO YOUR ROOM!" When they got there, they found a beautiful black, white and hot pink scrolled invitation with the same wording above handwritten inside.
I couldn't tell at first if they were excited. When I saw Xanthe open her invitation she had a smile on her face, but then said, "Mom, aren't tea parties where old ladies sit around and don't talk?" Haha. I said, "No way! Tea parties are super fun! And what better way to learn manners and etiquette? You can help me prepare for it if you want."
I had every intention of closing the doors to the dining room and then surprising them at 11:30. But then I KNEW how much they loved doing these kinds of things. And I was right. They right away tied on their aprons Auntie Katie made for them and went straight to work. Xanthe was making tiny tea sandwiches and Xoe was frosting the chocolate cake.
We had such a great time. Again, at first they were a little nervous of totally enjoying it. As you'll see from the pictures, they soon got totally into how to properly set a table, the correct order of preparing the fixings for your tea, and how yummy Raspberry Vinaigrette, tea sandwiches and scones can be.
On the Menu:
Lemon Creme Scones
Served with Clotted Cream & Raspberry Jam
English Cucumber Slices laid upon a layer of creamy dill butter spread on white bread
Tomato, Basil & Garlic drizzled with olive oil served on wheat bread
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Smoked Turkey on wheat bread
Mixed Green Salad
Fresh Blueberries and Mozzarella Cheese on a bed of spring green lettuce, drizzled with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Fresh Fruit Salad
Sliced Strawberries, Kiwi & Blueberry swirled with vanilla yogurt
Choice of Chamomile, Mint, Lemon or Honeysuckle Herbal Tea
(Served with sugar, cream and lemon)
Strawberry-Infused Ice Water
Moist Chocolate Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting
What was Spencer doing?
Oh, he was enjoying juice and tea biscuits (aka apple juice, banana baby cookies and Nilla wafers...)
So, I have to tell you the story of why I chose "chocolate cake" for dessert. You have no idea how much Xoe has been craving "chocolate cake" (I put it in quotes cuz every time I hear the words "chocolate cake" I think of her drooling over saying it. So try and imagine her saying it when you read it too). This little girl has been obsessed with "chocolate cake".
Every morning we would go into the bakery in Heidelberg for breakfast or for a cold weather break for some hot chocolate and a pastry. Right away, she would scan the whole display for "chocolate cake". All she would ask is, "Is that chocolate cake?" Or, "That's not JUST chocolate cake. That has stuff in it. I want JUST chocolate cake with chocolate frosting." Haha.
Then we would go to the grocery store and search high and low in the bakery section and up and down the treat aisles...on the lookout for already-made "chocolate cake with chocolate frosting". She was so disappointed when she wouldn't find it.
She would also scour the menus at restaurants to see if THEY had "chocolate cake", but no luck.
This has been a topic of conversation since we've gotten here, and so far she hasn't had her craving for "chocolate cake" filled.
So, imagine her elation when I pulled out from the oven, none other than "CHOCOLATE CAKE!" (yup, that was how she said it, so you have to go back and read it like how she would say it.) But then she said...."oh, well I don't want it cuz usually everybody puts white frosting on it and I don't want white frosting. Right then I pulled out from behind my back a container of chocolate frosting. I thought she was seriously going to cry. She grabbed it from my hands and of course had to be the one to put the frosting on.
I'm not even kidding you when I say that I found her going into her own world during the tea party. And when I glanced at where she was looking, I saw her falling in love with the image that soon she would get a piece of that chocolate cake.
Oh, and don't even think that she didn't have TWO pieces of chocolate cake for the party, one after dinner that night, one the next morning after breakfast, a piece for lunch on both Saturday and Sunday, took some to school on Monday, AND had another piece right after school. By that time, Brian and Xanthe had helped her finish it off (I was actually pretty good, believe it or not!) so it was gone pretty soon. So, when I stopped by her school on Tuesday, I could tell she was feeling pretty sad about something. So, I asked her if she wanted me to bake her more "chocolate cake" to make her feel better. She gave me this look like she was going to throw up and all she said while shaking her head was, "No more chocolate cake..." Hahaha. Guess we slothed that craving right out of her.