Sunday, June 23, 2013

My First Real Tea Party

True, I have been to countless tea parties with my own little girls at home using a variety of tea sets (from plastic Disney to cute little porcelain), but this was my first "real" tea party where women came dressed in hats carrying their favorite tea cups and ready to dine on a huge variety of delectable finger foods. (And yes, tea. I made Apple Lemon Pomegranate rooibos tea.)

It was the first big gathering of its kind for the women in our new ward (congregation) since the boundaries were moved around. I was asked to serve in a leadership position over activities in the women's organization (the Relief Society), so technically this was my baby, but the idea came from our secretary, Holly, who did it in her ward in Maryland a few years ago, and the vision for how it would all look came from my wonderful "assistant" Emily Nelson. All the pretty things (including invitations--thanks to Vana Olson) and food came from a variety of women pooling their resources and talents (thanks to Shauna Redford for sewing the table covers) as well as the fantastic venue of Andrea Taylor's backyard meadow. It was a lot of fun conceptualizing the whole thing and also working with such wonderful women. Totally worth the effort! We had a great turnout considering it's summer and people were out of town. I think the party certainly served its purpose of helping bring the women of our new ward together via food, fun, and entertainment. You can't really overestimate the power of women socializing over food!

Speaking of the food. THE FOOD:
I made those little curried chicken sandwiches cut into circles (thanks to Lieasa Card and her daughter, Lizzie and friends Megan Abbott, and Malone Hansen for the assembling), and Sallie's cute husband, Jim, was kind enough to wash and cut up all the fruit on both tables, which he also helped to haul down to the meadow (fruit and tables). Of course, Sallie was worried we might not have enough food (lol), so she had Brynn Zimmer make a Trader Joe's run for some extra goodies and chocolate, some of which were used for prizes. It was a good call, because we certainly didn't run out of food: 

Judy Smith's shrimp puffs were divine:
As were these cookies with lime zest in the icing made by Emily Nelson:
I made this watermelon water which looked so pretty, but to be honest, it just tasted like plain old water:
Everything on this tiered platter was so delish:
Holly's veggie sands were so good, as were Emily's mini cheese balls, and everyone was raving about the pinwheels, mini cinnamon rolls, and poppy seed muffins made by Frankie Abbott who couldn't even attend. (Bless you, Frankie!) All in all, it was more of a feast than a tea party: 
The decorations (Emily's brain child) were just simple table covers with roses in tea cups. Simple is always so pretty:







After 3 trips to the meadow for set up (once the night before, and twice the day of), Emily and I took a moment for a few prissy pictures just as everyone was arriving:
I found my hat for $5 at an estate sale on my way to the Deseret Industries (Utah's Salvation Army) to look for a tea cup. It made me kind of sad because I was reminded of all my Grandma Cutkomp's hats and dresses we used to dress up in on the farm as little girls, and I wondered where they are now! After getting a tea cup at D.I. for 50 cents, I found this one from Japan that I already had at home:
We need to get our pinkies up, like Paulette Santiago:


The guests. What a great group of women! I am really liking the vibe in our new ward:


Thanks for posing, Shauna and Maryelle:



Patricia Walton took the cake for best hat. If you can believe it, she made it herself the day of the party and it holds bits and pieces of things that tell a little bit about her. Amazing:


This hat belonged to Jamie Holmes (great?) grandmother:
I didn't find out if there were stories behind these other ladies' hats, but they were darn cute. Lauren (Sallie's daughter), and Liesa Card:


Elisa Vuyk:


Too bad I didn't get more pictures of the variety of tea cups, but here are a few:
The always cute and witty Brynn Zimmer (formerly of BYU's Divine Comedy) was our MC for the night:

Elisa's son, Tanner, entertained us with a beautiful vocal solo as well as Yun Sparks' daughter, Sarah, who did a rendition of Etta James' "At Last". Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of her, but everyone was blow away by the amount of soul that came out of that little 16-year-old girl. Here's Tanner:

Our Prez, the ever amazing Sallie Poet, sharing an amazing story of how she was reunited with her father when she was a young adult:

Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to get our presidency together after the party before it got too dark to get a picture. Lieasa Card, Holly Olsen, Sallie Poet, and yours truly:


It was a beautiful evening, ladies! Thanks again for all who participated!



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