This post was actually meant to be posted last Sunday, on Mother’s Day. But since it wasn’t possible for me to post it either on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, I’m going to stop stressing and post it today anyway.
If you’re a mother, I hope you had a fantastic Mother’s Day! Or perhaps you spent your day making sure your mother had an amazing day!
Although in past years I’ve never had any elaborate plans to celebrate Mother’s Day, this year I decided to host a special Tea Party for my mother and her friends. But since we were expecting guests Sunday onwards I planned the party for Saturday afternoon. Although, to be precise, the invitation read, ‘five o’ clock in the evening’ as it’s still way too warm before that this time of year.
I had so much fun planning the Tea Party, beginning with the shopping. I never thought that shopping for baking material could be so much fun! And then I enjoyed myself completely while making the invitations. It was an excellent chance for me to practice my calligraphy skills. I even got a little creative and made my own envelopes. It was a little disheartening to discover that my envelopes were probably prettier than my invitation cards. But then, I did make the cards at work! ( I hope my boss isn’t reading this post.)
The entire business of hosting a tea party began with a craving for lemon tart and not clue as to where I’d be able to get it in my city. So I browsed the internet and found this amazing recipe with step-by-step instructions perfect for someone as hesitant as I am in the kitchen.
A little while before this I’d been flipping through my mother’s cookie book (now mine) and came across a recipe for Brownies. Now I have successfully baked brownies by following a basic recipe. I never imagined that there were ways to perfect it and make it even more sinfully decadent. I know, silly me! This recipe used two ingredients that I hadn’t tried before – strong black coffee and melted chocolate. With two dessert recipes that I was dying to try and a year old idea of hosting a fancy tea party for my mother that resurfaced at the right time, proper planning for the event commenced. The Praline Pavlova cookies happened to be the first recipe I came across in my cookie book that used the egg whites left over from the lemon tart recipe. Plus they looked pretty. The finger sandwiches were there to even things out. And the juice was served at the very beginning since I had also planned games, or a game and an activity before the eats were served.
The tea I used for my Tea Party was a present to my mother from a friend who’d picked it up on a visit to Calcutta. It was one of those deliciously fragrant teas that are sold loose in old world places like Calcutta where people guzzle tea all day long.
I seriously think God blessed my baking endeavours because I prayed very hard both during the trial baking session and the actual baking for the party. (Since I hadn’t made lemon tart before I made it a point to try out the recipe at least once before Saturday evening.)
Shall I tell you the games I planned for this supposedly elegant Tea Party? I think I will, although the games weren’t as elegant as you’d expect. The first game we played was Drop the Handkerchief (but I used a pretty scarf) where the leader throws the handkerchief/scarf into the air and everyone laughs while it’s up in the air. As soon as it touches the floor everyone has to stop laughing and be serious. No smiling allowed. The person who isn’t able to stay serious is the next leader.
The next game, or rather an activity, consisted of my providing them with all kinds of stationary and pretty ribbon and the mothers having to make bookmarks that showed why they were glad to be mothers.
Again, I had so much fun planning this party for my mother, and it made me all the more glad to see her having a good time without having to worry about anything. That the party was a success was one reward for all my planning and endless hours in the kitchen. The other reward was the tea set that my mother and father (she chose it, he paid for it) got me as a thank you present and, as my mother later told me, to encourage me to host more such parties. And it worked. Although this time I’m thinking of hosting something more adventurous like a themed dance party or a water fight with lunch after.