Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Tea Party for Kids

This isn't your typical tea party for kids . . . it's a tea party with purpose. Our second. My mother invented them to teach her grandchildren the importance of grown-up manners. More than just saying "Plleeeeeeeeeease", the boys are required to honor the ladies by escorting them to the table, pulling out their chairs and pushing them in. There is no grabbing for treats across the table, but each person is offered something in time. Did you know a guest isn't to ask for seconds? Drat. Foiled again. 

Here is the lovely table setting. I love the colorful ribbon running down the center. And the place cards . . . 
My creative, brilliant mother wrote out each persons name in craft glue, then sprinkled -- get this -- crumbled tea leaves on the glue! Is she clever or what?
We were each to bring a treat for the party that the children were to help us prepare. This is a big draw for the whole event. "Oooo . . . you get to have treats and tea before dinner!" Mom got the award though. Again. Here are her cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese and cucumbers cut out with airplane and star cookie cutters. Looking festive, covered in glass. 
The strawberry tarts were fabulous. She used 'refrigerator' sugar cookie dough for the crusts, pressed them into the cupcake tins, used a fork to make 'crimping' on the edges, and baked. I'm not sure what the filling is. Mom?

Did you notice that the strawberries are cut into the shapes of hearts? Awwww.

Chocolate dipped strawberries.
Another part of the tea party experience is that everyone is required to dress up. No, you can't aways wear your velcro sneakers and jeans. There are times when you must wear 'cute clothes' as Ripley calls them. A good life lesson. 

The importance of wearing cute clothes from time to time was driven home when Ripley decided to have the mother-of-all-meltdowns when we required him to wear cute shoes. He is a sports gear guy and much to my chagrin is in love with sneakers. And, he's hard headed. It was a mess getting them on, but we didn't give in. We stood our ground. 

Mom recently purchased navy blazers for all of the grandsons to drive this point home. A boy should be comfortable and 'at home' in a blazer. Spencer, not yet one, will be the proud recipient of all of the hand-me-downs up to age 10. Doesn't everyone need a navy sport coat at 10 months? He does look stunning, I must say.
Here we all are at tea.
We made petit-fours from a left over upside down pineapple cake we'd served the night before. Ripley was in charge of cutting the squares (with a little supervision) and I made the chocolate fondant which was very easy. One cup of milk brought to boiling. Remove from heat. Then add in 8 ounces of chocolate chips very finely chopped, and stir until all of the chocolate is melted. That is it. Pour over your cubes of cake. Mine was a tad too thick, but I'm not sure if this was because Benjamin was in charge of bringing the milk to a boil and it took a dog's age. So, perhaps too much steam evaporated? I may add a scant more than one cup of milk next time. Because we were short on time, we just plunked an M&M on top of each one. Left over homemade heath bars chopped up into bite sized pieces also served as another 'offering'. (Thank you Katie!)

The traditional 'stair shot'.
L-R: Benjamin, Spencer, Rosalie, Ripley and Reese
After dinner, there were s'mores.
Spencer enjoying a graham cracker with sport coat. Why not?
Victor and Dad.
The perfect ending to a wonderful evening.


The Domestic Goddess said...

That picture of Spencer in a blazer just made my day!

GE is me said...

I couldn't believe Reese is almost as tall as Ripley. Was this in FL? or up here? Very, very lovely. And some fine young men & lady y'all are bringing up. :)