Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Apron Tea

An Apron Tea: Is there anything more homey than an apron? Ms. Arline, the hostess, had been known about town to throw some very creative tea events, and this was no exception. Upon arriving, I saw large tents covering the lawn and inside them were 24  round tables,covered in white linen tableclothes. Guests were served a garden salad, quartered watercress and turkey sandwiches, and fresh fruit. Perfect for a warm summer's day.
   A historian had been brought in to give an informative talk and show her HUGE collection of aprons and their significance throughout the decades. There were bib aprons, waist aprons, fancy pinnefore aprons, even dress aprons. Some reflected that their first apron was made their first apron in Home Ec class..a course that many schools have eliminated with budget cuts. Each guest was asked to wear an apron to the tea and to bring a wrapped gift for a game exchange. 

Pinned to the sides of the canopies, colorful aprons flapped in the breeze. As we circulated in our  aprons, memories and stories were beginning to surface: "Grandma used to carry the peaches she just picked", another remembered that her "aunt used to wipe the kids dirty faces", and my own grandmom carried things in the large pockets; like  the clothespins to hang out the wet laundry outside, cookies for the grandkids, keys to the cold celler, even another apron which was always clean and a little fancier in case company popped over. I always knew Grandma's apron pockets would have something special in them. One guest's mom left one hanging by the front door to change into when company stopped by. The apron was certainly a utilitarian garment. One gal said, "my grandma would use it to wipe the counters, dust the furniture, and then wipe our was already damp, right?.." I laughed so hard, today it better be made from an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial dye-safe, fabric!
The hostess made sure everyone was having a good time, tiny dessert plates with lemon cake and custard was served. Orange Spice tea was served in painted tea cups, which then was given to the guests to take home. It was a memorable, informative afternoon. Revisiting all the memories I have attached to aprons , I now own several.

image photo : Lemon teaphoto courtesy of A Taste of Home

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Power Packed Pistachio

If a food could wear a cape, it would be the little Power Packing Pistachio : yummy to snack on , great in desserts, pistachios can help support cardiovascular management thanks to something called phytosterols which actually compete with cholesterol from the diet for absorption. and pistachios are loaded with them. Pistachios offer many different antioxidants, to support the heart and the body. Fiber filled , just a few eaten can equal the amount of fiber of a bowl of oatmeal, according to consumer nutrition on nuts. From The Sharing Plate , I found a recipe my family really enjoys:

 Pistachio Pesto
1 cup roasted pistachios
4 garlic cloves
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoons tarragon,
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lemon
½ cup olive oil
Blend in food processor all ingredients (above)
3 large summer squash grated
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound penne, al dente
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the grated zucchini and saute on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and pasta and saute for 2-3 minutes making sure the zucchini is distributed evenly. Add salt and check for seasonings. Top with Parmesan cheese and a some pistachio pesto.

Pistachio Frozen Dessert
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1 6 oz pistascio instant pudding
1 pt vanilla ice cream, softened
1/4 C butter, melted
3/4 C milk
8 oz cool whip
Combine Ritz crackers and butter. Press into 9 inch pie plate. Bake 350°F 8-10 min. Cool. Combine pudding with milk. Fold in ice cream. Pour over crust. Spread cool whip on top. Freeze.
Garnish with crushed Heath Bar

See you all at Foodie Friday! !

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Southern Belles Tea

Summer had officially  arrived, I wanted to celebrate with the girls, with most of us having Southern roots, the theme became obvious, a Southern Belles Tea. The menu would begin with a Southern Comfort Punch, Chilled Peach Soup served in green depression glass teacups and saucers.
Next, served on alternating pink and green Cambridge Decagon glass; Field Greens with Marinated Grilled Chicken with spiced pecans paired with a mini Corn Muffin.
pots of Ginger Peach tea, and tall pitchers of Sweet Tea to hydrate on this hot summer day.
The Dessert tray included tasty pecan scones with clotted cream, and assorted homemade cookies.
The belles gathered in their cotton dresses, pressed linen handkerchiefs, and straw hats. The table was set with a mix of white china and green depression glass. Water glasses were covered with lace doilies. Hanging on the back of each chair, I place homegrown dried lavender buds in sachet bags for the girls to take home. Sitting next to each plate, I placed Fresh lavender pots wrapped in alternating purple gingham and purple polka dot fabrics for each gal to plant as a memory of our tea.

Coconut crispies

Organza bags held by satin ribbon held lavender scented candles to take home with the Lavender plants on the table.

Cinnamon scented fresh peach pie

Tiny lace caps cover the water glasses

Homemade Cream wafers

Placecard: "Miss Donna" a tiny silk pansy glued to each name

Pinking sheared edged "pot wrappers" were made from lavender polka dot and checked fabric.

The guests all wore white linens and lace, some carried parasols, all donned white hats.