A couple of months ago, I attended a friend’s birthday party at an adorable Manhattan tea room called Podunk. My close friend and I decided that we would love to have a similar, joint party. Our plan was to have tea at Podunk and then go to sing karaoke, but as our guest list expanded it became pretty clear that we would need to find a new venue, at least for the tea portion. Podunk is tiny; there are only a handful of tables, and fitting in a group of ten… well, let’s just say it would be extremely squished. So we decided to host a tea party at my house (assuming the sink/counter/kitchen would be installed in time and the place would not look like a construction zone), and bake our own goodies. We planned everything to the nanosecond, and I even made a schedule of when to bake what. Needless to say we were very excited.
Last weekend, the party finally rolled around. My friend and I met at her house the Friday before to shop and get a head start on baking with the Russian tea cookies, which are essentially nutty butter cookies rolled twice in powdered sugar. My mom and I drove home that night with our car loaded with groceries, the cookies, and a teapot among other things. The morning of the party, I met my friend at a nearby tea store and we picked out a two tea combo called “Blueberry Pancakes”– blueberry jam and maple syrup flavored teas that taste amazing alone or mixed. In fact, I’m sipping some as I write this. Next we set up our cutting boards and started on the sandwiches. We used Pepperidge Farm “Very Thin” bread, first cutting the crusts off and then slicing them into rectangles. We made a few different kinds of sandwiches: Peanut butter, Nutella and banana; peanut butter and banana (because my friend somehow doesn’t like chocolate. Crazy, right?); butter and cucumber; butter, cucumber and turkey; and butter, cucumber and salami. Each was made up of one slice of white bread and one of wheat, similar to the ones we had eaten at Podunk (although I wish I could say we were creative enough to think of it!) I thought they looked pretty good laid out on a platter: Here’s another angle: Please ignore that delinquent sandwich that’s falling over. We tried. After covering these with plastic wrap and setting them aside (and crossing our fingers that they wouldn’t fall like dominoes), we baked our scones. They were from a recipe which I haven’t posted yet, but I will in a few weeks (the same goes for the tea cookie recipe). We made about 48 mini scones, but because we were only a party of 8 kids, we used 24 scones as party favors, complete with a cute parting message. Next, we set the table. My mom and I had gotten colorful tea cups at Pearl River Mart in the city, which tied in perfectly with our table runner and placemats. We decided to put the teabags in simple glass bowls, and served the jam and butter in small dishes that matched the cups. All that was left to do was whip some cream (which was almost a huge problem because of the fact that we don’t currently have a hand or stand mixer, but thank goodness for neighbors!), make some simple white hot chocolate, and plate our cookies and scones. After scrambling to get dressed and finish everything up, it was finally time to welcome in our guests! Everyone loved the food, and the tea of course! Everything was demolished by the end. After opening presents (I got the cutest owl cake molds!) we headed to karaoke, which was an absolute blast. Our first mostly-self-planned birthday party was a success, and the planning of it was really so much fun. On a different note, I leave on Sunday for camp, and I will be gone until mid-August. But not to worry! I am currently working on about 5 or 6 posts that will automatically publish every week or so. They’ll be a little shorter, and probably not step by step, but I encourage you to give the recipes a go anyway. Goodbye for now, and as always happy nibbling!