Tea Party 2: Attack of the Eclairs

Guests:

  • James Iveniuk
  • Wayne Young
  • Jessica Young
  • Simon Rowland

Served:

  • Eclairs (happy! ;) )
  • Ambrosia apples
  • Clementines
  • A marvelous assortment of tea, from which Simon chose Mountain Spring Jasmine

Wayne and Jessica helped me make eclair shells the night before, which
proved to be quite an adventure. We followed the recipe from the older
edition of Joy of Cooking. I have the new version, so I can’t include
the recipe for the choux pastry until I copy it from him sometime.
Here’s the one I used for the frosting, though.

Joy of Cooking p1003

1. Boil 3/4 cup cream in a small saucepan. Well, I had a little less than
3/4 cup of table cream left over from tea last Sunday (no one took
cream), so I topped it up with a bit of whole milk.

2. Add 8 ounces of chocolate, finely chopped. I wasn’t sure if the
baker’s chocolate squares were 1 ounce each, so I tested it using the
displacement method of measuring that Wayne taught me. I put in eight
squares, which seemed just about right.

3. Stir until most of the chocolate is melted.

4. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

5. Stir very gently until completely smooth. Well, taste it, and then panic as you realize that unsweetened chocolate really is unsweetened. Dig out brown sugar container left over from cookies from before the move (yay cookie ingredients!). Add sugar to taste.

The resulting dessert was yummy, although a little too soft and rich.
Also, I need to learn how to make it look prettier. Maybe a light
glaze next time instead of a thick chocolate filling?

I also bought a box of six varieties of tea bags. I’m thinking of
using the neatly-divided box to present other teas when I’m done,
although it’ll take a while to get through 120 tea bags. (Had one
today!) I picked up Mountain Spring Jasmine organic green tea from an
upscale grocery. Yup, definitely starting a tea collection. Maybe I
should reduce the proportion of chocolate desserts so that people can
savor the tastes of the tea instead…

Bought jam and fancy white bread, too. (Fancy? White bread? Eh?)
Fighting the urge to break out into song from the Sound of Music.

Oh, and bought easter lilies! They smell wonderful. I hope they last
longer than tulips. Note to self: find a low-care, pretty, fragrant perennial…

I had a lot of fun catching up with James. We talked about
interpersonal relations and communication skills, a topic naturally
proceeding from his mention of “Keys to the VIP”, the idea of which
appalls me. James left at around 5:15, which gave me some time to sort
things out before Wayne, Jess and Simon arrived at around 5:30. They
stayed until 6:30 and chatted with each other while I packed up.

Oh, and I have a pretty new teapot – glass with a built-in tea ball
that you can raise and suspend using a jointed rod in the lid. Clever
design. Got it from Winners.

Great things this time: Kicking people out at just the right time. =)
Also, having time before the party to prepare in a relaxed manner.
Next time – less food? Or maybe a focus on fruits and jams. I should
take a look at the weather forecast. If it’s cold weather, I’ll bring
out the chocolates. If it’s warm weather, I’ll announce a fruit- and
jam-oriented tea party…

Random Emacs symbol: ispell-kill-ispell – Command: Kill current Ispell process (so that you may start a fresh one).

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