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One of my indulgences is hosting tea parties. I love bringing friends together for conversation. There’s something about an unhurried afternoon when people can come and go as they please, enjoy some snacks and as much conversation as they’d like, and share their lives.
After lots of experimentation, I’ve settled into a good routine. The week before, I prepare tarts, biscuits, muffins, scones, or other delectables that I can stash in the fridge or freezer. I think about dietary restrictions and make sure there’s something for everyone. When guests come (or a little before), I get small portions ready.
Even if no one makes it (life happens!), I’ll have a freezer of goodies to see us at least through the next week. Yay!
People always come. Most of the time, lots of people do. We crowd around the kitchen table, unwrap the favourites that people have brought, and share stories and tips and questions and advice.
There’s something about these low-expectation whoever-shows-up get-togethers that feels wonderful. When I read about the extended family dinners Trent wrote about on the Simple Dollar, I thought, “Yes, that’s what I do, except tea works better for me than dinner.” Less juggling of dishes, less competition from other weekend priorities, less need to get everyone together at a specific time.
I’m planning to host another tea party near the end of the month, or perhaps mid-May. I’ll buy a few more saucers so that I’m not always scrambling to find a clean one for later visitors. It’s a good time for lemonade and lemon curd squares. (W- makes awesome lemon curd squares with shredded coconut.) Pies and tarts are starting to give way to fresh fruit and lighter breads (perhaps some pandesal?), but maybe I can learn how to make pecan tarts. Soon it will be barbecue season, which opens up even more possibilities.
If you haven’t hosted a tea party or other get-together yet, try it out. It’s fun, surprisingly frugal, and a great way to connect.