The Queen of Hearts Tea marks the one year anniversary of the first Bad Hatters Tea Club! We had a blast developing the menu for this very special tea held Sunday, February 17th, 2013 at the Cottage at Crabtree Gardens in Drums, PA.
The room decor was easy peasy because Valentine’s day hearts still lingered from the prior week.
We chose to serve foods that made a connection to royalty or had the word “hearts” in the description and we used other foods that could be formed into a heart-shape.
First up is the Baked Hearty Spinach and Artichoke Hearts Dip served in tiny three-ounce cups. These tiny porcelain cups from Lions Deal are oven-safe and have become a staple serving piece at the club. (I’m not paid to advertise Lions Deal, I’m doing it because I really love how versatile these cups are!)
The hot dip was served with a mix of purple and gold corn tortillas chips which were tied into the theme because they are royal colors. This worked out perfectly for the first course savory and there were numerous requests for this recipe.
The second savory course was our Hearts Salad, composed of a bed of hearts of romaine and red leaf lettuce finely sliced and tossed with Chambord vinaigrette (recipe) topped with sliced palm hearts, radish slices and two shrimp gently steamed with Old Bay seasoning placed into a heart shape.
The Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Palmiere (recipe we omitted egg wash) was served at room temperature aside the salad. This is a very easy and eye-catching addition to any soup or salad course.
The dessert course was the sweet plate consisting of Rebecca McNulty’s homemade miniature Whipped Cream filled Cream Puffs accompanied by a chocolate dipped strawberry.
Together, they made the perfect combination; the heavenly light pastry shell complimented by the creamy light whipped cream that filled the cavity of the pastry and the sweet, juicy strawberry wrapped in a semi-sweet/milk chocolate coating. Rebecca has a way with pastry and anything baked, there’s no doubt!
There were two teas served at our meeting the first one was called Ruby Mist Herbal Iced Tea which was served on ice in a goblet. It had a rich fruity flavor with a hint of tartness from the hibiscus in it and the color was just a perfect to compliment the room decor. Laura Hackney, a tea club member gifted us with this beautiful and delicious tea.
The hot tea was Twinings® Lady Grey, chosen for its light bright flavor and the feminine association to nobility (not royalty). The blend consists of black teas, Seville orange, lemon bergamot and cornflower and we thought it paired perfectly with the seafood.
The table arrangements were a whimsical interpretation of a crown. They were designed to give the “suggestion” of a crown on a silver platter. They weren’t made to replicate one.
A circular foam form was covered in a red/silver edged wire ribbon pinned with stick pins and placed on a plastic silver tray. A handful of white paper shreds covered the exposed green foam. Red ribbon was cut into smaller pieces with edges cut in the shape of the tail of a swallow or “V” and pinned to the form to give the effect of the “peaks” on a crown and paper hearts were added to form the sides.
Reflective hearts wired garland was twisted around a pencil to form a tall spiral and inserted into the foam along with a plastic silver scepter with a red “jewel heart”. This was a very last-minute quick, easy and really inexpensive idea. The best part is the foam, ribbon and everything else can be reused later, there was no hot glue used and they can take shape in a matter of minutes.
We added some vintage heart shaped boxes on each of the tables for interest and conversation starters. This heart jewelry box belonged to my mother and she had it in the early 70’s.
This shell box is over 35 years old.
I’d like to extend a very special thanks to my talented friend Liz Hoegg who shared several of her beautiful photos for this blog. You can see more of her work by visiting her blog Along the Way 123 .
There will be no tea club in the month of March because of St. Patrick’s day and the Easter holiday. Our next tea club meeting will take place on April 28th and we will further discuss our ideas for our book and the “Tablescaping Challenge” which will take place on May 19th.
Over the past two months we welcomed several new members to the club they are: John Prendergast, Lauren Cornelius, Allison Leonard, Mary Theresa Hoegg, Liz Hoegg, Margi Ackerman and Theresa Evans. If I missed anyone please let me know. Thank you all so much for joining our group!
See you in April!