I've been going to teas and other frivolities with my Red Hat lady friends and leaving my men home with frozen pizzas, so I decided it was only right that I should get out the good china and stage a Victorian Tea. My sons, who are twenty-five and twenty-two, respectively, had never before eaten off the Good China. I could have served spaghetti with sauce from a jar, and it would have been special.
I cheated and bought fancy cake slices from the grocery store, which I cut into six pieces each, but I made scones. Normally, a dozen scones would be plenty for five people, but I know my family. Besides, with scones, if you're going to make a dozen, you might as well go ahead and make another dozen, since you've already got the stuff out and made the mess. So I made two dozen scones. I also whipped together equal parts of mascarpone cheese and whipping cream to make a reasonable facsimile of clotted cream.
For the savory course, I made egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches. When I explained that I wasn't going to trim the crusts because we didn't have any servants to eat them, my husband assured me that he would eat them, because he was starving. At any rate, I just sliced each sandwich into thirds, arranged them on a plate and put them on the bottom rack of the three-tiered tea server. The scones went in the middle, and the cakes, along with a few macaroons, went on top.
I didn't realize when I bought the server that it was missing one of its rubber feet, and my husband tried vainly to repair the lack; a bandaid didn't do the trick, I know, but I'm not sure what else he tried. We finally just left it, and since I passed my precious plates, it wasn't a big problem. I will get a replacement at the hardware store, maybe even replace all four. Maybe they'll have an interesting color.
This did provide an interesting source for conversation during tea, however, since we discussed elastomers as well as the great enjoyment we derived from sitting down to a special tea. We also briefly wondered what kind of wild party our triglycerides were throwing, but didn't spend much time on that subject.
My younger son tried egg salad sandwiches for the first time and discovered he liked them, and my dad ate five scones. Of the two dozen I made, I had only seven left. My older son got his finger stuck in the handle of the cup and spilled tea all over the tablecloth, but I have a vinyl pad to protect the table, so no harm done.
Afterward, my husband helped me with as much of the cleanup as he felt was safe, but he left me with the task of washing the china. I wanted it that way, since my husband, indeed, all my guys, are fairly clumsy. Normally, I'm happy to put up with a certain amount of breakage and things done differently than I would do them just so I don't have to do them myself, but not with my good china. Not when I know that it would cost $36 to replace a teacup at replacements.com.