Tea Talk: Winter Wonderland

Many, many years ago - for one reason, or another - my family was introduced to the Cathey family, and (to make a long story short) we have all been friends ever since. One member of the Cathey family in particular, Doris, was especially passionate about a certain hot beverage; the beverage in question is tea. Many times, when I was over at their house, she would make a pot of tea for us to drink, and every time I remember thinking to myself "This is what happiness tastes like". 

Fast forward about seven years, we are sitting in the bakery and my mom, Pam (who, as some of you may know, is an avid tea pot collector), looks to me and says "We should start having tea here". Immediately, we knew who to call to educate us on the finer points of (in our opinion) the finest beverage. So, we called her, and she was more than happy to oblige. She brought over a picnic basket filled to the brim with different types of loose-leaf, black teas and she taught us how to steep them, how to store them, how to stir them and how to pour them. She became our own, personal tea sommelier - bringing us books and magazines so that we might educate ourselves even further, and eventually begin offering our High Tea. 

One year after we began offering High Tea, we were absolutely amazed at the popularity and wanted to flex our muscles, so to speak, and put on our most exciting tea to date: The Winter Wonderland High Tea. We knew exactly who to bring in to help us plan such an event, and, luckily for us, she was more than happy to help. Our first step was to plan the menu - we threw around ideas, we poured over books and magazines searching for ideas, we edited and revised, added and removed, until finally it was set. We imagined eating the food, and asked ourselves what tea would be best enjoyed with each course, changed our minds about ten times, and then decided on that as well. Finally we were ready to announce it, and within a week our initial wave of reservations were all full. So, we added more tables and chairs (and by "added" I mean "went out and purchased" because any excuse to buy antiques is a good excuse) and within another week, those spots were filled as well. A week or so before the actual event, we were lucky enough to be able to borrow another table (which was made for specifically, and built by-hand in the historic Cathey House) and we added more seats, and alas they filled as well. Before we knew it, the day was upon us - the places were set, the silverware polished, the napkins folded and our guests were arriving. It began quietly, but before the scone course was served the conversation and laughter had filled the entire room. Complete strangers quickly became friends, and unexpected connections were made -the atmosphere was indescribable, so much more than we had hoped. Even though most of us had been working hard to prepare for nearly twelve hours, the sight of one single idea growing into something so genuine and so delightful was worth every second. I doubt I'll ever be able to truly capture that evening in words, so instead I will provide a few pictures, and the promise that we will undoubtedly be doing this again. 

 

Setting the table

Setting the table

Swiss Cheese and Black Pepper Crackers with Candied bacon

Swiss Cheese and Black Pepper Crackers with Candied bacon

Mushroom and Brie Phyllo Cups

Mushroom and Brie Phyllo Cups

Ham, Havarti, Arugula and Pear sandwiches

Ham, Havarti, Arugula and Pear sandwiches

Plum Petit Four Glace and Raspberry Snowflake Linzer

Plum Petit Four Glace and Raspberry Snowflake Linzer

Orange, Cardamom Tartlets

Orange, Cardamom Tartlets

Misty Trantham enjoying a cup of tea

Misty Trantham enjoying a cup of tea

A table of guests being served by Doris

A table of guests being served by Doris

We are so, sincerely grateful to everyone who attended our first High Tea Event. None of this would have been remotely possible without your support, and it is because of you that this event was so wonderful. Your positively exuberant feedback is the reason we could not be more excited to (very soon) announce our next event - we hope to see you there! 

 

(Special shout out to Doris Cathey, Ashley Best, Kenny Allen and Kaleb Kidwell for all of their help and support - we love you guys!)

 

Sincerely,

Kristin and Pam