My mum has been raising money for Macmillan through hosting a fair few tea parties with her friends and our family. This morning and afternoon (we worked long hours- even if the aesthetic outcome doesn’t look Mary Berry cookbook worthy) mum and I made chocolate and salted caramel eclairs, white chocolate and cranberry slices, scones, smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches as well as cucumber (with a cheeky trick we learnt last week- soak in salt!) sandwiches. There were smiles, there were tears (Sandwich Chef [me] nearly quit because she sucked at preparing them so much) but it all went down in a very British fashion: with a mug of tea and red, happy faces.
When our tea party commenced, we considered The Important Questions. No, no, not who to vote for next week, but what is The Right Tea Routine: teabag; water; milk? Teabag; milk; water? And oddly, milk; teabag; water? I could be politically correct and say there is no right answer, but of course the first is correct. And then, the ultimate British question that supposedly determines posh or not posh (when results are just so inconsistent): “Scone” or “scon”? (Of course it’s the former, though.) Such a question of course lead to, cream first… or jam first? I simply propose the idea that cream is a really solid foundation for wibbly-wobbly jam. Cream floats fearfully when jam is spread first. Which leaves us with only one sensible process: cream followed by jam.
Jokes aside (I’ll consider them jokes only if you got a 100% score), everything tasted (don’t judge a book by it’s cover) delicious. With the rubbish week the UK has seen and the constant commentary on the election (not that I even think that’s a bad thing- it’s definitely good for democracy and all that good stuff), something as quintessentially British as an afternoon tea makes the world seem less crumbly- even if the scones were due to my terrible slicing skills.
Due to the demand (that we put on ourselves), mum and I faced a few challenges. The bread seemed incompatible with our bread knife (hence the tears); the salted caramel was very confusing; I moved and ruined the cake and maybe the whole day for a second there. We might have been told off and put in our place as Less Than Mediocre Bakers at our cookery lesson last week but today we sported a stiff upper lip and bloomin’ well got on with it. Well, after genuine distress in the face of sandwiches that laughed at me.
~ Kat ~
P.S. “BEDIM” you ask? (You didn’t ask.) I have been blogging every day this month and you can read yesterday’s post HERE!