It is time, once again, for all friends and family to gather around the dining table! We are all so happy to see you here again! We are grateful for so many new friends we have from Twitter and Instagram and so, if you are here with us today, we are grateful for YOU!
But before we sit down today, I have a bit of a story to tell you...
(Mr. Bear would like to remind you that you may click on the pictures if you would like to see them larger.)
Then, he noticed some movement in the pansies.
As he looked closer, he spied a tiny face, peeking back at him!
It was a bug and rather a large black, sparkly one at that!
Mr. Bear was a bit surprised (although he shouldn't have been, as most gardens are havens for all kinds of insects, of course!) He has been bitten by some bugs before and at first, he was worried this was one of those kind. But this bug did not smell bitey at all and because Mr. Bear is a very polite bear, he quickly remembered his manners and said, "Good morning! It's a lovely day, isn't it?"
He seemed so very polite that Mr. Bear decided he liked him right away (Mr. Bear is a very polite bear and he respects very nice manners in others as well.) He introduced himself and was told by the bug that his name was "Eadwig".
After a pleasant conversation, Eadwig wished Mr. Bear a good day and he disappeared into the pansy jungle once again.
And so, Mr. Bear wrote a note, addressed it to Eadwig and left it right here, where he met him.
This is what the note inside the envelope said...
A few days later, Mr. Bear was enjoying the day here in the pansy garden once again, when he noticed this, left in the same spot.
And so, it's Sunday and we find ourselves here on the porch once again!
I have made new dresses for Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Thursday and Hyacinthe for today.
Please notice they are all wearing a lovely mourning eye brooch, purchased from artist Rebecca Reeves in her Big Cartel shop Timberchouse.
Her art is inspired by grief and loss and so the girls are wearing the brooches today in honor of my lovely mother, Agnes, now living in The Next Life for six years. We remember her today as we enjoy our time on the porch, as this porch was a favorite place for her to spend her time when she lived here in this house. We never forget that our loved ones are never that far away from us.
Won't you please visit Rebecca's lovely shop on Big Cartel where she sells her beautiful art?
Hyacinthe's Dress has a butterfly collar with the mourning eye brooch in the center.
Thursday's dress also has a butterfly bow with mourning eye brooch in the center. Her dress also has black organza sleeves and she wears a butterfly bow on her head.
Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's dress has a black organza bow with mourning eye brooch.
Everyone is very excited for luncheon to begin!
As usual, we are entertained by Brownie McNutt, toy piano virtuoso!
Plinka plinka plink!!
There is a small rustle in the pansies and then...
Oh look! Our new friend Eadwig has arrived to
join us for luncheon!
"Hallow Mr. Eadwig! Welcome!"
Everyone greets our new friend warmly!
Our new friend Eadwig was created by Sophie of FilASophie. He traveled all the way from Germany so he could become part of our family! Sophie makes beautiful spun cotton ornaments, which you can order from her lovely Etsy shop here!
Mr. Bear lets Eadwig know how happy we all are that he could join us for luncheon today!
Eadwig will be lunching with little sister Tulip. She is quite shy and but Eadwig is a very polite bug, so they will be perfect dining companions today. (She is a long-time member of our family, adopted from the same flea market as Mr. Bear and Thursday!)
The charming little table is a spool from some ribbon I bought from the nice lady who owns the beautiful shop called Brambles in Belfast, Maine! I bought the last of the ribbon and she gave me the lovely spool as well!
We have a couple of new items to add to the beloved mis-matched dish set. This is an ornate sugar bowl, which we will use as a soup tureen.
Our other new table item is this souvenir tray from the chateau at Chambord. We will be using it to serve our cookies today.
Here is our menu for today!
You may notice that today we are serving luncheon and not strictly tea. Since I was little, I have always thought Sunday luncheon was a bit special, as my parents often had guests, friends or family. on that day. Today's luncheon with our Doll and Animal Family reminds me of those times.
An interesting point about all the items on the menu today is that each of them is a classic recipe, done in a new or different way.
The tomato soup is made with yellow tomatoes, resulting in such a bright saffron color. Fennel bulbs, cooked with the tomatoes give it a slightly anisette flavor. We are having it chilled today, so refreshing on a warm day. The soup is served with savory herb madeleines. Of course, madeleines are usually a sweet cake, perfect with a cup of tea. I have made them today from a recipe from Clotilde Dussolier's Zucchini and Chocolate blog, baking them in my miniature madeleine pan.
For the next course, an elegant surprise! Jill Colonna, author of the books "Mad About Macarons" and "Teatime in Paris" (and Dear Friend of The Gossamer Tearoom) recently published a recipe on her blog for Asparagus Clafoutis with Parmesan Cream Sauce and so, today, I have recreated it in miniature form for our luncheon. Usually clafoutis are a delicious dessert, made of fruits, baked with a creamy custard. Jill has cleverly created an elegant savory version, which I was happy to bake in my silicone chocolate mold and plate in miniature version for today's luncheon!
For dessert, I have adapted a delicious and unusual shortbread recipe, written by Truffles the Sheep, on Twitter. Their recipe is the traditional shortbread recipe, but with the addition of freeze dried raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, crushed to a powder and added to the butter and sugar, making for a scrumptious fruit flavor!
For tea, the family has requested iced Brambleberry, one of their favorites.
How lovely it is to be together once again,
having luncheon on this warm and sunny day!
Thursday is ready to eat!
And Hyachinthe too!
Mr. Bear is always ready to eat!
Parsnip and Mr. Bear are best friends.
Mr. Mookie and Teddy are such good big brothers to Baby Hoobert!
And look! Here comes Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle with the first course - the soup!
The tomato-fennel soup is such a bright yellow color!
I am always happy to help Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle serve.
Next, she serves the savory herb mini madeleines!
Now that everyone has been served, we can begin!
Eadwig and Tulip have their own small portions of soup and tea!
Eggsy and his friends are all enjoying bowls of soup too!
Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle waves to our friend Jill and hopes she is happy to see that we have made her sumptuous asparagus clafoutis with parmesan cream sauce recipe for our second course! We have garnished it with tiny spears of asparagus and micro greens from our own porch garden!
Thursday loves asparagus, so she is very excited to try this!
Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle can't wait for dessert, you know!
Teddy (and everyone else) enjoys the Brambleberry tea!
The doggie friends were careful to leave room for dessert!
Eggsy has a blueberry cookie, his favorite!
A few days later...
Thank you so much for joining us today for our summer luncheon on the porch!