Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Pansy Tea (Another Teeny Tea)...

Hello Again, My Dear Friends,
Welcome, once again, to The Gossamer Tearoom, for the next Teeny Tea!  I'm calling this one The Pansy Tea.

As always, much preparation goes into such an event!  Tiny food and small guests does not equal less work!  But, it doesn't seem like work at all when it is so much fun to prepare!

(As always, please don't forget to click on any pictures you'd like to see larger!)

As usual, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle helps me get things ready for the party! This morning, she knows what I need are the prettiest and freshest of microgreens and flowers for some of the beautiful food we will finish prepping today.  Here she is, picking what I need from the pots on the porch.

Here are the tomatoes, herbs and microgreens (tiny edible plantlings of vegetables such as lettuces, cress, mustard, bok choy, chard, etc.).  If you look carefully, you can see the bright oranges of the nasturtiums near the center.  Due to our cool and late spring, the tomatoes I've used for the sandwiches today aren't from our porch garden, but the flowers and greens are perfect and ready to use.
The menu today celebrates what I think is best about summer: the colors, the flavors, the scents. These are the memories that sustain me during the long, dark, cold winters here in Maine.  The summers here are so lush and beautiful and I'm always grateful when my porch rewards my hard work by becoming our own personal paradise for the short time we have here each summer.

Our sandwiches today use herbs, baby greens, beautiful edible flowers.  The tea, Iced Thé de Colibri (Hummingbird Tea) honors our dear little visitors that we so love to watch darting through the bushes and the flowers, chasing each other away jealously from the feeders that I keep filled for them until they leave us once again to move to more temperate climate.

I had so much fun, sitting here on the porch, surrounded by my art supplies, rubberstamping this menu!  I've loved stamping since I was small, but became serious about it when I was in my late teens.  It's just fun!

Mr. Mookie knows that the best thing he can do is to just be patient and wait!  He's quite excited for the tea to begin.  He remembers what a lovely time we all had the last time!

The table is all set, this time for a lovely summertime luncheon, with sandwiches, cake and large glasses of iced tea.

Being as this is The Pansy Tea, we were so lucky to have had so many beautiful pansies and violas that we could use in vases, in sandwiches, as decoration for the cakes.  I just adore their colors so much.

I kept this little St. Germain bottle, even after the luscious elderflower cordial was gone, specifically to use as a little vase.  I love its Art Nouveau perfume bottle design.  It makes me think of beautiful days when Mr. V and I walked the streets of the St. Germain de Prés in Paris.

All seated now, everyone is so happy to be together once again!

It's a warm day, so the girls are in their most comfortable summery dresses, the ones I made for them last summer, which I re-purposed from my own discarded linen and cotton dresses and blouses, from my days living in sultry summertimes in Washington, DC.  I love the idea of turning some of my favorite clothing from that time into something new for Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Hyacinthe and Thursday to wear!

Parsnip and Mr. Bear are grateful for such a nice day for their luncheon here on the porch today!

A happy day for Mr. Mookie, Baby Hoobert and Teddy!

Brownie McNutt once again entertains us on the toy piano!
(Plinka! Plinka! Plink!)

Eggsy loves being close to the music and will have
his tea right here, thank you!

Since it's such a warm day, we'll serve the iced tea first!  If you didn't see my last blog post, I chat about different delicious iced teas you can make!  Today, I'm serving my Hummingbird Tea and you can read about how I made it by clicking here.  Just like hummingbirds, in some light, this tea looks very dark...

...but in different light, it looks bright red, just like the throats of our friends, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds!

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I think iced teas are really yummy and refreshing with fruit juices added.  We have some orange juice in our cream pitcher today in case you'd like to try some in yours!  Also, I enjoy my tea with some sweetener and as usual, we have our favorite turbinado sugar (sometimes called raw sugar), but you could add honey or agave instead.

Our iced tea glasses are actually the glasses of a really gorgeous cordial set that belonged to my mother.  Of course, being purple, I really love the color!  I made the straws to sip the tea with from some toile scrapbook paper I had left over from another project.

Eggsy and Brownie McNutt are having their iced tea in tea cups today.  Sometimes it's just fun to drink it that way!

Now that we have our tea, it's time for Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle to bring out the sandwiches!  We hope you are hungry!

First, we have watercress mousse, flavored with horseradish and white pepper, piped onto squares of Pane bread and topped with pieces of Persian cucumber.  So delicious and refreshing for warm summer luncheons.

Next, we have rounds of Pane bread, topped with pesto, fresh mozzarella, slices of various heirloom grape and cherry tomatoes and topped with more pesto!  

Hyacinthe can't wait to try one!

 And then, I brought these from the kitchen.

These are herbed cream cheese, made with very finely chopped dill and chives, a sprinkle of sea salt and a generous grind of coarsely-ground black pepper, piped onto Pane bread and then topped with the edible flowers and microgreens that Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle helped me to pick, here on the porch!

A few words about edible flowers and greens:

First, please make sure and do your research about what varieties are actually edible.

Second, please only eat what you have grown yourself with only organic fertilizer and absolutely no pesticides.  Only pick what looks freshest, nothing that looks wilted and please don't eat things that look like they might have been nibbled by bugs or other garden pests.

Next, before you eat them, please gently swish leaves and flowers in a teacup of cool water to remove any traces of dirt or small mites or spiders which might be hiding in the petals.  Allow them to dry on paper towels.  You may store them in the refrigerator, but only briefly before you use them.

Mr. Mookie and Teddy can hardly believe they can actually eat them!
Baby Hoobert just wants to know what they taste like!

And now, it's time for our dessert!
Our "Petits Gateaux Victoria" are inspired by classic Victoria Sponge.

My simple version was made by cutting out tiny circles of pound cake and layering them with whipped cream and blackberry preserves, then sprinkled with powdered sugar.  It's just been too warm to bake, so these are easy to make and yummy to have with our tea.

Mr. Bear really wanted to pick some of the tiny blackberries that grow outside of our backdoor, but we found none there when we went to pick some.  That greedy thing, our resident chipmunk Snackyface had eaten them all!  Mr. Bear was very grateful that Mrs. Bonne Maman all the way in France had been so good as to make delicious blackberry jam for our cakes today!  He thinks she must have been most clever to have made it before the Snackyfaces of France had eaten all of the blackberries there!

Eggsy is also grateful for blackberry jam.
And whipped cream.
And powdered sugar.

In fact, everyone is grateful for cakes and iced tea to finish their lovely summertime luncheon on the porch today!

Some of us have finished all of their treats...

Now it's lunchtime for Mr. V & I!

He can't wait to start his plate of sandwiches & cakes!

We hope you've had a lovely day with us again today!