Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hobbit Tea

This was my secret theme for the party.  It's just a tea party that's heavy on 19th-century British foods, like the ones mentioned in The Hobbit, but it's more fun if you make it a costume party.

I still had to work around multiple food restrictions: vegetarian, kosher, low cholesterol, and low-carb.  As usual, I did not try to make every dish fit every restriction category.  I labeled them instead, with vegetarian/kosher friendly foods in green and high-carb in red.  The pork pie label was written in black.  As in, don't even bother unless you're an omnivore and okay with an unusual culinary experience.

This was a less formal gathering than usual.  Because it was themed to something nerdy that guys would like, I opened it up to spouses and children.  I didn't think the china was appropriate for this Middle-Earth theme, so I used my regular plates.  I did haul out the good silver because I never use it and thought it deserved some love.  It turns out that Techie Smurf is very good at polishing silver.  Hobbits eat a lot, and what I put out was less than half of what was mentioned in the book.  I'm guessing they do away with the formalities of serving tea by courses, and put everything on the table at once.

That left no room for guests to sit at the table, so it was a buffet that folks could take to the living room or out back.  It also meant I had to wash down the patio and its furniture, an annual event as loathed as cleaning out the gutters.  It doesn't really take that long, but I have to lug the pieces out onto the lawn and hope they dry before scary things grow.  Plus, I'm not terribly fond of the pieces I inherited.  Maybe next year I'll get a new set.  I can't believe that nice patio furniture costs as much as the indoor kind!


First Course
Cucumber sandwiches
Pork Pie
Deviled Eggs
Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Assorted Cheeses and home-baked Rye Bread

Second Course
Strawberry-Lavender Jam
Rhubarb-Orange Jam
Freshly made butter

Third Course
Seed Cake
Gluten-Free Apple Tart
Fresh Grapes

Basil & Mint Tea
Earl Grey Tea

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