Thursday, October 12, 2017

Effortless Entertaining: Afternoon Tea edition

When your kids want birthday cake, but your family is done with birthdays until spring?

Have a birthday party for your eldest son's hobby horse Christmas Horse III (known to his friends as simply Horse). Horse joined our family the weekend of our small town's Oktoberfest, and as such his birthday is observed as a moveable feast, the first Saturday in October. We celebrate his birthday with afternoon tea, which is both an easy and economical way to entertain. I estimate I spent about $20 on groceries- not bad for a gathering of thirty people. Since nothing save the tea is served warm, this meal lends itself well to being made ahead. If you have an older child, the two vegetable items could easily be made by them.

Cucumber Slices with cream cheese and tomato
Celery Sticks with Pimento
Deviled Eggs
Curry Chicken Salad Sandwiches
(Imitation) Crab Rolls
Scones (by Neighbor 1) with Apple Butter
Cookies (by Neighbor 2)
Never fail chocolate cake with ganache (also excellent made with coffee or red wine in place of beer)
Rooibos tea
I meant to put out a bottle of sherry, but forgot and no one seemed to find anything lacking.


This year we had 10 adults and 8 eating children in attendance. I made a dozen each of the sandwiches (2 lb chicken breasts and 2 packages imitation crab), 1 dozen deviled eggs, and 2 dozen of the cucumber slices. No one went hungry, but there were not many leftovers, either. I had one large slow cooker full of chai (could have used more) and made two pots of the rooibos tea over the course of the afternoon. The adults used bone china, but since the kids had theirs al fresco, they used tin cups from the picnic basket.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course....