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The Giving Tea Party

Host a holiday tea party for some of your favorite little ladies.

Imagine an elegantly set table and a gathering of young friends dressed in their Sunday best, together for their very first holiday tea party. Here, young ladies in the making can spend special time together, learn about friendship and enhance their etiquette skills.

Begin a new holiday tradition by having your daughter invite a small group of friends over for a lunchtime tea, asking each guest to bring a wrapped gift for charity donation. As they enjoy a lunch of tea, tiny sandwiches, fresh fruit and scones, let the conversation flow to the friendships that surround your table and the blessings you share. Then, touch on those less fortunate, who may not be able to enjoy the benefit of good friends or the simplest of blessings that you experience. The Giving Tea brings it all together as an event you can host to count what you have to be thankful for while enriching the lives of those less fortunate.

Giving Tea Party Menu

Currant scones
Butter, jam, clotted cream
Mini tea sandwiches
Hot tea (decaffeinated)

Choosing a Charity

A little research will help you to determine which charity will benefit the most from the Giving Tea gifts. So many charities are in need of donations, but how do you choose the one that’s right for you? A special Web site, Charity Giver (visit charitygiver.com)will help you to navigate through the many nationwide and local charities that will accept your donated wrapped gifts. With a click of a button and some simple parameters, you will be able to find the charity that fits your needs.

Currant Scones

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 12 minutes

3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
12 (1 ½ sticks) Tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup currants (optional)
1 cup buttermilk
Clotted cream and/or jam (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into the dry ingredients.
4. Stir in currants (optional).
5. Add buttermilk and stir until just moistened. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface.
6. Cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
7. Bake on a lightly sprayed baking sheet for 425°F for 12 minutes. Serve with clotted
cream and fruit jam of your choice(optional).

Note: Serving amount varies with the size of your heart-shaped cookie cutter. You can buy clotted cream at
specialty markets or make your own version (recipe follows).

Clotted Cream

A British favorite for topping scones, clotted cream also tastes good on toast, crackers,pancakes and waffles.

Makes 1-2 cups
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 8-12 hours, plus overnight to chill

2-4 cups (1-2 pints) heavy whipping cream (do not use ultra pasteurized) or full-fat organic cream

1. Pour cream about 1-3 inches deep into an oven-safe pot, preferably one with a heavy bottom, and cover.
2. Place in 180°F oven (lowest setting) for approximately 8-12 hours until a thick, yellowish skin forms.
3. Remove from oven, cool and refrigerate in pot overnight.
4. Remove the thick cream from the top and serve or place in container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. You can use the remaining cream for baking.

Etiquette for the Younger Set
The girls are all dressed up and surrounded by fancy food and a beautiful table setting. Now is the perfect time to teach them the fine art of table etiquette. Some essential basics include:

• Once seated, remove your napkin from the table, unfold it and place it on your lap.
• Wait until everyone at the table has been served before you begin eating your own food.
• If you come across a food that you think you won’t like, still try it. If after the first bite you don’t care for it, simply set it back down on your plate. It is not polite to express your dislike for the food.
• When being served family style, do not reach across the table to get what you want. Start by passing all items to your right. If you need a second helping of something, ask the person closest to the item to “please” pass it to you.
• Do not talk with your mouth full of food. On the same note, wait until other guests have finished talking before you talk. It is not polite to interrupt others.
• It is of utmost importance to send a hand written thank you note to your hostess. When you return home, write a nice note expressing your thanks for the day.

(The full article can be found in the December 2010 issue.)

By Kristen Doyle
Recipes by Peggy Butler from The Tea House On Los Rios
Photography by Trina Roberts – Grin Photography
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

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