The Ladies' Tea Guild

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mother's day is coming up; why not have tea?

So many of us are beginning to think “what should I give my mom on Mother’s Day?” Flowers are always nice, and chocolates are, too, but if you did that last year, how about something a little different for 2009? And seriously, does your mom really want another bottle of perfume or shower gel? And then there are the jewelry store and restaurant ads that attempt to open your already thin wallet ...

If you live nearby, or can travel to see her, why not prepare a leisurely brunch for your mom – or aunt, grandma, or other women who’ve nurtured you – and use your money more efficiently, while giving her a really meaningful present: your time and effort. Get some nice flowers – no need for a florist’s arrangement unless your mom prefers them – for a bouquet for the table, make her a pot of tea, and keep the whole thing simple, so that you can sit down with her and help her enjoy the day. Set the table with a tablecloth, cloth napkins, china, family heirlooms, if you have them – many mothers don’t bother to get them out for themselves – and have everything ready so that all she has to do is sit down and relax. And remember, don’t let her do the dishes!

In choosing the menu, your mother’s favorite foods should definitely be included, but if she’s like most moms I know, she’ll like most things, as long as she doesn’t have to make it! Choose foods that you can make well especially if you are a beginner cook; this is where simplicity will help. If you like to cook and you have family recipes – that your mom likes – do try and make at least one of them for her on Mother’s Day.

A tea brunch menu is different from a regular brunch menu, and from an afternoon tea menu, in a few small ways. Afternoon tea menus include tea, scones or crumpets, tea sandwiches, and petite pastries or other delicate sweets. Traditional brunch menus usually include coffee, juice, egg dishes, bacon or sausage dishes, fruit dishes, cereals, toast and breads, and perhaps some sweet pastries like danishes and doughnuts. A tea brunch is more substantial than an afternoon tea, and lighter than a brunch. A balanced menu is a good idea, so try to include tea, scones or crumpets, at least one light protein dish, some vegetables, fruits, and something sweet.

See the next post for recipes and a menu!

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)