The Ladies' Tea Guild

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day in San Jose.

Elizabeth Urbach. Veterans' Day Tea table.
So many people enjoyed the simple comfort of a cup of tea during the years devoted to World Wars 1 and 2, whether they were fighting at the front or working at home. When we celebrate Veterans’ Day, we tell the brave men and women in our armed forces that their sacrifice is valuable and appreciated, even if it goes unnoticed, or even is mocked, by the media. Pull out some things from your tea party pantry (if you have one), or take a look at my tea shopping list before you go to the store, and put together a tea party, a great way to recognize their sacrifice!

You could even take the day, see the parade (at 11 a.m.) and ceremony at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown San Jose, and visit the Home Front exhibit at History Park, to see some Santa Clara Valley artifacts from the 1920s through 1940s. Then return home for a Veteran’s Day High Tea.

The decorations for a Veterans’ Day Tea should be patriotic and nostalgic, with lots of red, white and blue. If you have family heirlooms from the early 1900s, like crocheted doilies, embroidered tablecloths and napkins, and vintage dishes and flatware, this is the perfect time to pull it out and use it. Play a CD of World War I and II-era songs and musical pieces for ambiance, and for dancing if you like, and try serving some foods made from period recipes. Here are some World War 1 and World War 2-era foods that you could add to your menu:

Toast Triangles
Pineapple-Apricot Jam
Raspberry Jam
Date Nut Bread
English Scones
Whole Wheat Raisin Biscuits
Buttermilk Cornmeal Muffins

Crackers and Blue Cheese
Cucumber sandwiches
Potted Ham (Spam!) and Mayonnise sandwiches
Anchovy Canapes
Potted Meat and Toast Canapes
Sardine Canapes
Jelly and Cream Cheese sandwiches
Banana sandwiches
Date-nut sandwiches

1943 Victory Cake
Baked Apples and Prunes
Cornstarch Pudding
Homemade Fudge

Armistice Day Tea Party
“Have a 1940s style tea party!”
“Have a real ‘high tea’ for Labor Day!”
“Tea-time 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
Home Front exhibit at History Park, 1650 Senter Rd., San Jose.
World War 2 video tribute on YouTube
“Recipe for Victory: Food and Cooking in Wartime” recipe collection
Foods That Will Win The War and How to Cook Them, 1918
“San Jose celebrates the 90th annual Veterans’ Day with a parade”
“Veterans’ Day 11/11/09”
“Ride VTA downtown San Jose to the Veterans’ Day Parade”
“San Jose Veterans Day Parade, other events”
United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County
American Legion Post 419, Santa Clara, CA

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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)