Our Spring Tea on Sunday April 28, 2019 was wonderful. Pamela Aidan spoke on “Creating the Regency World” and enthralled listeners with information about the Regency era, her writing process for creating the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series, and stories about the Prince Regent. A highlight for many attendees was getting to talk with Pamela individually as she signed copies of her books. If you have not had a chance to read the interviews with Pamela we did on the website before the tea, scroll down on the blog to find them.
Thanks to all our attendees, many of whom drove long distances to join us. They were patient with us when we were not quite ready on time. We appreciated their enthusiasm for Pamela and their love of all things Jane Austen. Our members are the best!
There were three businesses that helped to make our day a success. The setting of The Seasoned House was beautiful and appropriately historic. Goose House Bakery made the tasty scones and wonderful desserts. Since we had lots extra, happy attendees took home goodie bags! Sam’s Apothecary in Pullman created tea blends with a Pride and Prejudice theme, including the Mr. Darcy (Rooibos Blue), Elizabeth Bennet (Madame Grey), and Mrs. Bennet (Brain Off), and members were able to take home samples or buy larger jars.
Many people contributed to the success of the day. Cassandra Dole Bates and Michele Larrow did most of the shopping and prep work of the food, and they attempted to organize the chaos of the day! Cassandra, our new treasurer, moved to our region from the JASNA Mississippi region. Although not originally from the South, she imbibed all the rules for hosting a proper tea and her contributions to the day were huge. Jane Provinsal, Amy Lyons, and Chuck Pierce did our set-up and clean-up. Vickey Bolen, Sara Thompson, and Nancy Tschida were an amazing team who helped the day happen with tea sandwich making and cleaning the dishes! Jane Provinsal created the beautiful menu party favors with the teapot charms and got people settled with their choices of tea.
Goat Cheese-Pecan Jane Austen Silhouette Tea Sandwiches
This is an adaptation based on a recipe from Southern Living.com. That recipe used pepper jelly. The fruit paste makes this recipe sing! Cassandra made the filling, and Nancy, Sara, and Vickey constructed them and decorated them the day of the tea.
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, with about 30-60 cleaned leaves for decoration
- Rutherford and Meyer fruit paste (apricot and cherry were used)*
- 15 bread slices (we used Franz Hawaiian-style sliced large loaves)
Using a JA silhouette cookie cutter**, cut two Janes from each slice of bread. Stir together goat cheese, cream cheese, pecans, and parsley. Spread on the bread Janes. Cut one fruit paste (cherry) for hair and a strip of the other flavor (apricot) for the dress along the bottom. Tuck 1-2 parsley leaves as ruffles behind the dress fruit paste. Makes 30 silhouettes.
* We found the fruit paste, which is from New Zealand, in the deli section of the Pullman Walmart! It is on Amazon too or they have their own website.
**Thank you to Roseann Thompson, a long-distance member of our group, who sent me a JA silhouette cookie-cutter made on a 3-D printer!
Mock Clotted Cream
Several people asked for the recipe of the clotted cream that Cassandra made (you can see it in the black tea cup in the top picture or in the last picture). The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman website by a food blogger named Erica: https://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/how-to-make-mock-devonshire-clotted-cream/. It uses three simple ingredients: butter, sour cream, and cream cheese. No wonder it was so decadent!
Kentucky Benedictine Tea Sandwiches (adapted from Southern Living.com)
- 1 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup peeled and seeded cucumber, grated on the large holes of a box grater and drained of some liquid (or more, use English cucumber if possible)
- 1/4 cup minced green onions (or less to taste)
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 16 bread slices (used Franz Hawaiian-style sliced large loaves)
Stir together first 7 ingredients. Spread mixture on 1 side of 8 bread slices; top with remaining 8 bread slices. Trim crusts from sandwiches; cut each sandwich into 4 rectangles with a serrated knife. Makes 32 large quarters.
The tea was such a wonderful experience. Pictures will be coming soon, but we wanted to get our thank yous out quickly. Michele