I love, love, love, to have friends over for tea.
The whole act of tea time....
taking extra special measures to exude grace, beauty and the best of linens, china dishes,
flowers, candles, and the most delectable foods, with a steaming cup of tea....
along with the non hurried afternoon to visit extensively...
joins the essence of fellowship
and the beauty of hospitality in harmonious communion
to create the sublime.
The new Taste of Home's 100 best recipes magazine was more than I could withstand,
I just had to have it, and began trying new recipes right away.
Caramel Praline Torte,
Chicken Bacon Cresents,
Pesto Cheesecake with homemade crackers,
and strawberries, which are outstanding this year,
finished off the menu.
I served our favorite herbal tea, Preacher's Passion, along with the standard English breakfast.
Whether it is one special friend, or a group of six,
the aspect of nurturing a special time to share together is one of my delights in this earthly life.
Although I dearly love food, I relish watching others enjoy the dishes I have prepared even more,
and tea time is an opportunity to pull out all the stops and go over the top
with all those super recipes that we don't usually have.
Collecting the linens and pretty things is also part of the fun.
Most of the china I have has been given to me, and none of it matches,
so I have an eclectic table joined by colors of yellows and pinks.
The table never looks the same twice that way.
When we gather a group together for tea,
everyone brings food for the children ("locusts") which they may partake of on the porch,
then run off to play with friends they, too, do not get to see so very often.
The older daughters usually join us, observing and learning from our conversation,
take the babies on walks, and help with the locusts if need be.
Older boys who do not have work for the day may be found tramping through the woods together,
or holding babies as well.
Is there anything so sweet as a young man holding a little one?
All have a wonderful time, and ask when we are having tea time again.
Again next month, Lord willing, is the answer----
and until then, I will have my nose in the recipe book planning and devising,
and yes, praying that the anticipated day will be
a blessing to all.