Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tea Time

Years ago, I  inherited a Shelley China tea set from my Grandma. It's white and pretty although it was terribly stained when I first received it. I soaked it in Napisan of all things for about 3 days and it bleached the fine bone china beautifully.  Ever since, it's been resting comfortably in a cabinet and never used.

Now I'm not a hoarder of things but I remember being at my Grans when the 'best china' and chocolate biscuits were brought out. The gentile afternoon tea with the Vicar and being told to behave like a grown up with a cup and saucer, so it does have some sentimental value.

However, my nickname being "Basher Bainbridge" (really) because I rarely have a glass in the house by Christmas is well earned. But what's the point of having a beautiful tea service if you never use it? Nothing. So this Sunday, Clare, Adam, Amy and I made and ate 'High Tea'. It was a cold, grey day and frankly the fun was in the making rather than the eating. Lovely afternoon, thank you kidlets.

This has become quite a popular thing over here in hotels and restaurants. Tea and scones, jam and cream, dainty cakes and savouries and the odd glass of bubbly. So, we broke out the Shelley, had an AWESOME time plooking around in the kitchen, decided that our piping bag was total shit and the old calico number my mother had deserves merit and that I can make a quiche without measuring anything. Clare can actually cook without using chocolate and I am capable of burning an entire block of dark chocolate in the microwave. Thanks Ads for noticing the smoke.  And, I mastered choux pastry . . man that's going to get some mileage. Today eclairs, tomorrow croquembouche!

Amy did the cupcakes and cucumber/cream cheese, smoked salmon sandwiches and chocolate berry tarts, Clare, prawn with rocket and garlic aeoli sandwiches, the fluffiest of scones with whipped cream and blueberry jam and I tackled mini eclairs and  mini florentine  quiches. Adam did a sterling job of assembling smoked salmon and Danish salami rolls and ribbon sarnies (not together obviously) and not one item of Shelley was broken largely due to Clare volunteering to wash up.  Oh and Sarah Lee provided the carrot cake 'cos Amy loves Sarah Lee carrot cake. The tea was Russian Caravan, apparently nutty and fragrant, frankly a little disappointing but then I like tea so strong you can stand your spoon in it. I naturally poured a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.



Mini Quiche Florentine sans recipe



Cheaters Carrot Cake


Chocolate Custard and Mixed Berry Tartlets


Mini Chocolate Eclairs



Prawn and Roquet Sandwiches in Garlic Aoli



Cucumber Dill Cream Cheese Ribbon Sarnies



Vanilla Mini Cupcakes - Nobody fart or you'll kill the cat




And Tea . . I wish I'd taken the bar code off the strainer GAH!




The only problem, we could have done with about 8 other participants. High tea bento boxes for the next week.

29 comments:

Ropi said...

I have Scottish tea bags or I don't how you call it. It is like 4 years old, but haven't drank a sip of it. :P I keep it for a special moment.

Elisabeth said...

That's some afternoon tea, worthy of the Windsor Hotel here in Melbourne, where they charge a bomb for the pleasure, at least they used to, the last time I was there.

Brian Miller said...

oy, i better start swimming now if i will make it in time...lol. everythign looks wonderful baino...bet it was fun as well...and i cant be a collector...cant standing having things to 'look at' but never use...

Roy said...

Alright, STOP already with the pictures of food! That's cruel and unusual punishment, that is.

Sheesh! Noe I have to go walk off all this virtual weight I just gained!

kylie said...

it all looks fantastic and bento boxes wont exactly be a hardship!

Grannymar said...

Did you curl your little finger and wave your lace handkerchief! Somehow I don't picture you Baino as a Miss marple figure!

I can just hear Claire and Adam telling their Grankids about having Afternoon tea with Great Gran Baino from that china!

Isabella Golightly said...

OMG I'm so jealous. My cupboards are so empty we're down to eating the 2 minute noodles raw. Yum and even nicer on the best Shelley china too!

Tom said...

geez! what a spread. luckily i recently had a night out with my wife at a fancy French place, so i understood some of the words you were throwing around so casually. i'd of broken out my suit again had i been lucky enough to join your party!
did Lily get any treats?

CatLadyLarew said...

Not even a bar code could spoil the elegance of that spread, Baino! I'd be delighted to attend your next high tea! The only question is, how am I to get there on time? Brian and I might both be a tad late if the ocean currents aren't in our favor.

Candie Bracci said...

Oh my God,this all look so delicious!!Here's too hot for tea!

Mim said...

I'm VERY impressed!

California Girl said...

My goodness that is some kinda spread! You and your children actually made all this and it looks as though you are preparing for a catered affair, it is so elegant. Good for you. Wish I were there.

tori said...

wow! looks lovely. may I come? I could polish off those leftovers in no time!
i think i'll go get my china out.

AngelMay said...

Ha! You need "Goo Gone" for easily removing the bar code tag. Or...you could photoshop it out. :)

Great looking "tea" by the way. Yum!

Pam said...

How wonderful! What a talented bunch, and great photos too. The whole thing looks fit for Her Maj, who would not doubt overlook the barcode as something we do in the Colonies.Puts my Iced VoVos to shame.x

Janice said...

Wow...it looks like high tea at the Ritz! I am dying to bite into one of those mixed berry tartlets. Well, that's where I would start since everything looks so beautifully delicious.

RA said...

And what a delicious High Tea! :)

Gledwood said...

Oh can I come?
I reallz - aarkh! fucking German kezboard, hang on... yeah I really like the look of those vanilla whippies with silvery balls atop the whippery.
I remember being given such looks for dunking biscuits in company of my Gran's old lady friends. Until I declared "well the Queen does it" (which she apparently does ~ and I wasn't trying to be smart-arsed, I genuinely didn't see the problem) and was told "well that's all right then..(!)
The flight from Heathrow will take 26 hours so you'll have to put the sandwiches in the back garden (I heard Australia gets as cold as a fridge in winter, so that'll save you money on leccy). Don't take them to Bimbimbie's garden bc too many birds will peck them.
Also I promie I'll only take a quarter of a gram of heroin (well it is "high" tea ~ wah, waaah ~ so you can feel free to kick me each time I nod out.
O I still can't fucking believe I ballsed up that funeral. SO typical but there you go.
I was actually relieved to get back all those comments saying we all thought you were too much of a junkie to make it there anyhow. Sometimes I get the impression that just bc I can string a couple of words together people think I'm somehow OK and I'm so NOT
Anyway enough about me, hope the high tea was a good 'un.

Colette Amelia said...

Bravo! Delicimo! Wonderbra!

Well done! Top Notch!

You know that it is a whole lot of gluten and you know it is the gluten or at least the Wheat that makes it all so darn fab! I am just about done with the rice flour...

I hope you will do this again often!

lakeviewer said...

Oh, I'm impressed! It it definitely an event to bring out the best of china.

Darlene said...

Now you've done it. I was just about to go make a healthy salad and instead I'm going to raid the freezer for a Danish and strawberry shortcake.

I love eclairs, so please skip some over the water to this chocoholic. It all looks fab. You are not cooks; you are chefs. Yummy!

steph said...

Spiffing! Baino

Jolly good show!

I fancy some of those mini quiche, please!

I'd better pass on the mini cupcakes... just in case!

e said...

You should open up your own tea room! Lovely stuff, Baino...

River said...

Oh Baino! It all looks SO delicious! Next time you do this, don't forget the 8 other participants. I'll be expecting an invitation and I'm sure a few other of your readers would be happy to attend. Heck, we'd even wash the dishes...
I've made choux pastry in the past, but no longer, as the individual adding and beating in of the eggs (in my recipe anyway)just kills my right arm. Besides there's no-one who'll eat them here except me and I certainly don't need the extra kilos.
Sara Lee carrot cake is the best! Okay, maybe homemade is better, but thawing and eating a Sara Lee anything is certainly easier.I have a couple of these in my freezer right now.
Love the barcode on the strainer...

Kath Lockett said...

I'm drooling from here. Silly, stupid me for reading this whilst starving and waiting for LC to finish our dinner!

And how lucky are to have kids that are still your friends, that you can have fun doing something like making high tea together? I don't reckon there'd be many parents who could say that.

Carolina said...

Vanilla Mini Cupcakes - Nobody fart or you'll kill the cat
ROFL You, my dear, are the funniest Baino I know!
It's such a blessing to have a vivid imagination. Can't stop giggling now ;-)

Oh, and should the new employer be not everything they promise to be, you could always start a catering business. I'd have booked a Kulula flight immediately had I known you could use some guests ;-)

i beati said...

omg mouthwatering

Vagabonde said...

My last high tea was on the Queen Mary 2 and the sandwiches and assorted fancies did not look half as good as yours – really. I wish I could have popped over to your place and joined y’all.

Mmm said...

Oh so yumm!! Well, maybe popular THERE, not here for certain! Ugh. too bad. this is right up my alley. I'd be a basher right along with you, dear Baino!