Halloween/Harvest Tea

When I began planning a Halloween Tea, I knew there was just something about afternoon tea and ghoulish decorations and treats that didn’t fit together. At a nighttime party, sure bring out the scary stuff. In the daylight hours though creepy doesn’t work well. In that spirit, I’ve planned a tea that with a few change-outs can work for Halloween or can be a Harvest Tea without any reference to Halloween at all.

When you look at the Halloween decorations you already have, you’ll know which type party is right for you. Does a jack-o’-lantern grace your front steps or do you have pretty uncarved pumpkins in unusual shapes or colors? Inside are there scary witch figurines or baskets of apples? You get the idea.

For a Halloween theme, the colors are pretty much set to orange and black but if you find tablecloth material with a white background that will match your white dishes, certainly use that. Group several of your Halloween decorations with candles and orange mums on your table. Even a few plastic spiders wouldn’t be out of place.

For the Harvest theme, earth colors, browns, golds, oranges, dark greens will help to create a beautiful tablesetting. Don’t use your damask tablecloth for this tea; something woven and rough will work better. Along the same lines, no fine china for this tea. Use heavier dishes like ironstone to set the harvest mood and wooden serving pieces look great. Pumpkins, gourds, colorful leaves, fruit and nuts along with a fall bouquet will finish the table.

For a little take-away gift, fill a brown paper lunch bag with nuts in the shell. Pick ones that don’t require a nutcracker like peanuts or pistachios. Use Halloween or harvest themed stamps to decorate the bags, punch two holes in the top and tie them with either black and orange ribbon or any combination of earth colors.

There are any number of Halloween CDs available from pop to classical. One of my favorites is by Mannheim Steamroller. You could go all classical too with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique or Mussorgsky’s Night on Bare Mountain.

This tea is an easy one as far as decorating because almost everyone has cute decorations that fit the theme. There is no need to go out and buy a lot of stuff. Use what you have. We’ll concentrate this time mostly on the food. The Halloween/Harvest Tea menu is up tomorrow.