My Anonymous Commentator

Yesterday I received a rather nasty comment, anonymously, of course. Apparently she was disturbed by my recipes containing fat and calories. I feel I must address this.

As Anita commented, tea party foods aren’t something we eat every day. Really, how many teas do any of us attend in a year? Maybe a couple if we’re fortunate. It isn’t too terribly difficult to amp up exercise and cut back on the meals before and after a tea party in order to enjoy delicious foods.

For the hostess who wants to serve lower fat and lower calorie foods at a tea though, there are some things she can do:

Take advantage of low- or no-fat salad dressings, mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, milk and cheese. You won’t get the same rich flavor so you’ll need to further adjust the recipes by adding extra seasonings or other flavor.

Use low-fat, low-salt deli turkey for the tea sandwiches. You can’t make an entire tea menu with this but it is something to serve so that guests have an alternative to salads containing mayo.

Salmon is tasty and is currently a good-for-you food…unless you’ve recently read about the mercury in fish.

Make your tea sandwiches using whole wheat bread or use vegetables like cucumber or zucchini in place of bread. A circle of cucumber with a piece of salmon shouldn’t raise anyone’s weight or cholesterol count.

Soup is usually on my tea party menu. Use a vegetable based soup like tomato or red pepper and don’t add any extra cream or milk. Corn starch can come to the rescue when your soup is too thin.

Another usual tea course is the salad course. No bacon, no cheese, limited avocado and no-fat dressing isn’t too hard to pull off.

There isn’t much I can recommend for the dessert tea course except to use fruit instead of pastries, tarts, breads and chocolates. And there are some low-carb, low-fat sherbets. Maybe you’ll even be comfortable serving a tea bread or muffin made using applesauce in place of some of the fat. It is possible to use Splenda in place of the sugar.

It is difficult to replace the butter called for in most dessert recipes. You’ll probably just have to do without when it comes to those desserts.

But that brings up another point. Scientists just told us that it is healthier for us to use real butter and lard (yes, lard!) instead of a lot of fake stuff. It seems that what’s good for us changes every month. Maybe we’d all be better off eating the foods we enjoy in moderation and not trying to follow the latest fads.

That leads me to my last point. Ask yourself if you eat for pleasure or whether you eat only to survive. Food tastes good. It gives some of us pleasure. It makes some of us happy. Happiness is supposed to contribute to a long life, isn’t it? It is not something scientists can measure so it is often overlooked by that community. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of happiness. Serve your tea guests the foods you feel comfortable with but strive to have your guests leave your tea party happy. That’s the most important thing.

Now for the disclaimers: I do realize that there are people who can never eat certain foods because of medical conditions or allergies. I’m not suggesting they abandon their dietary restrictions for even one tea party meal. I am further not suggesting that everyone should give up eating the foods they feel are right for them to maintain a healthy life. I am saying that enjoying a tea party meal a few times a year isn’t going to hasten your demise if you are otherwise a healthy person.

Finally, there are a lot of blogs out there. I am sure there are many that address the eating style that “Anonymous” enjoys. Although if she’s such a strong believer, it seems to me that she would have had the courage to use her own name. Being a cowardly weasel, now THAT’S something to be ashamed about.