Fresh Start Tea Party

Ahhhh, the holidays are behind us. All the energy that we put into them can now be turned to other things. We can start or renew a hobby, organize and declutter our homes or reconnect and spend more time with our friends. I can’t help you with the first two but I’ll give you an idea for a way to enjoy a fun evening with friends, tea included. Have a Fresh Start Tea!

After all the holiday party food, decorations and outfits, the Fresh Start Tea is simple and basic. Invite two or three really good friends, friends that you don’t need to impress. Now don’t get me wrong, not needing to impress doesn’t mean not making an effort. But the effort is toward your guests not to external “things.”

Set up your tea table in front of your fireplace if you live in a cold area or on your patio if it’s warm where you are. You don’t need to decorate for this tea but fresh flowers on the table are never wrong. And glowing candles around the room always create an intimate feeling. Use your most simple dishes, the ones with clean lines and not a lot of fussy decoration. A tablecloth and cloth napkins are necessary even with this casual tea though.

You don’t need to send invitations for this tea. Call up your good friends and invite them over. This tea works best in the evening, after a day at work and in place of a regular evening meal. Make sure to tell your guests to wear whatever makes them comfortable. Good conversation is the main event for this tea. Everyone should have a story to tell about their holidays, the best things, the disasters, their in-laws. Play music very low in the background if you like but with all the talking going on, music won’t be a big feature.

I don’t think anyone wants to eat scones with clotted cream and several high calorie desserts right now. In order to keep things light, I’ll start with a soup. Next I’ve combined the salad and savory courses and then I’ll offer only one fresh fruit for the sweets course. A dessert tea will round out this tea party.

Start the tea with a cup of Carrot Dill Soup, made with a chicken stock base, it doesn’t use any heavy cream. It is fresh and delicious. Next serve a Cobb Salad, a light version that still has great taste and looks so pretty on the plate. Pineapple grilled to bring out its sweetness, topped with a tiny scoop of sherbet is a refreshing end to the tea. And the tea itself, a dessert tea that should be enjoyed all throughout the evening. The recipes for all begin tomorrow.