I can hardy believe it has been a month since I blogged last – I’m so bad!! Today I am recovering from a wonderful but long weekend of planning, cooking, entertaining, and merrymaking. I hosted a somewhat formal high tea party in honor of my mother – the party was her birthday present promised three years ago, and it has taken this long to finally happen! That said, it ended up being fortunate timing, as she is also officially retired as of two days ago. So, we celebrated her birthday and retirement with much mirth, shopping, and tea drinking!
My mother drove up from her house in Union, WA, along with 6 of her family and friends, to my home in Snohomish. After stuffing themselves silly with freshly cooked crepes (the first I’ve made!) with local strawberries and homemade Devonshire cream, they were off to the town to enjoy some shopping down the street full of lovely local businesses selling antiques, country home furnishings, tea things, fancy candies, and more.
This is the first official entertaining we have done since we moved into our home 2 ½ months ago. It was a ton of hard work preparing for it, as little did we know when we moved in how absolutely filthy this house is. It was built in 1900 and appears have been lacking its share of TLC for quite some time. For instance, the kitchen floor is the original kind of linoleum that requires a good waxing to keep clean. I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the life out of it, doing 2 ½ foot sections at a time because the water got black so quickly. I rinsed three times then wiped with a hot wet towel, and I was still bringing up dirt! I quit only because I ran out of comet! That is the kind of filth we are dealing with. I shudder to think of my little 11 month old sweet goddaughter crawling around on there. As soon as I have the energy, I will be down there scrubbing again until I can safely eat off of it, then I’ll find me some old-fashioned floor wax and get it protected before it blackens again. Now that was the kitchen floor only – I haven’t even mentioned the blinds, the wood molding, the stairs, the windows, the garden…!
My sister and her family stayed with us for the weekend, and it was really a blast, despite the work. It was such a joy to have room for two extra adults and two energetic boys! My sister was a lifesaver, helping me with the cooking and coaching me through one crisis after another. Expanding the store and hosting a party for 14 people at the same time is something I will never do again, however I will say that my party was on the calendar first. 🙂 And also – thanks to dearest Holly too, for helping me out so much, making me sit down to eat and drink some water, and giving me one of those "are you really OK" hugs as only the closest of friends can do.
When it was all said and done, everyone seemed to have a truly wonderful time. My menu – cranberry orange scones with Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and local honey; Ham, leek, and three cheese quiche; Chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons; Fresh fruit salad, mixed greens with pesto vinaigrette; chicken salad sandwiches with toasted almonds; mini Caprese sandwiches, which consisted of fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese, a slice of tomato, a fresh basil leaf, salt & pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, a spot of balsamic vinegar on slices of baguette fresh from the over that morning. I tried two new kinds of loose leaf tea, from the Tea Everything store down the street – a Queen Mary black tea, and a Cranberry Cream flavored black tea. They were huge hits, especially the cranberry, which is good because a bundle of it was their parting gift.
The tablecloth I bought on ebay ended up being BRIGHT yellow. To her credit, the seller did describe it as bright yellow, although in the photo is was a luscious pale buttery yellow, which is what I was hoping for. Oh well, an artist can make something beautiful from most any color, so I paired the bright yellow with deep purple as well as some orange. It ended up being very summery and nice, who knew?
Today Chris is at the store finishing up our lovely back patio – putting in the cement blocks around the edge, building in the waterfall – this place is going to be so relaxing and pleasant when they are finished! I however have rented 6 movies and plan on doing nothing today but watching them, eating leftover scones, picking up a bit, and thinking about how I’m going to wash the dishes for a party of 14 people with no hot water in the kitchen (please note that I also do not have a dishwasher)….