Sunday, January 11, 2009
Part VI - The Christmas Tea
The Christmas Tea may already be familiar to some of you that have been following my mom's blog or my history generally. It falls on (or near) the feast of the Holy Innocents which is December 28th. After some reflection we think we may have been doing this nearly 20 years off and on now. It started as a fun little girl dress-up event with a real tea service, frill dresses and "magic" meringue mushrooms (see yesterday's post). I suspect the earliest attendees were the Hladik sisters. The attendance has waxed and waned over the years. The Hladiks are always invited and other regulars such as Tracie and Sarah have joined us over time.
The Tea rarely includes actual Tea these days, but Christmas Tea Punch (aka Wedding punch) is a must. We don't dress up as much any more and each year has some new invitees. Jessie, Allie and Anna were new to the fray this year and sadly no Hladiks as it was, for the first time, at my house, largely because Anna and Audra needed to leave for a wedding in Texas immediately thereafter.
As hosting with me sometimes does, the menu got a little out of control. It should be light appetizers, punch, the mushrooms, little sausages, etc..... Well, I had a fair bit of goodies people had given me that I incorporated and Tracie brought two yummy dishes, but overall my mom counted 16 different plates. I can hardly believe this was true, but I trust her. Here is what I remember making (ok, mom and Audra did most of this as I was worn out and feeling like tired pregnant lady for most of this) - Dotter Cheeseball (Mom- also traditional), BBQ lil smokies, Savory Palmiers (from my new Ina Garten Cookbook), Chili cheese puffs, Spinach Cheese Quiche (Able actually made these pretty much by himself), Dream Coconut Bars (aka Hello Dollies), Peanut Butter Fudge (Tracie), Almond Bark Popcorn (Mom), Chili Popper Dip (Tracie), Meringue Mushrooms, Pineapple, Chex Mix (Able), Goat Cheese & Honey w/Crackers (gift from Marilyn- who sadly was sick and missed out), Assorted Breads (gifts from others, primarily Kelli), Punch, Carmels (sort of these didn't really work), and apparently a couple other things I don't remember.
Due to pregnancy weirdness I didn't really try everything, but it was quite a feat to pull it off and the punch was AWESOME! I'm such an addict, but I think my mom and sis find it overly sweet. In the midst of the feasting we had an ornament exchange which was fun and Tracie brought me a new ornament of my own to replace the one I'd lost in the move. Then we had this fascinating whistle game my mom brought. We each had a whistle and an assigned number and together managed to pull off some Christmas tunes amidst some hilarity. Able had to help out as there weren't enough people. He is an honorary attendee some years as he has been there from the begining too.
After some chatting and swapping tales of earlier years the tea was over and with it my final Christmas event. My mom's blog suggests she didn't find it too exciting, but I love the history and commraderie of it. I love that it is a predictable, fun and girly. I hope we keep doing it for many years and find more ladies to join our fun.