Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tea by the Sea

Play in the Sand, Relax by the Sea

Then Come as You Are for a Beach-Side Tea!

For years I have thought it would be fun to plan a tea party at the beach, and our annual Lester family beach trip provided the perfect opportunity to realize that dream. So on Monday, after a morning of sunning and swimming, Joe's parents, siblings and their families joined us in our beach-side condo to enjoy tea by the sea. It was a lovely afternoon, and it provided a nice change of pace from the standard lunchtime options we usually enjoy at the beach. A wonderful time was had by all, and I am hoping that another annual tradition was born yesterday!

Our Afternoon Tea Menu:

Lemon Poppy Seed and Cranberry-Orange Scones with Cream and Blackberry-Raspberry Jam

Seafood Salad, Cucumber and PB&J Finger Sandwiches

Fresh Strawberries, Pineapple and Cucumbers

Frosty Jewelled Grapes

Fruit Tarts, Brownie Bites and Tiramisu Squares

Angel Falls Mist Tea

A Grape Treat

Great for children and adults, frosty jewelled grapes are a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. I discovered these at a church baby shower, and I was delighted to learn that they are quick and easy to make. Simply rinse a bunch of seedless grapes, and place them in a freezer-safe bag or bowl. Sprinkle grape Jello over the grapes, and toss to coat. Place the grapes in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Spoon the grapes onto a serving dish right before serving. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.

Note: I got this simple recipe from my friend Leah and didn't write it down because I knew I would remember her directions. When I made it several months later for the first time, I couldn't figure out why my grapes' frosty coating melted into puddles on my serving dish. I told Leah what had happened, and she couldn't help laughing as I told her exactly what I had done. She interrupted my story to remind me that this recipe uses Jello, not Kool-Aid! I tell you this so you can avoid making the grape mistake that I did!

Store-bought items made hosting a tea party away from home fuss-free and stress-free. A brief stop at a local grocery store on the way into town was fruitful; I found seafood salad at the deli and brownie bites and tiramisu squares in the bakery. My easy fruit tarts, made with graham cracker crumb shells, were quick to put together for our beach-side tea.

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