How to Make Tea
Afternoon tea is a pleasant method of entertaining friends. There are three general types of teas: the formal tea, the informal tea and high tea. The accompaniments for an informal tea are simple, a hot bread, thin bread and butter sandwiches and cookies.
The formal tea is more elaborate and served to a larger group. A beverage or two, dainty sandwiches, small cakes and cookies and dainty candies are the usual accompaniments. Formal and informal are the most popular. The musicale, tea dance or garden party are merely elaborations of the informal and formal tea.
HOW TO SERVE TEA
For a small, informal tea, no table is set. A tea cart is perfect. The tea service should be arranged to simplify the pouring, the teapot on the right hand, cream, sugar and lemon in front, and cups and saucers at the left. Small tea plates may be provided for the sandwiches and cakes, with a folded napkin on each plate. If lemon slices or sections are served, a lemon fork or pick should accompany the serving dish. If you like, stud the lemon slices with cloves.
For a more formal tea, and when serving a large group, the dining room table is used. Spread it with the finest linen and place the tea service at one end of the table and the coffee service at the other end. Both beverages are generally offered when large groups gather.
A centerpiece of cut flowers, dishes of dainty mints or candies make the center of the table look attractive. The sandwiches, small cakes and cookies are placed on the table symetrically. Stacks of small tea or salad plates, napkins and spoons, sometimes salad forks, are arranged at each end of the table. In the late afternoon, lighted candles are used, as they always add balance and beauty to a table. The most popular times for a large tea is 4-6 or 5-7. On a bright day, shades should be drawn.
A high tea is a company supper served in buffet style. This type of service is very popular on a late Sunday afternoon and evening from 5-8. For this type of tea, plan a more hearty menu if men are among the guests.
ATTRACTIVE SANDWICH PLATTER
Arrange 6 or 7 roses (or other flowers) depending on the size of the platter on half of a grapefruit or large orange with heavy toothpick or small skewers. Place fresh or artificial leaves between flowers. Place a large doily on the platter and arrange a bouquet of flowers in the center on a smaller plate. Place groups of black and green olives and tiny sweet pickles around the flowers, and on the outside, place finger sandwiches with assorted fillings, using white and dark bread.
When preparing these sandwiches, remove all crusts from sliced bread. Butter all insides of bread well with creamed butter. Fill three slices of each kind and press down a little. Cover with wax paper and a very damp towel and keep in the refrigerator for several hours or longer before serving. With a sharp knife, cut into three or four sections. Arrange alternately around bouquet.
Other considerations to serve could be spiced cake squares, banana bread, date and nut loaf, zucchini bread squares, or one of your own favorites.
24 cups of boiling water
4 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp heads from whole cloves, discard stems
The essence is in the heads
Juice of 6 oranges
Juice of 3 lemons
2 cups granulated sugar
Steep 5 heaping tsps of tea, preferably Orange Pekoe, in 2 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Do NOT use aluminum or metal utensil as it will cloud the tea.
Add cinnamon and cloves to 24 cups boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, then, add orange juice and lemon juice, also sugar and strained tea. Bring mixture to boiling point. Serve with flask of rum or with preserved ginger, if desired.