Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Proper Jubilee Tea

 England and its' commonwealths are having a massive tea party thanks to Queen Elizabeth II celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.Anglophiles here can also celebrate with their own afternoon socials. Teas can have both savory and sweet dishes , all washed down with a variety of teas from around the world.

The most important part of any tea party is the tea. Any strong flavorful one is good. Earl Gray is a nice one.It's strong yet it doesn't have an aftertaste and won't cancel out the flavor of the food. Lady Gray is also a wonderful choice.it has an mild orange taste that goes well with both sandwiches and tea cakes. Since England had her Empire all over the world you can also add Chinese tea or the spicy Indian chai.Chai is basically just black tea steeped with cinnamon cardamon clove and ginger. Tea can also be iced if it's ah hot day  or made into a punch by adding seltzer and fruit. Toss in some sliced oranges, lemons or strawberries for a nice flavor. For a different punch add sliced limes or any other berry such as black or blue.

Teas usually have sandwiches and small cakes. The Windsors have a tendency to like chicken and their teas probably feature poultry. A light yet yummy sandwich is either whole wheat or white toast spread  with a chicken salad.It can be made with either deviled or freshly grilled sliced into pieces.A sprinkle of tarragon gives it a delicate herbal taste A variation can be made with deviled ham with celery seeds. Of course the most loved tea sandwich is watercress. Lightly butter small slices of bread and put three or four watercress leaves on them. Sweets are a nice ending to a tea. Try petit fours or the ever popular macaron. Nix the cupcakes because they're too American. Try smaller cakes that can be cut into wafer thin slices.

England is celebrating sixty years of a remarkable reign by a remarkable woman. Celebrate with them with a proper tea. Bring forth the tea pot along with cakes and sandwiches and cheer Elizabeth!

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