Welcome to Twirly Tries It! I’m Twirly and, in this new section, I’ll be trying stuff! I have a list of potential activities, but if you have ideas, you can feel free to submit them to me by Facebook or Twitter, or by emailing them to TwirlyWrites@gmail.com!
It is a truth universally acknowledged that (most) little girls love tea parties. My sisters and I were no exception. We’d dress up in fluffy princess gowns, and my mother would let us drink real tea from Sarah’s tiny ceramic tea set. My favorite part (I shudder to admit) was the last sip from each cup, when I could suck up the dregs of unmelted sugar.
I’d show you a picture, but I don’t have any. Sad face.
We’re not little girls anymore, it’s true, but I still love to take tea as often as possible. I’m amassing quite the array of adult-size tea sets. And–lucky me!–I have friends who share in the enjoyment of the same glorious drink, affording me opportunity to share it, and my tea sets!
So the idea for the Big-Girl Tea Party was born. (Okay, maybe we didn’t actually call it that. We prefer to consider ourselves Proper Elegant Ladies.)
First things first: The Setting.
As I’m the one in possession of the dishes, it only made sense to do it at my apartment. I tried to do it like they do at those fancy tea rooms.
The tea set is from Teavana, and allegedly inlaid with real gold filigree. Either way, finally getting to drink from this fancy bone china set made us feel like queens. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with a creamer or sugar bowl, so I made do with a pretty glass set from TJ Maxx. Ryan, who is oddly supportive of my tea craze, found the fancy little spoons and the tea tongs at an online tea shop.
As for the tiered server, I made it! It’s amazing what you can do with some dishes from Goodwill and a hot glue gun.
Then, of course, we have to talk about the food! I picked up some macaroons and Madelines from a local bakery called Tous Les Jour. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but their confections are to die for, if you’ll pardon the cliche. Alongside those, we enjoyed chocolate truffles from Williams Sonoma, and maple sugar candy–a delicacy, for those of us who have been expelled from New England.
No tea party is complete without scones. So I made some, with help from The Big Book of Little Cakes. It might be my new favorite cookbook.
“But, silly Twirly,” you’re thinking, “you haven’t told us the most important part! What kind of tea did you drink?” My go-to tea, you might know, is Red Rose. It’s a black tea from Canada, the same kind that my grandmother drinks, and the same kind my mother let us drink as children. But I’m not a snob; I do like other teas. And this was a special occasion. As Dakota (who you’ll meet in a minute) had just gotten back from Ireland, we thought it appropriate to indulge in a pot of Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea.
And most importantly, the guest of honor! Meet Dakota. She’s sweet and spirited, and bookish as they come. She’s also the only one who is properly impressed by my Twitter contacts with our favorite authors.
Now, as I’ve said, I’m a veteran to the tea party scene. But, this time, I made a few discoveries:
1. Dakota had never tried maple sugar candy before. First times bring out the child in anyone, especially if it’s your first time eating crystallized maple syrup. She closed her eyes, tilted back her head, and a closed-mouthed grin covered her face. I imagine my siblings and I looked similar when we first tried it.
2. Macaroons are weird. Especially the lavender flavored ones. They’re crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside and so flavorful that it makes you jump and… I’m not sure how to feel about them.
3. Tea (unlike games) brings out the best in people. It gives you something to do with your hands and mouth, and it makes room for bonding and chatting and confidences. Anything can be discussed as long as there’s tea in hand.
4. Tea and books are perfect companions. I already knew this, of course, but tea with Dakota put this in new perspective.
5. Just as children enjoy playing Princesses, I enjoy playing Proper Elegant Ladies. It’s fun to sip tea from fancy china, eat tiny little cakes, and chat like real adults. Next time, we should wear fancy hats!