July has been the Month of Jane Austen here at Ciarrai Studios. As I have mentioned before, Ciarrai Studios’ first anniversary is coming up soon. (There’s only 12 days left to enter our Anniversary Giveaway. Have you entered yet? If not, you can do so here: http://eepurl.com/ytOij). And so, I decided to host a Jane Austen tea party to celebrate that momentous occasion. Although our anniversary isn’t until August 2nd, I decided to hold the party a little earlier to coincide with the time that my best friend and god-daughter were coming to New York for a visit so they could attend the party.
I started out so ambitious with the plans for the party. It was going to be a lovely garden party with centerpieces and place cards, with finger sandwiches cut into the shape of flowers on doilies, the whole nine yards. Everyone was going to dress up and I was going to be taking a ton of photos. What I didn’t count on was a brutal heat wave which hit NY and lingered for a few weeks. It was bad enough that Rob and I did all the baking and cooking for the party in a kitchen without air conditioning but as the day went on and the heat got more intense, I realized that an outdoor party, especially one where I was serving hot tea, would not be very comfortable for my guests. So we simplified. The party was moved indoors. I eliminated some of the items on the menu so that Rob and I didn’t keel over of the heat in the kitchen and things became a lot more casual.
It was still a lovely afternoon. I served two of the Jane Austen teas that I will be giving as prizes in our Anniversary Giveaway: Miss Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, which everyone really enjoyed. The menu included a few of the new recipes I have been experimenting with. The Turkey and Cranberry sandwiches (which my family has now nicknamed, the Thanksgiving Sandwich) was a huge hit but I was particularly fond of these cucumber sandwiches. We also discovered this recipe for a French Apple Rum Cake, which is now my favorite dessert of all times!
And as everyone was enjoying their tea and treats, my sister called from CA. She had just come back from the doctor and found out that the baby she is expecting in November is a boy! (I am being a very low pressure auntie and letting the new mommy and daddy make plans and decisions without excessive input from me but I think that if you make that kind of announcement at a Jane Austen tea party, then “Darcy” should be on the short list of possible baby names.)
This is usually the part of the post where I show some photos that I took but between the heat and the craziness, and being so distracted by my sister’s news, I just didn’t get any. (Not to mention the fact that my god-daughter informed me that Mommy did not bring her ”tea party dress” so she didn’t want any pictures taken of her in the wrong dress!) So I guess I will just have to plan a second tea party for when the weather is cooler and the correct dress can be worn.
I do want to send a special “thank you” to my Aunt Sharon for co-hosting the party with me, having it at her lovely home, and being so amazing when I was frantically trying to adjust to the unexpected circumstances.
Next up: Jane Austen Festivals and Mr. Darcy’s Heart