All photography by Linda J. Hawkins
All the flowers of all the tomorrows are the seeds of today.
When it comes to serving, presentation is everything. When you place a freshly prepared meal or tea on the table, make sure your signature is added.
Will that be vintage linens, beautifully arranged, or candles glowing softly? (Outdoors, citronella candles help keep insects away.) Do you use fresh sprigs of curly, green parsley, maybe flower blossoms garnishing your delicious food, or certain crystal/china sets for the spring and summer? Do you like a nice, fresh bouquet as the centerpiece? We can each add beauty to our daily lives at such a small cost. Maybe no cost — just a little amount of extra time picking, washing, and presenting with the meal for those we dearly love.
Tea time is for children of all ages — 2-92. We can all be young at heart.
Taking Tea is relaxing, refreshing, renewing!
–Linda J. Hawkins
How about creating a summer garden theme: “Butterfly Tea Party”? That is presentation with appeal. Check out full details in Southern Seasons, 12 Months ofTea-licious Recipes & Ideas, pages 102-111. It is listed in our summer section with delicious foods to create also. (Order your copy here.)
Note: Flowers/Parsley/or mint grow easily in pots or our gardens for garnish. How about cutting your sandwiches with cookie-cutters into the shape of butterflies? Or any shape to match whatever theme you are creating?
It can be chicken salad, peanut butter and jelly, or any of your favorite sandwiches. (Keep sandwiches fresh by covering with damp towels.)
We must remember, children are a gift to us.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3).
A real cute garnish is freezing bits of fruits, berries, or edible flowers in filled ice trays. Do this ahead of tea time and add a special delight to your drinks. It adds eye-appeal for a satisfying look and taste so simple and free.
Do not serve ice tea, instead serve “iced” tea. Make tea a little stronger when serving it iced. This will keep it from becoming too diluted.
Carve your own fruit to use as a centerpiece. It is also fun allowing the children and grandchildren to help. With such a yummy-looking arrangement, the watermelon balls will disappear fast. We can smile in satisfaction as we’ve taken the time, our actions saying, “You are special, well worth the extra effort to me.”
“We find tea physically soothing and emotionally comforting.”
–Linda J. Hawkins
Serving others is a self-satisfying endeavor, making the giver, as well as receiver, happy.
“We should do
love and kindness.”
(Read the book of I Corinthians for extra guidance.)
Tip for adding a soothing, relaxing appeal to the atmosphere: Music is a great mood-setter. If you cannot have live music, then an iPod or CD player will work well. Keep it soft—not overpowering. I tend to open with a reading. Poetry is an English tradition we may wish to follow. A favorite prose piece would also be great. If the tea is for a special occasion such as a wedding, engagement, baby shower, birthday, or anniversary, then read a blessing or tribute to the honored guest. Maybe write it yourself. They will feel extremely special!
DO always have a camera at every tea party.
Keep a friendship in full blossom; value and nurture it a little each day.
–Linda J. Hawkins
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll also love Linda’s article Seven Ideas for Spring Tea.
Author Linda J Hawkins is a busy Christian lady who loves God’s creation. One, in particular, is butterflies. As her stress-buster when life gets hectic, she grabs her boots and camera and heads to the fields and woods snapping pictures as she allows herself to indulge in His lovely world. This is her sure way of feeling His Spirit and peace in a chaotic world. She returns refreshed and with a thousand pictures to share.
Linda has written numerous books for children and adults. She is the owner of Heart to Heart Publishing, Inc., and her mission is helping families be healthier and happier. She served many years as a Sunday School teacher and youth leader and is still active in her church, NPC. Linda volunteered ten years as a crisis counselor for abused women and children and has spoken in many venues inspiring others in this journey of life.