In the One Thing household, every Wednesday is Art-and-Tea Day. That is to say, we create art, and we drink tea. We also listen to classical music, since classical music, as everyone knows, increases one’s chances of becoming outrageously brilliant.
I’ll take all the help I can get, friends.
I started having regular tea parties with my older children many years ago, thinking that it would help to instill a bit of refinement and grace in their sadly hillbillity lives. Besides basic please and thank you, we learned important rules of etiquette like always take the cookie closest to you and pass from right to left.
Also please don’t sneeze on the scones and no, you cannot bring your battle axe to the tea table.
For some reason, however, the tea tradition fell by the wayside. Perhaps the sheer numbers overwhelmed me (it happens on occasion). When the weekly tea parties began to be spoken of in wistful and nostalgic tones, I knew that would never do. I declared the tea parties reinstated, and there was much rejoicing.
It isn’t difficult, having a tea party. It just takes a little effort. Some people like to dress up for them.
But others prefer to be casual.
Perhaps a bit too casual.
The naked teabibber is awfully cute, though. Have I mentioned that a time or twenty before?
Other necessities for tea-party-success: china. Matching optional.
My mother-in-law gave me this china set several years ago. She just up and gave it to me! I might have mentioned that I loved it once or twice infinity times whenever I saw it at her house. I think it was a last-ditch attempt to shut me up.
Nagging one’s mother-in-law for china is probably not successful for most people. But most people don’t have my divine mother-in-law.
What? No, you can’t have her! She’s MINE! nanny nanny boo boo!
Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes. Goodies. Goodies are very, very necessary.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread.
Freshly-minted (as of this evening!) eleven-year-old.
(Okay, so that’s not necessary, but it’s pretty cool)
And most importantly: Grace and Gratitude, for all of the above.
So go on! Have yourself a tea party of your own. I’ll even share my shortbread recipe, to get you started.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread
14 Tbsp Butter (don’t even think of using anything else)
2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350F. Put butter in 13×9 pan and melt in oven. Remove when completely melted and let cool briefly. Combine flour and sugar together and add to butter still in pan. Mix it until completely incorporated, then press evenly over bottom of pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the shortbread and press them down into the batter firmly. Bake for 18 minutes. Eat decorously, with one pinky raised.