Monday, June 15, 2009

A Tea Party for Nana's 84th Birthday

Roses of pink and cream...the formal songs from the 1940s and 1950s...a house full of family and love and laughter...

Katie and I were fortunate to be able to host Nana's 84th birthday tea party this afternoon with most of our family in attendance. Preparing for days, I would not have been able to have enacted my whole vision were it not for my mom. She provided infinite help in watching Kate yesterday so I could cook, and she came over early this morning to help cut bread into shapes and to assemble sandwiches. She also baked our scones and was my sounding board for the menu.

We wanted to make Nana feel beloved and special and to show her how grateful we are to be able to celebrate another birthday with her. I am also thankful that Kate got to have a role in helping with so much of the preparation---because I will always tell her the story of how she helped to throw her Nana a birthday party. We want to give her an understanding of the importance of family early in her life, and we want to build memories and narratives that link her to family members across all generations.

Here are some pictures of our tea preparations/tea party:

Katie helped with the cupcakes. She put all of the cupcake wrappers in the tin, directed me to the put the batter in each cup, (licked the spoon), and then sprinkled pink sparklies on top of the frosting.

Kate then performed some taste-testing to ensure quality.

Some of our roses....our colors were cream and white, with accents of pink and yellow. I wanted the party to feel old-fashioned and of the springtime.

An overview of the the three tea tables.

Nana's place setting...

A close-up of one of our tables. I used one of my teapots as a small flower vase for some of the roses. Two kinds of scones comprised the first course: apricot oat and currant. Mom, who has the precision necessary to be not just a competent baker but a FABULOUS baker, prepared these scones for us. We served them with Devonshire cream and raspberry preserves. We had lemon curd, but forgot to put it out!

After the scone course and a second course of watermelon/feta/carmelized macademia nut salad, we started on the third course: tea sandwiches. Here are the cucumber-butter-dill and the salmon-cream cheese sandwiches.

Nana loves Braunschweiger, so we served some spread on toasts with creamy dijon and a pickle to balance the richness.

The egg salad sandwiches were shaped into hearts because we love Nana.

And the last sandwich was a chicken-tarragon spread.

For dessert we had the cupcakes and also a fruit tart. I used Temecula blueberries on the tart. Yum yum!

Nana and me. I love my Nana and am so full of joy that I was able to celebrate her.

My mom and Nana.

Katie June and Nana June, ready for scones.

Evelyn and Nana. Evelyn took the day off of work to be with us, which was really meaningful. Evelyn is definitely part of our family now, and I couldn't imagine her not being here with us.

My dad and Nana.

Bill and Nana.

Aunt Jen and Nana.

Aunt Debbie and Nana. Jed, Fon, and Violet were here, too, but I want to respect Jed's sentiment he shared once about not wanting a lot of information about his family online. I wish I could show Violet off, though, because she is adorable!

Playing in the backyard.

Generations at the tea table...

Generations before tea....

David at the tea buffet, third course. We served three kinds of iced tea: pekoe, chamomile, and raspberry. I love having this buffet station for entertaining.

David and Nana.

Dad visits with David and Evelyn.
So it was a day full of love and laughter and my amazing family. I am so thankful they could be here today and that we could have this memory in our Hummingbird Home.
Happy Birthday, Nana! We love you!