Throw a Mother’s Day tea party for the most important woman in your life.
It’s a shame that moms only have one day in honor of them. For all of her sandwich making and for all the talkbacks she mustered through, one day doesn’t seem to be enough.
Thus, Mother’s Day should be something memorable, sentimental and fun. No—flower deliveries and a phone call simply will not suffice. Need we remind you of those colds she nursed? Spelling tests she quizzed you on for practice? Breakups she comforted you through?
Celebrate her in a way that is worthy of her and fun to do by holding a tea. Though not just any tea, rummage through your personal memorabilia and, if able, bring to the gathering representations from past generations. They could range from placing a photo album on the table to making your grandmother’s recipe for scones.
For our tea, we included pieces from three generations of tea sets. Diane Sedo, contributing editor and self-proclaimed sentimentalist, has held on to many of her family’s past tea ware. There is no need to worry about mismatching sets; in fact, we applaud the look. Motley items, connected with a delicate and pretty pattern, can create a modern, vintage feel. The shared theme is the connection between you and your relations. “When I set a table with my mother’s, grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s china, I feel a link to the generations,” Diane says.
A tea need not be fussy. Even the queen engages in a simple tea every day. Some staples include finger sandwiches, scones, jam, cream and, of course, tea. You can serve a variety of brews to make it more interesting, but, of course, you should make your Mom’s favorite tea the main pot on hand.
Select a convivial spot. If the weather forecast is set for a nice day, something outdoors is always welcoming. The beauty of Mother’s Day is that it lands right when flowers are blooming, so garden teas are an excellent choice; and you can even add fresh clippings to the setting. Take a cue from Jane Austen and incorporate your finest tea ware and silver in an outdoor environment. “Give your mother a teacup in her favorite style to take home as a memento of her lovely day,” Diane suggests.
Everyone loves a tea. It started back when we sipped from our play cups with teddy bears and dolls as the guests. Therefore, it seems most fitting that a tea is the event of the day. “It’s all about them,” Diane says. “The setting, treats and beautifully set tea table all show the love and care bestowed upon the mother.”
Makes 2 cups
Zest of 2 large lemons, finely grated
Juice from 2 large lemons, strained to remove pulp and seeds
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
5 1/3 Tbsp. (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
In the top of a double boiler, combine lemon zest, strained juice, sugar and eggs. Lightly whisk together until well blended, about 30 seconds. Place pan over simmering water and cook, stirring constantly until thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Do not allow mixture to boil. Remove the top of the double boiler from the hot water and stir in the butter, a little at a time, until blended. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools in the refrigerator. Store in a container covered with a lid or plastic wrap to keep a film from forming. Chill thoroughly (typically 3 hours) until ready to serve. This will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Makes 2 ¼ cups
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup whipping cream
(All ingredients should be at room temperature)
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in remaining ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Spoon into a pretty bowl and serve.
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Produced by Diane Sedo
Written and photographed by Jacqueline deMontravel