Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Preparing a Christmas tea party ~ month three

It is the 25th of the month and once again time for a new installment for preparing a Christmas tea. If you are new to my blog, you can look back in June and July for the other installments. Join me again each month up to the holidays for more recipes and table ideas.

Christmas tea tables should be a fun and festive affair without causing too much stress. Keep it simple so you can enjoy your company instead of having to slave away in the kitchen and dining room. A pretty damast tablecloth always gives a festive look and allows other objects to spring out on the table without competing with them.

Spend time looking for a pretty paper holiday napkin which itself can be part of the decorations. Here you see a nutcracker napkin layed on the plates. It is not necessary to fold this napkin as the design is part of the table setting.

I like to give a table gift for guests to take home with them. Here you see pretty blue floral tea light holders which were used to give the table extra candlelight during the tea and taken home as gifts afterwards. They also brought out the blue on the nutcracker napkins.

Don't fuss too much with fancy flower centerpieces. A simple wreath placed around hurricane lamps have been more cheerful by placing pinecones and cranberries throughout.

Be sure to give your guests a choice of a drink and water along with the pots of tea.

Cranberry Fizz

For a festive and easy drink, fill a champagne glass 1/3 full with cranberry juice. Now pour a chilled, inexpensive white sparkling wine over the juice to fill the glass. This can be substituted with Sprite or 7Up for children so they can also enjoy a festive drink.

Dutch farmer's cheese and mustard soup

2 leeks
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mustard
3 cups chicken bouillon
3/4 cup whipping cream or half & half
3 oz. grated cheese (lightly riped Dutch farmer's cheese)
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 spring onions (optional for garnish)

Cut the leeks into thin rings and fry these in a Dutch oven with the butter. Do not let them turn brown. Add the mustard and warm this through. Stir in the chicken bouillon and let simmer for 20 minutes. Puree the soup at this point with a hand held mixer or blender.

Add the cream and bring the soup again to a light boil. Add the grated cheese, stirring well until melted. Salt and pepper to taste and mix in the whole grain mustard.

If desired, add chopped spring onions for garnish.

This is a delicious soup that would be perfect for a Christmas tea served in tiny soup cups or even mocca cups.


Nancy said...

Can I come for tea?!! So pretty.

Anonymous said...

I know, I've been there. You can't beat Heidi's special meals.
They not only look good, they are.
We had a champagne brunch the last time we were there. Even though the dollar is awful now, my son in law says I can still come because I get free meals. Ha Ha. I love that guy.
Love you both, Mom

Nunnie's Attic said...

Your table looks beautiful! My mom would go crazy for those napkins. She has nutcrackers everywhere. And one by one she takes all of her grandchildren to see The Nutcracker Ballet. Your soup looks delicious. But, it calls for 3 cups of bullion? That seems like an awful lot. Just checking cause I wouldn't mind making it!


Anonymous said...

What a great way to start the festive fun. i love the look of your table and the soup sounds delicious :>)
Hugs, Angela

Kristen said...

The soup looks delicious, Heidi! Yummmy! I might have to try this out on one of our MANY winter days here in Northern New York! :) The bread looks wonderful as well. You are so crafty with your tablescapes! I just love it!

Mary said...

Heidi - this looks fabulous and is making me think about Christmas already! We are soup-aholics here and I love making them - only vegetarian ones though so would add veg. bouillon which would be fine I'm sure.
Love Mom's comment. We are furious that the $ is SO LOW for our visit to the UK - won't be buying much to bring back!

If you visit me you'll see I used a little kiddie chair for the pumpkin - I had a pair with a table stored in the potting shed - thanks for jogging my memory!

I do love decorating the porch - one blog friend is showing the pics to her hubby tonight - she wants one too, LOL!!
More later, Mary.

yellowfarmhouse said...

Ok now I need to go and read the other entries a few months back to find out the rest of these wonderful tips. that soup sounds dee-lish.

Hugs - karen