Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Anyone for Tea? Claire Is Brewing Up!

One of the neat ministries that Claire has performed over the years is one which she's planning to expand
even further in the days to come. It is the creation of special teas (as in tea events, not just the drink) which she hosts here at home and, in several instances, even takes "on the road" for women who can't easily get out. It's not a particularly elaborate or elegant affair but Claire does make it a fun and a richly feminine experience where those in attendance are treated to a bit of ceremony, a bit of festivity and a menu that is a bit daintier than usual: small cucumber sandwiches, fancy salads, and hors douvres of various sorts. There's also desserts, of course, the most frequent being scones served with lemon curd, clotted cream or jam.

And then there's the tea. When the party is held here at our house, Claire will sometimes use the samovar I brought her from Belarus many years ago. Other times she simply "brews up" by pouring the boiling water from the kettle over loose tea leaves (she offers several varieties) which then goes into her pretty tea cups. They too were brought from another one of my excursions to Belarus.

Sometimes there is a distinct theme to the tea. Sometimes the party spirit is reflected in going dress up or wearing hats. But it is always an extraordinary experience, allowing those attending to enjoy a pleasant respite from busy schedules, some engaging conversation with friends, a deliciously different meal -- and all in a distinctly feminine atmosphere.

It is indeed a neat ministry and Claire executes it very conscientiously and creatively. Way to go, babe.

(The photo above shows Claire last week with Karla Struble and Carol Coppi at one of Claire's "on the road" teas, one which was particularly joyful because it represented a celebration of a successful surgery for Carol.)