July 25, 2009 was the date of the third annual District Ladies' Tea. By now the teas had 'caught on' and I was asked to plan for 100 ladies [12 years of age and up]. The price remained $12 per person.
The name of the camp grounds is "Water's Edge" in keeping with the three lakes that are on the property. With that in mind, I decided on a dual theme for the picnic tea, "Tea Time by the Shore / Sands of Time." Although the tea didn't actually take place on the shoreline, the Bearinger gymnasium was reasonably close to all of the lakes, making it an acceptable fit with the title, and sand is always associated with shorelines... and time.
Most of the food prep was done at my house and transported in coolers to the campgrounds where volunteers were waiting to help with any last minute food prep before assembling the tea meals into the clear plastic carry-out containers. My car was packed and ready for departure at 7:00 a.m.
Tablecloths were a light, sandy beige, with matching hot/cold cups, napkins and plastic silverware to match. Placemats were a coordinating brown. I partially filled the vases [from the previous year] with sandbox sand, and laid a few sea shells inside the vase as well surrounding it on the table.
Since the ladies weren't receiving a mug as a favor, I ordered egg sand timers as favors, which coordinated perfectly with the theme. [The timers came from www.gameparts.net.] I placed a Keebler "Pecan Sandie" cookie in a cellophane bag and tied it closed with brown burlap twine, and attached the sand timer.
Inside the program was the poem, "Footprints in the Sand" which is one of my favorites, and was perfect for the theme. Double click on the photo of the poem below to enlarge so it's readable. The poem is beautiful and worth taking a few moments of time to read.
I loved the way the speaker's stage was decorated with a weather worn Adirondack chair, fishnet, sand dollar, docking logs, a wooden seagull, lantern, and the view of the water's edge from the window panes.
It was especially fun putting this menu together: Waldorf Tuna Salad Croissant, Shell Macaroni Salad, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, Sand Cakes and Iced Tea [sweetened and unsweetened - no hot tea was offered]. These tuna salad croissants were not made with run-of-the-mill tuna salad. The recipe included grated apples, chopped celery, walnuts, golden raisins, and shredded Montery Jack cheese. Seashell candy molds were used to make assorted white chocolate shells for the top of each sand cake.
This is what a commercial refrigerator filled with 100 pre-assembled, carry-out containers looks like! We breathed a sigh of relief knowing we were ready, with a few spare minutes left over!
Well... almost ready. The containers had to be placed on the tables just prior to tea time!
Ladies gathering for the tea.
Kirsten Hart returned from Houston, Texas again.
A lot of ladies expressed this was their favorite of the three themes. Onward and upward to 2010 picnic tea plans. See you there [tomorrow]!