Last Saturday, May 11th, I was asked to speak at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church in Dearborn, MI for their Ladies' Spring Luncheon. They booked me months ago [before I started working at The Whitney], and even though the restaurant was booked full for Afternoon Tea, I had an obligation to keep my commitment. I made 20 premeasured tea socks for The Whitney - my preferred method for preparing tea in large quantities - and they carried on nicely without me.
I arrived at the church shortly after 10:00 a.m. This was the third time they've invited me to be their speaker.
The committee ladies were finishing their last minute chores before the attendees started arriving and the program began at 11:00 a.m. The program was first followed by the luncheon. I suggested a French menu to coordinate with my subject - Julia Child.
My display table is pictured below. I took a tin of Harney & Sons Paris blend. Julia particularly liked Harney & Sons tea. Tins of it are sitting on the counter of her Cambridge kitchen displayed at the Smithsonian. I don't know the origin of how Paris blend was created, but since Julia loved Paris and lived there from 1948 until 1953 and began her culinary cooking career there, it seemed like the perfect prop. Her favorite snack food was Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers, so a bag of those sat on the table too.
You may recall from a previous post, I ordered a blouse, logo/badge designed by Julia's husband, Paul, and a chef's apron to wear for the presentation. The Internet is a wonderful source for tracking down all sorts of things to coordinate with a theme. Julia always tucked a dish towel in the ties of her apron, and luckily I had one I bought when I visited Boston. The PBS television station where Julia's program The French Chef was filmed was in Boston, and the teapot on the apron was appropriate too because she was stationed on a tea plantation in Sri Lanka when she was with the OSS [Office of Strategic Services] during WWII. It's where she started drinking tea and developed a fondness for it.
A yummy assortment of desserts made by the committee ladies.
The tables were set by different ladies, so no two were alike. There were nine tables.
The table below is where I sat. The china was Royal Albert and the pattern was Tea Time.
I peeked in the church kitchen where the tea station was set up. They served English Breakfast tea.
Sherry Brown [below] is president of the Women's Ministry, and the one who has always contacted me about speaking. She opened the program with two poems about Mothers from an Ideal magazine that was her mother's. After prayer, she turned the program over to me.
I don't know what the count was, but the parlor was full. These ladies are alway so attentive and responsive - a delightful audience.
Lunch Time: Broccoli Quiche, a Garden Salad with French Dressing, and a Croissant.
Pecan Tarts, Divinity, Mini Cherry Cheesecakes, and Fudge/Brownie Bars.
A bonus for me was reconnecting with a friend and her daughter from a church I used to attend 45 years ago. Our paths took different directions, but Dottie now attends Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church. She was surprised to see my name in the church bulletin stating I was going to be the guest speaker. Her daughter, Ramona, used to babysit my two oldest children.
It was a lovely afternoon. Thank you, Sherry, and ladies of Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church for inviting me back.