July 2008 found me back at the district Water's Edge campgrounds in Howell, MI [65 miles from my home], in the same gymnasium, but with a different theme - Apples! It was a fitting theme, since Scripture tells us we [mankind] are the apple of God's eye. Centerpieces were vases filled with apples, and I found lovely apple mugs at an Oneida outlet for drinking vessels, which doubled as a keepsake for the ladies to take home afterwards.
Bright neon green tablecloths and napkins, combined with yellow placemats and silverware were symbolic of green and yellow apples. Traditional red apples weren't a part of the tablescape, as I was looking for an effect that deviated a bit from the usual.
Any endeavor that's ministry related means there won't be an abundance of funds to work with, so the table vases were purchased with reuse in mind. I was able to change them out three years in a row with an entirely different look each year as you will see in upcoming blog post photos. At my last tea in 2010 several ladies wanted to purchase the centerpieces, so the Women's Ministry Director sold several, leaving my successor with the task of finding new centerpiece containers for 2011. We definitely got our money's worth out of those vases! ;-)
The large clear carry-out containers worked so well for packaging the tea meals that I used them for all four of my picnic teas at the campgrounds. Two families from my church own pizzerias, and stock the containers for their large carry-out anti-pasta salads, so I had readily available sources, but the containers are also available at restaurant supply stores.
As always, the menu and the theme coordinated. Beverages were Cranberry Apple Punch [made from Celestial Seasonings teas, dispensed from a 5-gallon igloo cooler], and Peach Apricot Tea - both hot and iced.
I swapped the scone for an Apple Streusel Muffin, and kept the Chicken Salad Croissant using a different recipe for the chicken salad [cashews instead of grapes, seasoned with fresh tarragon and minced green onions]. Taffy Apple Salad [that has a delicious caramel-like taste] replaced the fresh fruit cup in 2007. Dessert was a square of Chocolate Applesauce Cake with Buttercream Frosting. The Council liked the individually, cellophane wrapped teapot cookies that were given the previous year, so I ordered them again.
The photograph below is the speaker's platform/stage which was decorated by the Women's Ministry Council. The special speaker was Kirsten Hart from Houston, Texas.
Photo of the ladies gathering for the tea.
A good time was had by all, and it was time to turn my thoughts to a theme, tablescape, and menu for 2009!