Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Christmas Tea

During the weekend before finals, my best friend Elena and I decided to do what the British do when times are difficult ... drink tea, of course! Last year at this time, Elena and I treated ourselves to an end-of-the semester tea party at a tea room in Ellicot City, Maryland - which, by the way, is a lovely place to visit during the Christmas season! [Ellicot city is a historical little mill town which has retained much of its whimsical, old-city charm. It is a gold-mine for antique lovers and a hidden gem for fantasy-creature fanatics. There is a three story shop in the city center filled with supplies for aspiring fairies, including sequined wings, dainty wands, glittery pixie dust, etc. All of the shops on main street have a store-front window-decorating competition each Christmas. During our visit there last December, we even had the pleasure of passing a group of carolers singing sweetly on the sidewalk].

That being said, Elena and I were a little low on funds this year since we are saving to study in England this winter! As a result, we decided to take the more cost-effective (and more creative) option of hosting our own tea party on campus. We sent out invitations to our friends and invited them stop by our room for some tea and snacks as a break from (or an opportunity to procrastinate - ha!) studying.

Our menu included two types of mini-scones from Wegman's: cranberry-orange and pumpkin walnut. We also served some Almond Spekulatius cookies, assorted chocolates, candy-canes, orange slices, almonds and craisins. Our tea menu was another story altogether since we always keep a supply of various blends and flavors. The favorite tea among our friends was Celestial Seasonings "Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea" a festive blend of roasted barley, orange peel and vanilla bean. It gives off a comforting, savory scent of sugar cookies fresh from the oven.

Our tea party was a definite success and though our focus for the gathering was food and hot tea, the best part was having the opportunity to sit and talk with friends before the end of the semester - and the end of our time in the U.S.!