Friday, December 23, 2016
A Christmas Tea
It's been years since I last hosted a Christmas Tea for family. Fortunately, today my sister, her husband and granddaughter, Sweetie and my own amazing daughter were all able to gather around the table laden with finger sandwiches filled with chicken salad and with egg salad, cold cooked shrimp, a wonderful assortment of cheeses (with crackers) that Natashya brought, hummus and pita chips, mixed nuts, and assorted Christmas cookies. Of course there was lots of tea, plus some spiced hot apple cider and some good strong coffee for their trip home.
One of the things I discovered during preparations for the tea is that I don't really enjoy making tea sandwiches. I love eating them, but the making is too fussy. Guess I'll never run my own tea shop! I also discovered that I didn't have a recipe for egg salad. There was one for Classic Chicken Salad in the Comfort Food cookbook, but I guess egg salad was left out. I looked at a lot of egg salad recipes online and figured out my own recipe, which is below.
There is something very graceful about a tea party. Conversation goes around the table, as does the food. Stories are told and jokes laughed at. I think I refilled the tea pot with boiling water and new tea bags (yes, I used tea bags when I need the convenience...like today) at least a half dozen times as cups were filled and refilled.
Because we were also doing a late celebration of Natashya's birthday, I baked Maida Heatter's 86-Proof Chocolate Bundt Cake, using bourbon instead of Irish whiskey. It was delicious and a nice ending to the tea party.
Egg Salad for Sandwiches
6 eggs, hard boiled, chilled and peeled
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon milk or soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop the hard boiled eggs and put chopped egg in a mixing bowl.
Add the chopped celery and chopped parsley, but don't mix.
In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, mustard and milk. Stir to combine well. Add to the egg bowl. Stir gently to combine the egg, celery, parsley and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix in. Chill until ready to use to make sandwiches.