Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mother's Homemade Birthday Tea

Tea Table at Mrs. White's Home - with a pretty bell just for fun.

Last month, I invited the children and grandchildren home for a visit. I wanted to make it a special afternoon so they would have a lovely time.   It gets harder to have all the family visit during Thanksgiving and Christmas time because some have to work, or they live a distance away.  As they get older, their own family celebrations begin to form.  We have to be flexible.  Whenever possible, it is good to create special times to call the children home.

I thought my birthday would be a perfect excuse to have a gathering.  I told the children I was going to have a tea party.  Here is what I did:

Menu and Place cards for Mrs. White's tea party

I cut out several pieces of paper and placed them in a tray.  These were labeled as "place cards."  As soon as the grandchildren arrived, they could take one to decorate and write their own names.  This would be a fun activity for them during the party.

I created a simple, hand written "menu" and placed it on an empty picture holder.  Here is the menu:


Cucumber sandwiches
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Celery with Cream cheese and chives


Mint Frosted Chocolate Cake
Cherry- Pink Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookies


Tea - Sugar cubes - Lemon
Hot chocolate - Miniature Marshmallows

I had spent two days before making all the food as well as cookies, cake, frosting, and cupcakes.  I used a box cake recipe and used half for a single layer cake. The other half was used for 24 mini cupcakes.  I made homemade buttercream frosting. This was from a plain recipe in an old Betty Crocker Cookbook.  I divided the frosting in half so that I could create 2 different kinds:

1.  Mint - I used a tiny bit of mint extract and a drop of green food coloring. This went on the single layer cake.

2. Cherry - I used a bit of red food coloring, to make it pink!   Then I added 2 or 3 teaspoons of maraschino cherry syrup for flavoring.  This went on the miniature cupcakes.

The cookies were made from a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe.  We had a difficult time saving some for the party. We kept eating them!

I used artificial, pink and purple, flowers to decorate the sideboard table. I have had these for years already, so there was no extra cost.

I had two teapots. One was for tea, the other for hot chocolate.  Years ago, one of my grown daughters had given me a Christmas teapot. This is what I used for the hot chocolate!

I mixed the cocoa in a glass measuring cup and then added some milk to cool it down. Then I poured it into the Christmas teapot.  The grandchildren were delighted to be served this very special drink! 

Next, they found a wonderful surprise at the tea table.  I had filled the sugar bowl with miniature marshmallows! I showed the babies how to use the sugar tongs to take out one marshmallow at a time to put in their hot chocolate.  One of them said, "May I have one marshmallow, Me`me?" I said, "You may have four!"  They were delighted!

Sugar tongs and bowl to hold miniature marshmallows!

I served lasagna and sandwiches.  I had to set up a card table and chairs for extra seating in our parlour.  It was so nice to have everyone enjoying the food and the fun of it all!

The grandchildren kept looking at the tiered tea tray.  They would say, "I would like a cookie next!" Or they would ask for another "bell - shaped peanut butter sandwich." (I had used my cookie cutter when making the children's sandwiches.)  Sometimes, I would see the 2 year old looking up, dreamily, at the tiny cupcakes at the top of the display stand.

The grown-ups enjoyed all the food and service. They loved watching how much fun the children were having.  It was a lovely afternoon.

 Sometimes, we mothers have to "make" our own fun.  We have to create homemade events to bring cheer to the family. This doesn't have to cost much, just some grocery money. We can create crafts and projects with our imagination. 

Very often children and grandchildren have no idea how to make a birthday happy for Mom or Grandma.  They don't know what would make an adult happy.  This is why it is often fun for all when mother uses these times and seasons to serve the family by inventing a happy, homemade, celebration.

Each of the grandchildren took home their own place card as a remembrance of the day. They were also given a lunch bag full of home-baked treats.   I remember one of my girls telling me how excited her children were at the anticipation of "going to Me`me's tea party."   They all had such a lovely time.  I am so grateful!


From the Archives -

Home Economics Lesson - Feeding the Family.

A Homemade Gift for Baby - Tea Napkins.

D. L. Moody's Mother - Poverty in the 1800's.

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Tammy said...

Happy Birthday, Mrs. White!

What a lovely time you had. Everything looks elegant and yummy.
I agree, sometimes we just have to 'make' an occasion for family
to get together. And also, yes, simple is often best. :)

LeighSabey said...

What a beautiful party! Thank you for sharing your advice to create homemade occasions for the family. It's just as much a delight for the mother to use her creativity as it is for the family to enjoy.

Jo said...

What a lovely tea party and memory-making time!
This inspires me to perhaps do something similar with my grandchildren!

Gigi said...

Hmmmm, I wonder if you and I have the same birth date ...?
I love your idea of the tea with children. I should have done that, but did not (It was on Monday). Perhaps next year. We do enjoy tea time together quite often.
I think I will try your idea for a mint chocolate cake (my favorite flavor!).
Happy (belated) birthday!

Meditations in Motion said...

What a wonderful birthday celebration! Your desserts look beautiful. So good to have family gathered all together.

Amelia said...

Beautiful! In spirit and looks...Beautiful!

Happy Birthday! ...And thank you for sharing. I plan on showing this to my girls for an upcoming simple but pretty baby shower. Very helpful!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate your day. Thank you for sharing. I learned a few years ago to make my birthday special for myself, and not to wait for someone else to do it for me. You are a great inspiration! Have a blessed day.

Debby in Kansas said...

Sounds like a wonderful day! I'm beguiled by those tiered trays of goodies at my age....I can only imagine the attraction to a young child! Happy Birthday!

Janine said...

I love how you had the children create a keepsake. I saved a lot from my childhood and I'm glad that I did, because it helps me to recall more details. Once my son was in preschool, we began creating keepsake boxes for him to put things in. We wait at least 5 years to reopen! Such fun! Our boxes are just a little bigger than a greeting card, all alike, and I simply put the year on them on front and top.

Christine said...

Your Birthday Tea Party was a gift that you gave to yourself!
I like this idea! Family, Food, Fun!

~~** Happy Birthday **~~

Calleen Petersen said...

I absolutely LOVE this! My husband and I recently celebrated our anniversary and were on vacation in Victoria BC. I made him have high tea with me at a fancy hotel. Tea time is so much fun! Visiting from #MarilynsTreats

Sharon said...

I can see why this tea-party will definitely be remembered. I have a little bag with the paper plates, candles, fork, party hat, etc from my children's first birthdays. I would show them while they were growing up with not even a blink, but NOW that they are grown, they are so happy to be able to have that and the photos to go along with the party! :) Special memories are important, especially with all the worldly things that society tries to put in children's heads. Feel free to make an extra invite next time (hint-hint) ;)
Thank you, for sharing your day.

Ame said...

i LOVE this!

thank you for sharing; you have such a beautiful heart :)

Homemaker' said...

Thank you for this post. I love things like this. We don't have grandchildren yet, but the most important thing is to think "outside the box" when it comes to hospitality. You were very creative in all of this. Such good ideas. : ) Mary S.

Billie Jo said...

Happy Birthday!
And thank you for sharing this most lovely day!
Your tea party sounds just wonderful, and I am certain you made lasting memories for your family.
Blessings for a cozy week as we prepare for Christmas!

Laura Lane said...

This is a wonderful idea! We wish they'd do for us, but really, we can do for them and enjoy it, too.

living from glory to glory said...

Happy Birthday! What a lovely tea party, you gave to those that you love the most, our dear ones! I loved how you made it so special for the little ones. I bet they will remember it forever. Thanks for sharing it with us! And you are so right about not being able to always get everyone together at once during a holiday! Merry Christmas...
Hugs, Love Roxy

stacie said...

Oh! What a sweet story! Thank you for sharing! How delightful and the table looks beautiful. Well done, and Happy Belated Birthday. Yes, it is good to celebrate our own birthdays because we are sometimes the only one who remembers it, LOL