Monday, October 19, 2015

Afternoon Tea with Catherine the Great of Russia

The Afternoon Tea with Catherine the Great of Russia was held this past September. The tea party featured a Russian twist to the menu, and recipes from the Russian Tea Room Cookbook were used as a source for inspiration.
The tables were set with matching china and rose shaped napkins to represent the distinguished atmosphere of the Palace. The menu featured snapshots of the Queen during her reign. She married Peter, the grandson of Peter the Great and is attributed to helping to pull Russia out of the Middle Ages into a modern world.

The samovar was polished and put into service for this special event. Usually it is on display in the tea room, but our guests were able to pour their own cup of strong lapsang souchong tea from the teapot on top of the samovar and then dilute it to their desired strength using the hot water that is in the charcoal heated base. It was a fun and unique experience for many of our guests. 

Sugar cubes and blackberry jam were available to be used as sweeteners for the tea.
The first course featured a House Salad with assorted mixed veggies for toppings. The Russian Tea Room Russian Dressing, a blend of mayonnaise, sour cream and chili sauce with dill pickles, green pepper, onion, horseradish and parsley topped the salad. The fresh taste of a homemade Russian Dressing can't be beat!

Borscht, one of the most famous of all Russian Tea Room favorites was served next. This red beet and vegetable soup topped with sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill is a Russian classic, and another 'first' for many of our guests.

The sandwich plate featured a Chicken Salad (recipe from the Russian Tea Room Cookbook) topped with a pickle slice and tomato half on rye bread, Russian Egg Salad on Brown Bread with a parsley garnish, Sliced Turkey with cranberry and horseradish spread, Cucumber Rounds with Burnet & Chive Spread, and Roasted Red Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Bacon on Puff Pastry.
A savory scone, Black Olive & Rosemary  was served with whipped butter and grape clusters for the next course.

And dessert included a Floral Cupcake, Vodka Butter Cookie, and Strawberries Romanoff a la Russian Tea Room. The berries were first rinsed with white wine and then marinated in an orange liquor with fresh orange zest. Washing the berries in the white wine adds another dimension of flavor. Fun!

As always, we are ever grateful to Alisa DuPuy for sharing her wealth of knowledge and fascinating insights into the remarkable woman behind the legend of Catherine the Great. From the gorgeous costuming and dripping in jewels, to the Russian accent she maintained throughout the program, she becomes the character.

Today we are linking to Bernideen's Tea Time Blog, Friends Sharing Tea. Bernideen shares the most delightful children's tea party in the garden.


martea said...

Fascinating theme and interpretation, Nancy!

What a delight for your guests to experience using your samovar. Your food was beautiful and the flavors intriguing. You will have me trying the white wine rinse on strawberries...can't wait to try that and what a fun twist the vodka butter cookies are!
Thanks for sharing a tea that I would have loved to attend.

Bernideen said...

Wow - her costume is amazing and looks so authentic. I think your food looks great too and I want to get back into your cookbook sometime as I am retired and have time. I know you are a great pastry chef. If you get a minute extra - I would love for you to post this at Friends sharing Tea!

Linda Jennings said...

You continue to amaze me with your creative menus and themes. This was a very special event for your guests.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful time we had

Margie said...

What a fun tea! I especially liked the samovar.

Donna and Miss Spenser said...

Speechless....this is beautiful!

Marilyn Miller said...

I love this theme, how wonderful! I have never had tea from a samovar. Your menu is just perfection. Love that you had the jam to sweeten the tea. I just bought a limited edition smoked tea from S.Smith Teamaker that they sold with a small jar of jam for sweetening. Seems to be a Russian theme going on here too.

Bernideen said...

Nancy: This was one of my featured blogs this week! Congrats!

Angela McRae said...

You really do go all out for your guests at your themed teas, don't you! This one sounds particularly amazing … and now, of course, I'm hungry!