Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Traveling to Africa Tea

Our themed tea last Sunday was with an African twist as we celebrated the historical mystery novels set in British East Africa penned by Annamaria Alfieri. A book signing and author meet and greet was held in the gardens where guests could gather before tea. Once they enjoyed a few nibbles outside, attendees were invited inside by our young safari guide, Cedar who took tea requests. Although a pot of Rooibos would certainly have been the perfect selection for this event, everyone was able to choose their tea of choice. Rooibos is a herb that is harvested from the Red Bush plant in South Africa. It has become readily available once trade with South Africa was opened. It mimics the properties of tea without the caffeine. It brews quickly, yields a reddish orange color in the cup and the health benefits include naturally enriched nutrients such as iron, potassium, calcium, and fluoride. Personally, I believe it is an acquired taste.
The first course for our African themed event featured Saladu Nebbe, or African Black Eyed Pea Salad. This refreshing bean salad is quick to pull together, has a fresh dressing of olive oil and lime juice with a healthy amount of parsley. The recipe was found on a website called Cookie and Kate.

 The main plate featured a very spicy and well seasoned African Kale and Yam Soup and an assortment of tea sandwiches. The sandwiches were Blazing Sahara Desert Sun, Kenyan Tribesman's Spears, Strange Gods Strange Eyes, and African Jollof in Petite Pastry Shells. Before the tea service began, I asked a few of our guests if they saw the menu. They replied, 'yes, but we don't know what it is.'
So, translated, the African Kale and Yam Soup is a Happy Herbivore recipe. The Curry & Orange Marmalade round represented the blazing sun, while the Kenyan Tribesman's spear was a warm and toasted asparagus sandwich. The Tribesman's spear was the murder weapon in Strange Gods. The strange eye sandwich was cucumber, radish, and a garlic cheese spread. The African Jollof, another Happy Herbivore recipe is a tomato based veggie and rice dish well seasoned with a mixture of spices. It was served in the pastry shell to hold it all together.

Vera McIntosh, the main character in Strange Gods is Scottish so we served Traditional Scottish Scones and Spotted Leopard Lavender Sage Scones with Sweet Cream and Strawberry Blackberry Preserves. Keep a Watchful Eye out for Zebras. Do you see it?
And the trio of desserts featured: Do you see the Cheetah? Brownies, Mbatata (sweet potato) Cookies of Malawi, the "warm heart of Africa", and Don't Feed the Monkeys Banana Cream Tarts.
Special thanks to Annamaria Alfieri for her entertaining presentation after the tea. And thanks also to David for sharing his collection of carved wooden animals that were used as centerpieces to help set the scene for our African adventure!


Angela McRae said...

What a fascinating and unique themed tea! Amazed at how much planning must have gone into this (and I'll bet you enjoyed every minute of it!).

Linda @ Friendship Tea said...

I agree with Angela's comment above. I just love how the family pitches in to help with special events. Great job, Cedar!

Annamaria Alfieri said...

It was such and honour and pleasure to be there. So creative. So delicious. THANK YOU for all the effort and skill. The scones were miraculously good.

Marilyn Miller said...

What a creative tea time. So fun to see Cedar taking orders. Plain rooibos is not a favorite of mine, but it works well for me in a blend.