Friday, April 28, 2023

Passport to India Afternoon Tea

Last year, we welcomed Ayla Bell as guest speaker and Faith Cohick as guest chef to the tea room for a special presentation about India. Ayla shared her wonderful experiences in India, including this fabulous intricately designed cloth. Ayla, as mother of the groom, traveled to India to experience a traditional Indian wedding where food, ceremonies, colors, rituals and dances highlight the event. 
Both Faith and Ayla shared the intricate henna adornment, or mehndi, they had done for this special day in the tea room. This temporary body art is crafted using a dye from the henna tree. Henna would adorn the bride for her wedding, often times having the grooms name hidden within the design.

Peacock feathers were incorporated into the centerpiece as the national bird of India is the peacock. These birds are associated with Hindu mythologies, religious traditions and legends. They symbolize such important attributes like royalty, pride, beauty, grace, protection and watchfulness.

The first course featured a colorful and tasty blend of Turmeric Coconut Rice. Fragrant and varied spices are an integral part of the culinary flavors associated with India.

The sandwich medley included Cucumber and Pepper Whirls, Cheese-Carrot-Curry Tea Sandwich, Butter Chicken on Naan, Tomato & Corn Basil crostini with herbed ricotta, and Apple Cheddar and Chutney on white bread. Faith was certainly very creative in her interpretation of India foods for an Afternoon Tea menu.

The scone and sweet breads served included an Orange Cardamom Scone and Cinnamon Swirl Bread served with jam and mock Devonshire cream alongside assorted fresh fruit.

The colorful dessert array topped off with the flag of India included a mint brownie bite, coconut Oatmeal Spice Cake, Kheer or rice pudding, and an elephant cookie. In Indian culture, elephants represent mental strength, earthiness and responsibility.                                                                                
Many thanks to Faith and Ayla for introducing us to a bit of Indian culture.