Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Frenchy birthday tea

Earlier this year I was inspired by Victoria magazine to throw an outdoor tea party. One of the spots I envisioned was my mom's arbor for Mother's Day and another was my grandmother's patio. The timing didn't work out for Mother's Day, but I did put together a Peonies & Pearls birthday tea for grandma. I decided I'd still like to throw one for my mom, and planned for her birthday instead.
While reading another issue of Victoria on the flight to Ohio I learned that Pix Patiserrie is now serving tea. Since she traveled to France for her Girls' Trip this year, I decided to do a French Provencal theme for her birthday. But I've also been pretty busy throwing parties every week for the last month so I decided to use mostly prepared treats. In addition to being a nice short cut, it would guarantee perfect pastries too.
For the first course I went to Le Petite Provence for baked goods. I was just going to get croissants, but was tempted into getting jam and curd filled treats instead. I also bought mini baguettes for the sandwich course. I drove back down Division St. to Pix for the desserts. After reading the Victoria article I knew I wanted the colorful macaroons for certain. I also selected the Opera cake and the Pear Rosemary tart.The first time I was in Paris I was a poor college student and mostly survived my long weekend there by eating brie and ham baguette sandwiches from street vendors. So good and so cheap! I combined brie, French ham, and arugula for the sandwich course.I set the table with a cheery blue & yellow sunflower tablecloth my mom brought back from her most recent visit, and her white everyday dishes. The Provencal tea pot and the yellow pitcher used as a flower vase are also French souvenirs.My dad always gave my mother sunflowers for her birthday and I planned on continuing that tradition. That is until I saw a flier for a dahlia festival posted on Division St. It turns out in the middle of Mt. Tabor there is a small urban farmhouse, Old House Dahlias, where one can buy tubers as well as cut flowers. I knew I'd already missed the Canby Dahlia fest, so this was a perfect opportunity. When I arrived at her house, my mom was so pleased with the bouquet and commented that she had never received dahlias before. I think we may have a new tradition here. I arranged them with some sedum and Russian sage from her garden.Now originally my plan was to set up a little table for 3 under her arbor, but it was too rainy this weekend so I contented myself to her kitchen table and decided to include Mr. W and my sons.I also selected a lavender flavored black tea from her stash.
The green macaroon is absinthe.

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