I remember reading books by Enid Blyton, P.G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie to mention a few, where tea invariably referred to a formal affair where one made very polite conversation at. Tea was drunk out of bone china cups in saucers, while delicately munching on cucumber sandwiches, little cakes, scones, crumpets served with jam/ preserves and clotted cream!
As Henry James writes in The Portrait of a Lady, "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea".
As it turns out, for the English, "afternoon tea" was something very different from "high tea".
Apparently, the practice of afternoon tea was started by the Duchess of Bedford as a tray of tea with some bread butter. In those days, they had lunch at noon and dinner was eaten after 8:00pm, and afternoon tea provided some sustenance in between.
This afternoon tea was also referred to as "Low Tea" because it was typically served on low tables and really a social affair.
High tea, on the other hand, was actually a meal which was served around six in the evening in homes of common working class folk and a full meal equal to dinner! It was called high tea because it was served at the high table/ family dining table.
Somewhere in time, high tea came to mean a sort of traditional tea where lighter desserts and dishes are served. This would include savouries such as appetizers or tiny sandwiches, scones, crumpets and pastry items like cookies, cakes, shortbreads, etc.
I am happy to announce that it is my turn to guest host Meeta's Monthly Mingle this month and I thought it would be a nice to have our own tea party with the theme of "High Tea Treats". After all, tea is a perfect occasion for friends to get together.
Let me hasten to add that coffee lovers are also most welcome to join in, as the emphasis here is on "Treats".
Please Note: You do not have to submit only typically British dishes for this High tea. Any dish which you would serve at a slightly more elaborate tea party (or tea time get together) is welcome.
Meeta and I look forward to having you all for tea. So join us with what you would typically serve if you were to have a high tea sort of party.
And here are the rules:
1. Make or bake something which you would typically serve at teatime.Your teatime treat must be vegetarian, though eggs are allowed.
2. It must be a dish you posted on your blog between the 22nd of September and the 15th of October, 2009. Older posts will not be accepted.
Please note that you may submit your entry for this Monthly Mingle to any one other event (only one, please), if you choose.
3. Please link your post to this announcement and to Meeta's Monthly Mingle page. Feel free to use the lovely logo Meeta designed, along with your Monthly Mingle post.
Please submit your entries before midnight (your time) of the 15th of October, 2009 by using this Event Submission Form.
Just fill in the necessary details and hit the submit button. Please also ensure that the image you submit is 300px wide.
Do check out the round-up to last month's Heirloom edition at Jugalbandi.