Archive for the ‘Tea Parties’ Category

We’re not in Kansas anymore . . .

September 17, 2011

The theme of our September Supernatural Tea Party was “Other Realms & the Journeys There and Back” — the Underworld, Valhalla, Spirit Worlds, the Astral Realm, mythic journeys, the crossover between fairy realms and the land of the dead, etc. We dined on tea sandwiches and dried snap peas (Binny loved these crispy little things that Roxanne brought) plus, butter cake, shortbread, and grilled cinnamon apple slices. We saw clips, everything from The Return To Oz and Peter Pan to Twilight Zone episodes, The Dark, and Tron. Again, we had pop corn from the stove top crank machine for a late night treat. So many ideas get stirred up in my imagination during these teas – I love that.

Advertisements

The Arts & The Supernatural

September 14, 2011

At our August Supernatural Tea Party we ate truffle pudding, berry muffins, Quarter Cake (made with one quart each eggs, butter, flour, and sugar) and grilled Havarti sandwiches. My sister, Wendy, from California was there with her two daughters, Anne and Siobhan.

I shared a story about a haunted opera house in the south — its owner was called to the theater one night because someone had called the police saying the party going on inside the theater was too loud. Of course, when the cops arrived and investigated, there was no one there at all. The owner also claimed to have seen a production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin from a seat in the back row. If he did witness such a thing, my therory is that he was glimpsing the past rather than watching a troop of ghosts. Interesting idea . . .

 

We watched clips, were entertained by the ever fascinating Binny boy, and talked about haunted and/or magical paintings, sculptures, music, dance, theaters, plays, operas, and books — and we also enjoyed our traditional off-topic chattings. Huzzah to the Supernatural Tea Parties!

Supernatural Children

September 9, 2011

Our July tea party included stories about children of the paranormal: child ghosts, angels, saints, creatures, and same such. We dined on sugar cookies, miniature sandwiches, and pecans squares. Roxanne brought handmade chocolates. Don shared some books, movies, and photographs. Here is a famous photo that claims to be of a ghost baby.

Afterwards, at our clips party, we showed scenes from (among other titles): Let Me In (vampire girl), Peter Pan (enchanted boy), The Orphanage (ghost children), and The Messengers (baby who can see dead people). Thanks again, Roxanne, for giving Cyn the stove top popcorn popper with the crank — I’ll never eat microwave popcorn again!

The Secret Vaults of Time

September 8, 2011

At our June Supernatural Tea Party we talked about Psychic Archaeology, Ancient Astronauts, the Akashic Records, and many other intriguing tidbits of mystery and wonder.

We dined on Scones with homemade butter (well, it was sort of like unsalted butter — rather a bit like heavy whipped cream) and broiled bread topped with apricot jam, Provolone cheese, fresh basil, and chopped pistachio nuts. A neighbor, Margaret, who is one of the (now retired) reference librarians who helped me with research on my second novel came and brought some lovely flowers. Cynthia brought three flavors of Cotswold fudge, Pam brought jam, Susan brought berries, and Don brought homemade black and white cupcakes. Binny brought his winning smile and was a very good boy. As usual, afterwards we moved to the family room for movie clips and popcorn. The perfect day!

Tea for the Gentry

April 4, 2011

Ah, yes, another Supernatural Tea Party — in March our tea was all about Ireland and the Little People. We talked about fairies and other wee folk, watched a documentary about fairy paths and other enchantments,  saw clips from Darby O’Guill and the Little People and also Fairytale: A True Story, and we digressed a bit as we shared about our childhoods (probably brought on by the food I served.)

We dined on tiny wee foods (most of which were delicious, indeed) — tiny sandwiches, tiny bits of sausage in pastry, fairy houses (pound cake) dusted with powdered sugar snow, two inch carrot sticks, quarter-size scones, six flavors of tiny jams and jellies, blueberries (fairyfolk like berries, I believe), miniature cookies and cakes and candies, baby rounds of cheese, very fine (as in chopped small) fruit salad and macaroni salad, and even fairy-sized s’mores (see recipe below.)

Julie brought the fairies!

A very lovely time was had by all.

Binny slept through the first part of this party but especially enjoyed a leftover tiny chocolate cupcake. He got about half of it in his mouth, a quarter on his face and hands, and a quarter in the dogs’ mouths. That’s the way the fairy cookie crumbles, eh?

Fairy S’Mores

Take pieces of honeygraham cereal and separate out an even number of flat ones (some are too curled) on a paperplate or microwave-safe plate.

Place one chocolate chip on each of half of these mini-grahams.

Place one half of a mini marshmallow on each of the others.

Heat them in the microwave for a few seconds until the marshmallows puff up.

Turn the marshmallow halves upside down onto the chocolate ones and give a gentle smoosh.

Let stand for a minute to “set.”

The Sweet'n'Low packet is to show size.

An added touch that I used at this tea party was to get half a dozen wood toothpicks and put a mini marshmallow skewered on the end of each stick then I toasted them a bit over the open stove top flame. Very cute indeed. My one complaint I got about these treats at the tea party was that I hadn’t made enough. Who knew they’d be such a hit? I made them mostly as a decoration!

Tea & Sweethearts

February 20, 2011

Yesterday was our February Supernatural Tea Party — after a wonderful digression into the art of Storytelling vs. Reporting, we talked about paranormal love stories: different kinds of soul mates, couples who meet in magical ways, husbands/wives who continue to commune with their spouses after death, soul mate dreams, and so on. Always fascinating. A new member attended, Anne, who sailed the Atlantic with my sister last year on her “Writing the Waves” cruise.

We dined on tea sandwiches, Earl grey, heart-shaped chocolates, black and white cupcakes (Don made), chocolate shortbread (Pam made) and cinnamon cake from Anne. Afterwards we watched clips that ranged from lovers in past lives, romantic time warps, fateful meetings, and magical couplings. Characters included ghosts, mermaids, time travelers, and we touched on supernatural adventures of the dating and mating variety. We popped corn and interpreted the Rorschach-like patterns on the tops of the cupcakes (dragon, crane, Italy, accidental creations in dark chocolate and cream cheese.)

Binny had a great time as usual. He even tasted his first lemon curd sandwich (well, he licked it, anyway.) Next time we will discuss the Little People and Ireland in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Goodies, Gods, & Goddesses . . .

January 27, 2011

At our most recent Supernatural Tea Party we shared tales of the days of Gods and Goddesses. 

I served a three tiered tray of sweets — divinity on the top, closer to the heavens; truffles below since they come from the earth. Well, since they’re named for something found in the earth. 

We provided health nibblies for those being good (celery and carrot sticks, cheese, nuts, rice crackers and sugar-free candies) and naughty things for those being bad (tea sandwiches, huckleberry brownies that Don baked, shortbread from Pam, chocolate almond squares and rum cake.)

We talked about the oldest samples of written language (cuneiform) supposedly taught to humans “by the gods.” We contemplated the passage of scripture that references giants walking the earth.

Binny had a grand time. I wonder if he’ll remember any of the tea parties from his first year. Perhaps they’ll just simmer in the back of his mind like the picture books we are shown in infancy. Ooo, what a treasury of heroes, quests, myths, mysterious monsters and magical beasts!

Later we watched clips, everything from Jason and the Argonauts to The Twilight Zone. As usual, a lovely time had by all. These conversations are excellent for stirring up story ideas.

Tea & Ghosties

November 8, 2010

I tried to carve the smile to match Binny's.

My annual Supernatural Tea Party marked its two-year anniversary with the traditional Halloween Tea.

 Cyn decorated the rest of the house with her fabulous Halloween toy collection, but I decorated the living room and dining room with spooky style tomb stones, ghosts, gargoyles, skeletons, and other long-leggity beasties.

We told ghost stories and discussed the history of the holiday, mysteries unseen, and other fascinating tidbits.

Some of Cyn's Halloweeny "dolls" on display.

We served fresh scones with Devon cream, pumpkin/gingerbread tarts, lemon curd sandwiches, and trick-or-treat sweets.

I also turned green “snowballs” into cemetery cakes — fun.

Bin as a duck for the Halloween fair on the 30th.

We heard the recording of Vincent Price teaching how to conjure a demon (don’t worry — we didn’t take his advice — but it was vintage entertainment on a dark Halloween evening.)

At the fair with a scary clown -- oh, my!

(By the way, I always protect our meetings with the Light of God so that no subject we might touch on can bring us any negativity.)

Binny was the only one who wore a costume, but he looked spiffy as Pierrot.

After the tea we had a movie clips party where Cyn, Don and I showed some of our favorite spooky scenes — Don also showed part of a documentary about the origins of All Hallows Eve.

Bin chats with Susan Fletcher.

Sadly, no trick-or-treater ever comes to our door — no street lights, no sidewalks, and too much land between each house out in these parts.

Max as a bat and Binny giving Don a funny look -- hey, kid, Don's making sure you don't topple off the table!

The night was delightful ~ Bin loved his first Halloween.

Tea & Magic

September 29, 2010

Our most recent Supernatural Tea was on the subject of Magick – the artistry of magic tricks and the supernatural kind  – everything from conjuring to disapparation.  (Wait, is that a word?!)

We dined on Tillamook cheddar/apple/basil sandwiches, zucchini bread Pam made for us, figgy jam Cyn made for us, chocolates (ginger, cherry, and toffee) and a nice pot of Earl Grey.

Don did a few feats of prestidigitation using cards, coins, and a wee wooden guillotine. He’s quite the illusionist. I don’t know how he did it. (And I don’t want to know — it’s magic, after all.) As usual Binny was very keen to listen to our conversations and participate. Don and Cyn showed magic clips. We plotted a few treats for the upcoming Halloween tea. (Don promises to play a recording of Vincent Price supposedly conjuring up a demon – spooky, if campy, fun!)

While we’re on the subject of magic, another of my “favorite things” is the magic stylings of my cousin magician/actor/filmmaker Scott Cervine. Here is the link to a 1985 recording of his legendary ring act.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIOHgCOOc0o

Oh, the artistry! I adore him and his contribution to the craft which will remain part of the history of magic forever, I’m quite certain of it.

Black Tea & the Green Man

September 8, 2010

At our last Supernatural Tea we talked about Forest Lore – the Green Man, Pan, the powerful use of woods in myth and fairytale, the idea of plants having feelings and thoughts, Robyn Hode (Robin Hood), enchanted sod, and other fascinating tidbits of supernatural  nature.

We dined on woodsy treats — stuffed mushrooms, nuts, berries (black and blue) – and traditional tasties such as tea sandwiches, chocolates, English style chocolate biscuits, and Earl Grey tea. I iced and decorated shortbread cookies in blue and pink to match my china. I tried to copy the way my grandmother used to create flowers and leaves, magically turning a drop of pink frosting and a knife smear of green into a rose and a leaf with the use of a toothpick dipped in food dye. Mine did not come close to hers (she was a painter, after all – wish I’d paid more attention when I was young) but I did manage to get ONE leaf perfect.

Julie could not attend but sent us several treats – a tea cozy she handmade to match my Mt. Vernon china, a poem she wrote about the Green Man, and a couple of conversation starting questions. Don read the poem aloud and did a much better job than I could have. (With an accent and not a bit of hesitation on a cold reading – how handy that he’s an actor.)

Don and I each decorated half the mantle – mine is the left side where you find a painted wood face of the green man, a fairy sized tree, a wee hedgehog, etc. Don’s is the right side where you find statues of Pan and Cernunnos, as well as the Lord and Lady of the Forest candleholders with glowing eyes.

Binny dressed up in a bow-tie (okay, the shorts, shirt, vest, and tie were all sewn together and made of tee-shirt material, but still . . . sporty!) and he had a fabulous time. He loves company and conversation, but he’s starting to get jealous of the food. (So far he’s a straight formula man.)

A sign of good fortune, a deer came into our yard (as oft happens) — a sweet sight.

Don brought several wonderful clips of related stories (Pan, fairies, forests, and the like.)

I showed a very strange, allegedly real, clip of some small things that (to me) look like living plant stalks walking across a yard at night. To see this clip, go to Hulu on your Internet searcher, “search” for the TV show “Fact or Faked” and choose the episode titled “Unwanted Visitors/Strange Sightings” to view the possible critters and make your own judgment. Part of me thinks it might be a trick, and yet the crew of the show could not seem to debunk this footage. Also, the way the investigating team gets teased on location, as if by some kind of naughty forest gremlins, and the mysterious heat image footage they captured afterwards, are intriguing, to say the least.

Robyn Hode

The next tea will probably be on the subject of Magick. I’m very much looking forward to that.

So glad to have caught my own little forest sprite!