Monday, April 2, 2012

Easy Peasy Morning Tea for 8

A few weeks ago my Mum asked me if I would have a friend of hers over for Morning Tea. She was turning 70 and she’s been a friend of my Mums for a long time so I said, “Of course!”. Little did I know that she also wanted to invite a bunch of other friends over to help celebrate! So the last week I have been devising a menu consisting of the following: Food that the birthday girl would like; Food that could be made ahead of time and food that would look pretty! It ended up being a lot of fun to put together but as usual the photos are a little dodgy as I always forget to take them until the last minute!  Big apologies!!
 The menu for 8 adults  arriving at 10am for Morning Tea –
   1) Leg ham and tomato relish sandwiches on rye bread (12 triangles)                       
   2) Chicken and mayonnaise with butter lettuce on white bread (12 triangles)
   3) Smoked salmon pinwheels with crepes, crème fraiche and chives (12 pinwheels)
   4) Rhubarb and currant tarts (24 mini muffin size)
   5) Buttermilk Scones w/ clotted cream and 2 jams (12 small muffin size)
   6) Anzac Slice with Passionfruit icing (makes approx. 18 squares)
   7) Individual Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing – The birthday cake! (makes 24 )

The Prep -  We bought everything the day before; even the BBQ chicken! The table was completely set the day before. Everything was washed and dried; glassware, china, etc. napkins were laid. Platters were placed were they were going to sit for the morning tea with name tags on them (which was lucky as it wasn’t until a few hours later that I realised something didn’t have a plate!) I made the chocolate cupcakes and once they cooled down I popped them in an airtight container in the fridge. I then made the anzac slice with passionfruit icing (this recipe is from the cook book, Take 4) wrapped it in glad wrap tightly and kept it in the fridge.
That night I prepped things like: Sifted icing sugar and popped it in zip lock bags ready for the vanilla icing; put non-perishable ingredients out on the bench that I would need for the morning; Sifted flour for the scones and popped it a zip lock bag; weighed the butter for the scones and popped it in an airtight container in the fridge; measured out  other ingredients like currants and sugar and popped them in zip lock bags on the bench.

The Morning Tea – I put together the rhubarb and currant tarts and they were in the oven by 7.15am and were out just after 7.30am. These keep really well so I let them cool down completely on racks and then placed them on their platter. At 8am I got the scones in the oven. When they came out 15 minutes later I wrapped them straight away in a clean tea towel and popped them on their platter. Next up I put together the vanilla icing and began icing 19 cupcakes. I bought the cute muffin tree a while ago and still hadn’t used it; I couldn’t wait any longer! As I iced them I popped the first letter of the birthday girls name on each cupcake using a pink icing pen. Well, she was turning 70. I figured she would prefer an ‘L’ to a BIG “70”!!!!!
By 9am I had finished that and I was onto the sandwiches. I’d got my Mum to cut the meat off the 1/2 chicken, place in a bowl and add store bought mayonnaise (buy the best you can afford or if you are use to making your own, do that) She sliced the butter lettuce, buttered the bread and we put together the sandwiches. Cut them into triangles. Placed them on their platter along with the ham and relish sandwiches and covered the platter tightly with plastic wrap.

Mixing  ½ cup of crème fraiche with about 1 teaspoon chives. On each crepe lay a piece of smoked salmon (from the 100g packs you get about 3 pieces so we heated through 3 crepes) Over the smoked salmon smear the crème fraiche mix then roll up tightly. Slice both ends then cut into 4 equal pinwheels. Use a toothpick to secure and stand them on the platter. Serve with lemon wedges.  At 9.50 our first guest arrived so while my Mum was talking with them I popped the kettle on; Filled the milk jug; filled the water jug; popped the 2 different jams in their jugs and also filled the dish for the clotted cream. Slipped the tea towel off the scones and took all plastic wrap off sandwiches and the smoked salmon pinwheels.  The other guests arrived and I couldn’t believe it, we’d gotten everything done, on time.  Phew!

And here are just a few little things I bought recently. People often ask me if I regret selling anything in my shop. The answer is, no, not really. Most of the pieces I sell I’ve owned myself for many years or they are recent purchases that I think are very beautiful  but I don’t have a spot for them. So these 2 beautiful pieces are staying! This gorgeous enamel teapot with strawberries and this stunning Willow Flour sifter with roses. They’re living above my blue and white tea set and the contrast in colours is so pretty.  And how sweet is this little hand-held sifter? I always keep my tomatoes at room temperature during Autumn, Winter and Spring. They usually share a bowl with onions and garlic but this way they have their own little space. My tomatoes have never looked so pretty!

Have a wonderful Easter…..…Chocolate, here I come!


  1. sounds delicious and looks amazing... love your new purchases too!!!

  2. Thanks Shylee! I've also added links to some of the recipes on my blog too. The cupcakes are so lovely and light and EASY! you don't even need a mix master......I don't know why I didn't make those for the little guys birthday; that dinosaur cake was embaressing! mxx

  3. Yummo! Everything sounded & looked delicious...I had lunch not long ago & now I have to have something else to! Did the guests enjoy themselves & the food?

  4. ;-) hi Nina,

    They did! Following the morning tea I got Thank you cards in the mail from the ladies which was really sweet; not alot of people use snail mail anymore! My Mum is turning 60 this year and they were joking that the morning tea I put on for my Mum will have to top this one!

    Forgot to mention on the blog that I also had cute takeaway containers so guests could help themselves to take home whatever was leftover. My friend Caroline did that at her wedding and I thought it was such a great way of not wasting a thing and giving the guests a little take away treat!

    maria xx