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Monday, April 26, 2010

one lump, or two?

Wow, it's been a long time between updates. I'd like to say we've been busy, but really....we're just lazy. Well, we've actually been busy, but we could've stopped by once in a while.

All apologies, darlings.

In any case, I'm stopping by today to wish Christine a belated happy birthday. Last Thursday was her actual birthday, and we did some minor celebrating that day, but the majority of our revelry was on Saturday. When we had tea.

Since we're not in England that probably sounds weird. But Christine and I both enjoy the pomp and formality of an English afternoon tea. For some reason the idea of sitting down to tiny cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and a pot of Earl Grey (well, Christine prefers English Breakfast, but whatever) makes us both giddy with nerdy delight.

One of the reasons I adore this is because it gives me an excuse to cook. I enjoy cooking when there's an occasion, though I can often get a little carried away. But this time Christine was right there overachieving with me. We planned a menu that was a little extreme, to say the least:
  • mini quiches
  • cream scones with Double Devon cream and raspberry jam
  • cucumber, roast beef, and ham sandwiches
  • meat pies
  • creamed mushrooms on chive butter toast (recipe courteous of Smitten Kitchen)
  • fresh strawberries & grapes
  • petit fours with buttercream and chocolate ganache
  • cream puffs - both regular and chocolate dipped
  • tea and champagne
The only thing we didn't actually make from scratch were the cream puffs, because there are limits to even my culinary ambition. And some of the preparations were made ahead of time (the petit fours were made the night before, as was the rabbit mushroom stew that I used for the meat pies), but we were hustling on Saturday morning to pull it all together. But pull it together we did.

And to complete the tea like ambiance, we plugged in Christine's favorite DVD: the BBC miniseries version of Pride & Prejudice. The six hour version with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett (don't ever suggest to Christine that she should watch the Keira Knightley version, or if you do, stand back to avoid the blast).

It was a delightful afternoon.