I know everyone has been talking about the Tea Party lately, but I just attended the real thing, and infinitely more pleasant and uplifting it was, too.
My friend Ronnie hosted twenty women for an afternoon of tea, finger sandwiches, scones and other dainties, served on fine, delicate china, with linen napkins and tablecloths.
The Japanese know the true value of a good tea party. The Way of Tea presents its practitioners with the opportunity for hospitality, friendship and camaraderie, and stimulating conversation. It’s a feast for the senses - the aroma and taste of the tea and the treats; the visual beauty of the arrangements, the china patterns, the silver; the music of your friends’ conversation. The Japanese also knew that tea with your friends is good for your soul. Poet Takeno Joo, one of the great practitioners of the Way of Tea, believed that ‘each human encounter is to be treasured, for it can never be reproduced.”
How sad that these lovely traditions are dying out. How is it we’ve decided we’re too busy/important/hip to indulge in an activity that is not only a nice excuse to get together, it’s also nothing less than art.
Spread soft cream cheese on a whole wheat tortilla to cover. On the bottom two-thirds of the tortilla, lay overlapping strips of shaved cucumber. On top of the cucumber, lay thin slices of smoked salmon. Starting from the bottom edge, roll the tortilla up into a long cigar-shaped roll. Slice the roll crossways at 1 1/2” to 2” intervals to create pinwheels. Poke a toothpick into each pinwheel to hold it together, if necessary. Enjoy with tea.