Just to give you an idea what's been going on here in the past few days... I've been baking like a madwoman for my Fall Harvest Tea Party
, because thanks to some unexpected flood in the space here, I had to spend two precious days out of my prep-work getting this problem solved. So, in the end, I had 25 hours to bake and prepare 15 items on the menu. Not a simple task, especially if one intends to get some much needed sleep. It was made possible thanks to the awesome and generous help of my friends - Monique
, Yaniv, Brenna and Shawn
whose professional photos of the event will be posted later on. For now - here are some snapshots I took with my iPhone in some rare quiet moments during and after the event...
Fall studio display, reflecting the changing leaves outside...
Flower arrangement by Brenna.
The lovely leaf doilies were generously donated by my student and intern Monique
Fruit & Flower Fall Display by Brenna, also known as the altar of offering to Martha Stewart and all other home goddesses thereof!
Japanese rakku glazed porcelain leaves
Raffle tickets... The prize was a gift bag with Lavender Bath Salts, Dao Tea Sejak
(green tea), and Charisma perfume mini, which went to leaf no. 11 - held by the lucky Melinda!
Goody bag! These had gift cards and some amazing osmanthus tea in them - a personal favourite :-)
Fall display of perfumes and fake leaves raffle tickets...
Now, you probably want to hear about the food... There's a few shots of the infamous 5-tiered tea-tray, and this time instead of printing out menus, I asked Monique to prepare little signs for each food item. She kindly agreed, and I wish you could see her awesome calligraphy... Oh, wait! I'll snap a shot of them now, after they'd served their purpose. They were really quite something:
The full menu included some classic favourites from my tea parties (I think after doing these tea parties for a year and a half I have formed my own "classics"...), and a few experimental ones - such as a the new truffle flavours infused with oolong tea or with saffron and osmanthus tea (shaped as squares, by the way).
Tier 1: Savoury Appetizers & Canapés
Everything was planned with harvest in mind - pumpkins, squashes, carrots, corn, seedcakes... The seedcake madeleiens (which just looked like any other madeleine) were spiked with cinnamon, cloves and caraway seeds. This is an interesting marriage between the English seedcake, which was traditionally used in harvest celebrations, and the dainty little French cakes (awesome for dunking in spicy chai tea the next day when they turn stale!).
Roasted Beets ****
Polenta with Roasted Butternut Squash, Portobello Mushroom & Sage
Red & Green Tortilla rolls w/ Guacamole or Black Beans (Vegan)
Tier 2: Tea Sandwiches:
Brie & Pear Tea Sandwiches
Carrot & Ginger Tea Sandwiches
Fennel & Tarragon Tea Sandwiches
Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
Tier 3: Scones
Concord Grape + Blue Cheese Scones
served w/ Devonshire Cream & Merlot Wine Jelly
Tier 4: Desserts
Carrot-cake Sandwich Cookies
Gianduja (Hazelnut) Brownies **
Seed Cake Madeleines
Tier 5: Truffles & Petitfours
White Saffron Truffles**
Marzipan & Apricot Pettitfours ****
* Dairy Free (contains eggs)
** Gluten Free
*** Dairy & Gluten Free
**** Vegan & Gluten Free
Here are closeups of two of my brand-new desserts:
White Saffron & Osmanthus truffles
Gianduja Brownies - these are packed with fresh, organic and local hazelnuts, and are dairy and gluten free!
The heart of the event was Pedro's tea tasting and demonstration - he brewed a wild suk
(artemisia) - an herbal tea from Korea, from shade-grown and very youngn leaves; Sejak
green tea from China, and Balyhocha (yellow tea oolong) from two different farmers in Korea - Kim shin ho
, and Kim jong yeol
Pedro is an unusual tea curator and importer that traveled through the mountains of China and Korea to connect with small independent tea farmers. These farm-to-table connoisseur teas tell the stories of the soil they were grown in and the hands that harvested them. More about each tea on Dao Tea website
More photos of guests during the tea tasting (they were so serious and quiet taking notes during the demo - that is the only reason I was able to take all these photos LOL!)
And last but not least - my own presentation, featuring three scents for times of transition, and giving some advice about how to pick a scent for fall. I passed around scent strips and roll-on bottles of Moon Breath
(in honour of Artemis, the goddess of the moon, and to reflect the tea menu which included artemisia tisane). This is a perfume I originally created for the moon breath meditation - a type of breathing that involves breathing with the left nostril only, while covering the right one with your right index finger. It has soothing notes of amber, incense and eurphoric jasmine - all associated with the moon. I originally had it as a meditation and anointing oil for the candles I burnt during meditation. I find meditation to be very helpful in transitional times - which tend to be very stressful (especially now with market season
is a classic comfort scent - it smells like sweet breakfast food (cinnamon waffles with maple syrup!), and just makes one feel warm and protected...
And last but not least - a not-yet-released perfume which I have been blogging
about its creation for a while here - my ginger & amber perfume, in its 6th and final mod. This is very cozy, bracing hot and cold at the same time. The amber makes it feel like a warm fuzzy cashmere sweather. The ginger has both heat and coolness to it, and the orange is very juicy - it's with orange juice essence, rather than just using the peel. More about that scent at another time though!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone