If you come to book club, we will feed you. When my book club began we always met at Meg and Kels’ house and Meg would always have dinner for us. She would usually plan a simple meal for the night of book club like chicken fettuccine, lasagna, or personal pizzas, but every now and then we are inspired to theme the meal after the book. This was the case with The Rook by David O’Malley, which I recently reviewed.
The Theme: Tea
Specifically, British, afternoon tea, which turns out to be a meal in itself. The conception of “afternoon tea” as a meal seems to be accredited to the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russell in the Mid-1840s. At that time the upper class took a mid-morning meal, which was breakfast like, and then did not dine again until supper, which was served between seven and nine o’clock at night. The story suggests that Duchess Russell found that she would get peckish and fatigued between meals, so she started ordering snacks with her tea. Her custom of doing this gained popularity and became a social event. Thus began the revolution of afternoon tea.
Alternatively, “afternoon tea” may also be referred to as “low tea”, supposedly because it is served on coffee tables. “Afternoon tea” should not be confused with “high tea,” which was the evening meal for the working class and is a much heartier meal. High tea may also be referred to as “meat tea.”(Wikipedia)
Our book club’s “afternoon tea” was extremely diverse with finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries of all kinds!
- Curried Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches
- Open Faced Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches
- Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches
- Ham, Brie and Apple Finger Sandwiches
- Carrot Raisin Finger Sandwiches
- Sausage Rolls
- Cranberry Scones
- Cheddar Cheese Scones with Raspberry Jam, Orange Marmalade and Butter
- Fruit Tarts
- Fruit Parfaits
- Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling
We featured a Darjeeling Tea served with either milk and sugar or a lemon slice.