Dear Tea Lovers,
Our favourite time of year is fast approaching, Oscar night! Preparations start far in advance for our annual Oscar party, where we stay up late watching the ceremony, critique the gowns, try to predict the winners, and of course, eat fabulous food. The attire for the evening? Pajamas!
This year, we decided to go all out and put together an Academy Award Themed Afternoon (*ahem* evening) Tea. We have arranged a buffet-style spread, with foods based on all of the Best Picture nominees. Hopefully, the treats will keep you awake for the rather lengthy show!
To set the “scene,” we decorated the sideboard in black and white, for the movies, with hits of red, for the carpet. We found all of the movie paraphernalia we had around the house, and added that too: novels of nominated movies, an old costume from “My Fair Lady” and ribbon that reminded us of a filmstrip. For our all-important Sparkle and Shine, we laid a sheer tablecloth over Christmas lights. In the dark, it glows!
For such a spectacular, golden night, one needs spectacular, golden tea. So, we are serving our two absolute, most favourite teas in the world: Bannockburn and Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. Both are Darjeelings and both come from what we consider to be “tea heaven,” Fortnum and Mason in London, England. They are lighter teas, of unrivalled quality, that have a subtle muscatel flavour.
We are starting our evening with savory fare, based on the Best Picture Nominees, “Moneyball,” “Tree of Life,” “Hugo” and “War Horse.”
For “Moneyball,” a film about baseball, we wanted something to reflect stadium food, but with a little bit of afternoon tea class. So, instead of serving hot dogs, we choose to serve miniature pigs in a blanket.
“Tree of Life,” all about 1950s Americana, begged for a classic American dish. We decided on deviled eggs.
In honour of “Hugo,” about a boy living in a French train station, we are serving the very European appetizer of asparagus spears (also making sure that everyone is getting their veggies!).
And finally, for “War Horse,” we made rumble thumps. Yes, rumble thumps. For those who don’t know, this is a traditional Scottish dish, similar to the English bubble and squeak. Traditionally, it’s made from leftover mashed potatoes, turnips and cabbage. The reason we chose this food, is because in the film, Albert must plow a field to be seeded with turnips in order to save his farm and his horse, Joey. So we wanted something with turnip in it!
Our recipe is as follows:
2 large baking potatoes boiled and mashed, ½ small turnip boiled and mashed with 2 Tbsp of butter (it takes a long time to boil! Almost 45 minutes), 1 small onion finely chopped, ½ small cabbage finely chopped and boiled until soft, 3 strips bacon finely chopped, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup shredded English cheddar, bread crumbs, ½ tsp salt.
Fry the bacon and onion until crispy. Add the cabbage (well-drained). In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, turnip, sour cream, cheese and salt. Add the cabbage mixture, and stir well. Form into 1 inch balls and roll in bread crumbs. Pre-heat oven to 400 F and place balls onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 mins, until golden.
Don’t let the ingredients fool you! They are surprisingly delicious!
Stay tuned for Part Two of Oscar Themed Afternoon Tea, when we show you our sweet foods of choice, based on the movies “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “The Help” and “Midnight in Paris.”
~ A Leaf and a Bud