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Afternoon Tea

Planning the Tea

To entertain friends is a pleasure. Meeting friends or having them become acquainted with a pleasure. This lesson is arranged that you may entertain your mother at afternoon tea and that she may visit with your teacher and classmates.

In planning for any special occasion, it is necessary to decide upon the day and hour for the party. If the occasion is at all formal, or if a number of persons are to be present, it is also necessary to plan how to entertain your guests,—what you will have them do to have a pleasant time. If it is desired to serve refreshments, you must decide what to serve, how much to prepare, and when to prepare the foods. The method of serving them must also be considered.

The Refreshments for an afternoon tea should be dainty and served in small portions. Tea served with thin slices of lemon or cream and sugar and accompanied by wafers, sandwiches, or small cakes is the usual menu. Sweets or candies are often served with these foods.

The following menu may be prepared for your first tea: Tea with Lemon (or Cream) and Sugar, Toasted Wafers with Cheese or Oatmeal Cookies, Coconut Sweetmeats.

From previous work, estimate the quantity of tea, lemons (or cream), sugar, wafers, or cakes you will need.

Serving the Tea

For an afternoon tea, the beverage may be poured in the kitchen and carried into the dining room or the other room where the guests are assembled, or it may be poured in the dining room in the presence of the guests.

When the latter plan is followed, the teapot, cups, plates, spoons, and napkins are placed on the dining table. Seated at the table, one of the pupils pours the tea, and places a filled cup and a teaspoon on a plate. The tea (with a napkin) is then passed to the guests; the lemon or cream and sugar, wafers or cakes and sweets are also passed. The slices of lemon should be placed on a small plate or other suitable dish and served with a lemon fork. Wafers, sandwiches, or small cakes should be placed on plates or in dainty baskets. No article of silver is provided in serving them; the guests take them from the plates with their fingers.

Those who are serving the tea should be watchful and note when the guests have drunk their tea and relieve them of cup and plate. They should also replenish the teapot, and see that the one pouring the tea has all the materials and dishes needed.

If afternoon tea is served in a home to a number of guests, an intimate friend of the hostess or a member of the household usually pours tea. In this way the hostess is free to greet every guest and to see that every one is having an enjoyable time.


School and Home Cooking (1920).


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