Has anyone ever held a Tea Party?
I've always wanted to either go to or hold my very own Tea Party. I think it's just something about spring that reminds me of flowers and a nice tea party. A garden tea party would be my preference. One with little dainty sandwiches and sweets, and of course some nice English Breakfast tea, Green tea, and I would add another such as a Peach Tea. I see small little round tables with pretty table cloths and vases full of flowers. Nice silver and flatware to accompany pretty plates and tea cups. Sounds perfect doesn't it?
More than likely it might end up like the Mad Hatter's Tea Party! Just kidding...but who knows, right?
So I decided to have a Tea Party, but since I didn't have a garden to have it in, MGG and I took our party to one. We wanted to go to a special place to honor my mom. She always loved Descanso Gardens, in La Canada. They have a forest of Camelia trees, tulips, daffodils, lilacs, flowers of all kinds. They also have a Japanese Garden that has a tea house surrounded by Cherry Blossom trees and a quiet brook. My mom loved to come during the spring when the Camelia trees were in full bloom and wander through the trees.
So I know they have nice tea there, hence the Japanese tea house. Tea, check! Garden, check! Sweets? That's where I come in. Since this tea in honor of my mom, and as I posted many, many times, her favorite flavor was lemon. So I decided to make a Lemon Tea Bread. Easy to make, easy to transport. Sweets, check!
This tea bread is just perfect. It's easy to make in a loaf, but is more of a light cake consistency. It is lightly flavored with lemon, light in texture, just perfect for a tea party.
So we got our tea, headed for the huge Cherry Blossom Tree and had our party on a bench under the pretty pink blossoms. Then as we were done we noticed they were having an outdoor play, so we watched for a little wile and enjoyed the entertainment.
What a perfect day, and what a perfect Lemon Tea Bread!
Lemon Tea Bread
Adapted from Southern Living OCTOBER 2004
Makes 1 (8-inch) loaf
Time: 1 hr 15min. start to finish
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c Splenda Sugar Blend (or 1 cup granulated sugar)
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c 2% milk
1 T lemon zest
Beat softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Spoon the batter into greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour until golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the bread cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.