April 24th, 2006


High Tea and Bunny Melt, Apr-23-2006

Yesterday was our annual High Tea and Bunny Melt, in which we celebrate the secular side of Easter by picking up cheap chocolate rabbits and turning them into chocolate fondue.

I'm not certain when Jeliza first introduced me to this tradition, but it's been Lori's tenth Bunny Melt.

our guests this day were Kevin, Alaina and Austin, Dani and Monica, Heather, and a new co-worker of mine named Cathy Rescher. Cathy really entered into the spirit of things; not only did she have a perfectly fetching dress hat when she arrived, she even had white gloves.

(Austin didn't quite fit the event, in much the way that a pre-teen boy might be expected not to be a good match for a fancy tea. Oh well; he was reasonably polite about it.)

We strained a bit for a new level of fanciness: we finally unpackaged and prepared all our fine china. (With lots of happy burbling between us--our china is really beautiful.) It had taken us a while to do this; we had received it as wedding gifts, but our fifth anniversary is coming up in a few months.
And after doing that, we decided to bring out the silver that we'd inherited from Lori's grandparents. We were a bit surprised that nobody commented on the china and silver, but we were gratified even so. (Because Austin's arrival had changed the count from eight to nine, I used a place setting of our everyday china. I felt that I would appreciate the fancy place setting more than he would, but I didn't want to marginalize him; he's marginalized enough by being the only kid at such an adult occasion.)

The fondue part of the event was more minor this year; we were unable to find the power cord for the electric fondue pot, and folks were fairly content with all our other treats. But Heather wanted to see a bunny sacrificed, so we said a few words honoring the sacrifice of "a bunny that wasn't good enough to be sold at full price" and made a bit of fondue with about 3-4 ounces of milk chocolate bunnies. This was about the right amount.

Our menu:
- tuna sandwiches on flower-shaped bread (all eaten, though I ate the last one only because it was there. The smoked tuna makes yummy tuna salad. We didn't manage to finish the egg salad, but we didn't really miss it.)
- scones with dried cherries
- corn bread madeleines with pecans and leeks (We wanted another savory to provide grounding for a meal full of sweets. It seemed like an enormous quantity of leeks went into the recipe, but I didn't notice any hunks of leeks while eating them. They were pretty tasty.)
- orange cream tartlets (a Weight Watchers version of mini cheesecakes. The filling was okay, but the crusts needed more fat.)
- white cake layered with apricot preserves. (We'd bought a pan for flower peti fours the day before, but Lori had trouble making it work. So after one unsatisfactory batch, she made a bar cake out of the rest and layered it with apricot preserves, turning it into what I called a 'petit more'. It was very tasty.
- devilled eggs (as with last year, Lori filled about half the eggs, then I mixed a lot of chipotle sauce into the rest of the filling for the remaining eggs. Mm.)
- (We'd planned to have Jello eggs, since we'd purchased a Jello egg mold. But we'd only bought enough Jello for two eggs. So we didn't serve them.)
- Brownies, made by Alaina.
- Macaroons, brought by Dani and Monica.
- Purchased English shortbread cookies, brought by Cathy.
- apricots and strawberries, as fondue dippers. (We'd also bought a small angel food cake with the intention to use it for fondue, but there was no need.)

We had purchased two teapots for the occasion. For one, we used a "Coronation Tea" that had been given to us as a wedding present by Kevin, my sister's boyfriend at the time--it was pretty tasty. For the other, we used one of our many herbal concoctions; I neglected to note which one.

(Posted from the Phoenix airport. Yay for free wireless.)