Slow down everyone, summer isn't over yet! There is still plenty of delicious seasonal produce in the markets, the air is still warm and the nights are still long. Now is the perfect time to throw an All American Summer Tea Party. Inspired by traditions across the land, I've put together a tea party celebrating what our summer has to offer.
Iced Black Tea Blend Sweetened with Local Raw Honey
Egg Salad Sandwiches on Farmhouse Bread with Tea Pickled Veggies
Northwest Summer Salad
BBQ Chicken Rillette with Homemade Toast Points
Blueberry and Apple Tartlettes with American White Cheddar Pastry
Let's start with the drinks. Summer time is all about thirst-quenchingly cool beverages, and what is more American than iced tea and lemonade? I used a mixture of English Breakfast and Earl Grey to form the base for my tea, then added a heaping spoonful of local honey to sweeten. This iced tea is fragrant, sweet, and bracing, but still drinkable from sun up to sun down.
Lavender and lemon is a pairing made in heaven, and they shine when turned into lemonade. Steep the lavender blossoms in boiling water until it reaches desired strength, then strain and cool. Use this instead of water when mixing with the lemon juice and sugar. If you're feeling extra festive, fill your glasses with ice cubes that have lavender blossoms frozen inside and garnish with a lemon twist. Beautiful, delicious, and reminiscent of blossoming fields beneath a hot sun.
What would a summer party be without a potato salad? It is virtually unthinkable to not include one, but if you're tired of the same old globs of mayonnaise version, this is a wonderful replacement. Red potatoes are tossed with fresh sweet corn, green onions, smoked salmon and sour cream. If you are lucky enough to have an ocean (or lake, or river) view, you couldn't find a better dish to enjoy while soaking it in.
The final savory of the menu was my tribute to the chicken traditions of the South. Chicken thighs are braised in a bbq spice rub with golden ale and Lapsang Souchong tea, then beaten into a spreadable delight known as rillette. Slightly smoky and with an incredible depth of flavor, this is a treat that could grace any table, not just a picnic one.
Summer needs to be cherished, especially now that everyone has Autumn in their sights. So grab a few friends, a couple of blankets, and a lawn game of your choice and enjoy the rest of summer's bounty.