Monday, June 7, 2010

Bridal Teas and Favors for June

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. ~Barnett R. Brickner

June is upon us and so are the Bridal showers, teas and weddings. I ran across these two tips that readers sent in to me that are perfect for this time of year. Before I share their lovely tips, I also have a few recipes that can be used for showers or bridal teas.

Rosemary Punch

1 can frozen lemonade
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice

In a glass or ceramic bowl pour the water over the rosemary. Allow to sit for ten minutes. Make the lemonade following the directions on the can. Strain the rosemary from the water and add to the lemonade with the other juices. Stir well and chill until ready to serve.

Lemon Thyme Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 2/3 c. all purpose flour
4 tablespoons minced lemon thyme

Beat the sugar and butter until creamy and light. Stir in the flour, mixing well. Add in the minced thyme. Roll the dough out on a floured surface 1/4 inch thick. Cut into small shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cookies should be just very lightly browned.

Herb Cheese Spread

2 packages cream cheese, 8 ounces each, room temperature
1 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. fresh, minced chives
1 tbsp. fresh minced dill
1 tbsp. lemon thyme, minced
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients with a wooden spoon or use a mixer. Serve this with small slices of bread, crackers, or vegetables.

As the young men and women of our family become engaged, the aunts of our family have given a tea for the bride-to-be. We have placed all the food items on the dining room table appropriately arranged with flowers, the menu, and a printed remembrance of the day for the bride-to-be and her fiancee.

All the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, girl cousins, and various other women family members important to the bride or groom are invited. We are seated at tables covered with linens, set with china, and convenient to the buffet. The bride-to-be is seated centrally so that all in attendance have an opportunity to speak with her. Her chair is adorned with slipcover, ribbons, and a bouquet.

Pictures of the bride and groom at an earlier time are assembled throughout the rooms. Teapots and pitchers with other beverages are stationed throughout the rooms. All the traditional tea accoutrements are available.

After the tea, we all gather to draw a slip of paper from a basket with a prayer concern for the soon to be newlyweds that will be prayed throughout the week of their wedding. The aunts who have given the tea give a gift of cup and saucer to the bride in her chosen china pattern. This event lasts up to 4+ hours as we enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of women being together in celebration. We love this tradition. ~Virginia

I'm sure you all have stashed in your dresser drawers, lovely boxed handkerchiefs that you've received as gifts over the years. There they sit, just too pretty to use. Well it's time to use them, even recycled as gifts for friends and family!

Iron the handkerchief flat. Often there is at least one corner with flowers embroidered on it. Place the hanky face down with the embroidered corner at the top. Add one to two tablespoons of dried lavender buds in the middle of the square. Fold the hanky by bringing the bottom corner up over the buds to form a triangle. Fold again by bringing the left and right corners of the triangle up to the top point. You now have a small square with the lavender buds in the bottom corner. Carefully turn the sachet over and secure the buds by tying a satin ribbon in a bow to enclose them in the corner of the hanky.

This handkerchief sachet is a fragrant and elegant addition to the pocket of a jacket, tied to a bridal or baby shower gift or even hung from a hanger in a closet (moths don't like lavender!). A small squeeze of the sachet will release the lavender essential oil for years!