No, this has nothing to do with my addiction to the gingerbread lattes at Fourbucks (did you know they have *salted* caramel hot chocolate?). It’s about another obsession: tea parties. I’m your basic addict, with a drip-feed of teas (particularly the Vanilla Bourbon Rooibos: a red bush herb flavored with bourbon vanilla essence. And no, it’s not my favorite just because its descriptor mentions red bush). So I nearly clotted my cream when my editor sent me a copy of Alice’s Tea Cup. That’s right, the book, from New York’s most whimsical tea spot. But tea parties are not simply for knocked up women and newly potty-trained kids, no. They’re for Christmas crack whores like myself. Example to follow.
The book includes a section dear to my heart: MENU PAIRINGS. Suggestions for The Perfect Garden Party, Ladies Who Lunch, Autumn Leaves, Baby Showers, Midsummer Night’s Party, It’s His Birthday, and, how timely, a Holiday Cheer Party, laced with vanilla bean and peppermint stick scones, warm pear and endive salad, croque madame, Rooibos tomato soup, double chocolate cookies, carrot cake… it goes on. The point is, they get it right. An upmarket tomato soup and grilled cheese preserves the tradition of comfort, leaving guests feeling snuggly and warm. Not to fear, they also suggest alcohol… a marteani.
In particular, I’m desperate to try the chocolate chai cupcakes with chai spice buttercream (holy shit), and a Mocha Chocolate Chip Cake… “We’ve had it as our birthday cake and holiday cake for our entire lives, but it has also taken on a life of its own—several friends have even requested it as their wedding cake…” Hell, yes (the frosting calls for 4 heaping teaspoons Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso powder). Just what mama needs, caffeine and lots o’sugar.