There is power in matching words of gratitude with the good in your life.
That's why I want to speak a bit about these exceptional women. They happen to be related to me, and I am so thankful to be surrounded by them.
We are turning the page into a new chapter in our family. I have mentioned before that my grandma is in the middle of preparing to sell the family farm. We've come together over the last several months to tackle the huge job of preparing the property to go on the market. It has been exciting to see the farm come back to life in preparation for its next chapter, and exceedingly sad, because this place is full of fond memories and radical hospitality.
It has been a gathering place not only for multiple generations of my family, but also many others. In fact, most people I know have probably partaken in a Cassel-role dinner at the farm at some point. And if not, join us for Sunday dinner. It's that kind of place.
As my grandmother, mother, sister and I carefully cataloged each of the collectable or antique items in the house over the summer, we had an idea: a tea party. Girls only. No boys allowed. (Although, we made an exception for the baby.)
How could we resist one more party at grandma's house.
My sister Anna, the Non-Baker, and I offered to cater. We thought it would be a fun photo shoot for our blogs. Grandma graciously donated her beautiful delicate things. My cousins and their daughters and a few teddy bears and dollies were invited. Everyone dressed in their tea party clothes.
I have to stop and say here that we were severely missing the members of our family who live too far to attend a tea party on short notice! We wish you could have joined us too!
Posts will be published throughout the week containing the tea party recipes. Please, stay tuned!
At the beginning of the year, a few friends and I picked a word to focus on for that year. I picked community. And on January 5, I printed this page and put it up on my fridge:
I've accomplished a few things on the list: I have gone outside, I have visited my local library, I have given LOTS of hugs, I have bought food at farmer's markets, I have hosted parties, I have made friends with my neighbors, I have read books with my child, I have supported local artists. But there are plenty of community building activities I still should do.
Being hospitable, for instance. Building a community also includes my own hospitality. Just look at #6 on the list. Nobody, nobody is more hospitable than my grandparents. I myself have eaten there at least once a week for the majority of my life. Even when it's not perfect, the door is always open.
Hospitality is not about being perfect. It's about the coming together. At the farm, it typically happens over pot-luck dinners and paper plates, but today it happened over tea and flowers. Let's celebrate tea parties this week!
This is one of ten posts in a series called The Tea Party. Please check back this week for additional recipes and tea party tips!