Breakfast in the Garden by Giuseppe De Nittis
1Peter 4:9 "Use hospitality one to another without grudging."
Hospitality is one of the ways Christians demonstrate the love of Christ to others, and yet it has many benefits to the one who shows hospitality.
To help you become more at ease with hospitality, I have set up a tea table and will show you just a few things that might help you develop a love of hospitality.
If you are not yet at ease in giving hospitality, begin with your own people: your family, and the people with whom you feel the most comfortable. Children especially love tea time, as they delight in the fancy settings, love to hear the sound of the tea spoon against the china cup, and enjoy pouring the tea from the pot, adding milk and honey, and eating all the little bites of attractive foods.
When you show hospitality, or entertain your children, they will become familiar with tea time and develop an appreciation and a respect for it. They will continue the tradition, as it brings so many happy memories.
You will notice on my tea table that I use plastic over the table cloths. A lot of people have written and asked me if this is proper etiquette and then want to know, if so, where they can find the plastic for their tables. Although tea books and etiquette lists of the past have stated it is not proper to cover the table with plastic, most people I know are using it to protect their special table cloths.
I find the least expensive, and thinnest plastic from the roll at Walmart to be the best, because it adheres to the table better. The heavy plastic moves too easily and can fall off. People use it because they want their guests to be at ease and not feel worried about spilling things. Tea can drip and the foods sometimes are a little messy but it is good to let everyone stir and sip and enjoy themselves without worrying about staining the tablecloth or getting the surface of a table wet.
In America, some people are using honey to sweeten their tea. The tea books all say it is not proper to use honey in tea, but when I ask people why they use honey, they reply brightly, "Because we like it." If no where else, the home is a place you should be able to do as you like, so honey is served here, especially since other people want it. Most people here still use no milk and no sweetener in their tea, preferring it plain.
The little biscuits with jam you see on the tea table are called "Afternoon Ruby Tea Biscuits" which I got from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook at the library years ago. I tweak the recipe a little, substituting some ingredients, and you may like to do the same if you have special preferences. You can find the recipe online.
One way I changed the recipe was to indent the dough to make a place for the jam, as I show in the photo, below. After baking and cooling the biscuits (scones), I fill the indentation with jam The original recipe is more complicated as far as cutting the pieces of dough and putting them together, which takes up a lot of time, and I found people do not really care for the jam to be baked along with the biscuits. That is why I add the jelly after baking and cooling.
Although there was only only one item served, most people provide some little tea sandwiches You can do some research and find the kinds of tea sandwiches recipes that would suit your family.
I chose tea time as way for a beginner to extend hospitality, because it does not require a lot of cooking and it is not necessary to serve hot food. For adults, however, the tea must be hot, so be sure to bring the kettle of water on the stove to a boil before pouring it over the tea bag in the teapot. ( Never put a teapot on top of a burner on the stove.) i use the Hamilton Beach electric kettle for boiling water, which has automatic shut-off and a temperature indicator for special teas which require different settings. It also reheats the water autimatically if you like. See picture at the end of this post. Tea time magazine usually has a page showing the temperatures required fir making herbal teas and green, white and other types of tea.
I have made a short video for you on tis subject and I hope it makes you want to start practicing hospitality at home. The important thing is to "show hospitality to one another without grudging" as the New Testament tells us.
Since It has been requested that I show what I wear at home, I have tried to get some pictures of the outfit I am wearing in the video.
Years ago Victoria magazine had a photo of a cardigan and skirt set I really thought looked comfortable, but I never was able to find anything like it:
Over 25 years later I ended up with a very similar ensemble, created from a Faded Glory brand cardigan (cotton and rayon, approximately $8.00 at Walmart this last week, just like the yellow one in the previous video) and a "vintage" skirt someone gave me a few days ago. I knew when she handed it to me it would be just what I needed to make the outfit I was looking for.
I made the collar scarf years ago, and today fastened it with a large rose button.
This is how everything looks on the dress-form.
The skirt has a Ralph Lauren label and it has a very comfortable fit. The lady who gave it to me (thanks for donating to my worthy cause :-) got it from someone who always purchased very high-end clothing. It seems a lot like the Laura Ashley brand shown in the Victoria magazine mother-daughter picture I posted in this article.
Does it bother anyone that people call these clothes "vintage", when they were things you used to wear in the 1980's? They seem as classic and updated to me as when I first saw them in the picture! Now if I could only find that lovely blouse that the model was wearing with the cardigan. I probably have a pattern for it somewhere.
I prefer to use an electric kettle to heat water for tea. I sometimes take the kettle to the tea table and plug it in to an outlet or power strip behind the table so that guests can have hot water conveniently.
Below, the comb in my hair that matches the cardigan is made from Dollar Tree ingredients consisting of a hair comb, hot glue and a branch of silk apple blossoms. It was made to go alongside a French twist hair style, and matches coral and rose colors in clothing. You can get a hot-glue-kit at the dollar store, as well.
Thanks for all your nice comments! I will be making one more hospitality video soon, I hope.