Our book group was meeting at my house last week for our discussion around a delightful first novel by Helen Simonson called “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.” It was my turn to select the book, so I chose one set in a small village in England where tea time was the backdrop for many insightful discussions and character developments. In keeping with the story, I offered up a light tea luncheon that took about 30 minutes to assemble, as I had made the cookies and puffs earlier in the week. They both freeze well.
The menu included one of my favorite salads – Endive, Watercress, Grapes, and Bleu Cheese chunks with spicy, sweet toasted pecan halves. A bit of champagne vinegar, minced shallots, and a light whisk of extra virgin olive oil dressed this lively mixture of tastes – bitter, salty, sweet, spicy bursts in each bite. They all enjoyed the crispness of this mix of greens, cheese, fruit & nuts while popping a few curried devil egg stuffed puffs.
We had two iced teas…my favorite hot or cold, Jasmine Downey Pearls, and also a refreshing black Orange Pekoe – Ceylon & India from Harney & Sons.
The three crispy cookies served paired well with both teas. I made a shortbread cookie infused with ground jasmine tea – the floral jasmine taste was subtle and enhanced the buttery cookie.
We read that Major Pettigrew is being made into a movie and had fun casting the characters while sipping and crunching.
Betty would have loved this book and ensuing discussion over this menu.
Drink whole leaf teas….they are good for you 🙂