Just A Little Tea Luncheon…while discussing “Major Pettigrew…”

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.

The savory side of lunch...endive, watercress, bleu cheese salad...with little puffs filled with egg salad

The savory side of lunch…endive, watercress, bleu cheese salad…with little puffs filled with egg salad


Mocha chocolate tea cookie, excellent with any tea

Mocha chocolate tea cookie, excellent with any tea

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 🙂


  1. Your lucky book group! Those puffs look wonderful, I’m getting hungry now. I haven’t heard of the book but I’ll look out for it. I love the idea of your jasmine tea cookies, they sound like the perfect accompaniment to a lovely cup of leaf tea.

    • I think you’d enjoy the book – they take tea to varying degrees quite often in the story. It’s a good read dealing with the themes of decency, compassion, and tolerance — I think you’d love the setting. And yes those puffs are good…they are really good filled with pastry creams too or smoked salmon mixed with creamed cheese mmmmm

        • Ha ha… wish I had written it…

  2. I can attest to how delicious the puffs with egg salad are! Yum!!!

    • Thank you! I think eggs just might be my favorite ingredient / food… well they do go into making a pasta 🙂