Elevenses with Erma

Little girls all dressed up in mummy’s gowns and bangle bracelets, sipping tea like little ladies, daintily nibbling at finger sandwiches and cookies. “Could you please pass the grey poupon?” they would ask each other in British accents.

This is how I envisioned the tea party, when I said to Erma several weeks ago, “We are going to have a tea party, and we’re going to invite all your friends.”

She obliged me.

Thus I spent my afternoons, evenings, and weekends in the hot pursuit of thrift store dress-up garments, recipes for tea sandwiches, and the perfect tea party tablecloth.

The centerpiece was made up of slightly irregular and thus a-great-deal-that-could-not-be-passed-up mint chocolate cake pops.

I bought tea cups and ordered bakery cookies. We had a photo shoot of Erma all dressed up so that I could make the invitation. We went to the grocery store and “we” picked out deli meats, fancy cheese, and cut fruit.

On the morning of the tea party, I have to admit, Erma was almost as excited as I was. She was a bit underfoot while I was putting together the tea sandwiches and pinwheels, so I sent her to the front window to wait for the guest who was bold enough to accept our invitation. “She’ll be here any minute,” I told her, and by “any,” I meant in the range of half an hour to an hour.

I’m sure our guests will arrive any minute…

I placed my mother’s china on the table, arranged it all just so.

In a whirlwind of less than 20 minutes time, my tea party was over. The girls decided they were done and wanted to put on their bathing suits and play in the sprinklers.

The girls made up a game called “fireworks” in which the sprinklers were fireworks. That’s all I know about that.

I never even got to say, “Would you please pass the grey poupon?”

And now I’ll be eating leftover cold cuts for lunch for the rest of the month.

It turned out, nobody likes tea. I couldn’t even get the girls to try the tea. So the cup of non-caffeinated chocolate raspberry tea sat in the middle of the table like Elijah’s Cup, waiting for the tea fairy to arrive and sample the offering.

Totally, totally worth it.

Also, pinwheels are really, really hard to make with Sara Lee Soft n’ Smooth honey wheat bread. Let that be a lesson to you.


30 responses to “Elevenses with Erma

  1. I wish I had known! I love tea parties!

  2. You put your whole being into this event. I hope YOU had a great time! So sorry I missed it. I would have gently asked you to pass the grey poupon, please.

  3. Classy tea pot too!
    A nice Chateau Lafite Rothschild (maybe the 95?) would go swimmingly, so to speak.

  4. What is a grey poupon?

    And I sure hope the mad hatter was there as no tea party is complete without him.

  5. Next time you make pinwheels, try tortillas – they work wonderfully πŸ™‚

    And I would have come, too, but alas! I live too far away. Maybe I would have even brought the Grey Poupon…

  6. Catie and I would totally drive to your house for a tea party! I always wanted to have a proper tea party when I was a kid. I love them.

  7. A tea party and a fireworks game all in one day! I agree – totally worth it. πŸ™‚

  8. Hahahahahaha!
    That’s so sad. That happens to me too, where I plan activities that no one is interested in. 😦
    For their birthdays this year I am being much more laid back.

    PS. I would have a tea party with you in a heart beat.

  9. Charming! And what a beautiful backyard! I love the picture of the girls waiting for the arrival!! Wonderful !!

  10. Well I see the problem right away – French mustard at an English tea party? What were you thinking?! πŸ˜‰

    It does look perfectly charming though.

  11. I had a friend who actually carried a jar of Grey Poupon in his car for ages, just hoping someone would drive up and ask for it. They finally did and I’m pretty sure that was the best day of his life. They looked at him like he was nuts when he provided it, but it was a good laugh (I’m so glad I’m not the only person who remembers this commercial).
    I think we need to start having tea parties for grownups. Why should the littles have all the fun?!

    • I honestly cannot imagine how great a feeling that was. I’ve never had anybody ask me for grey poupon in my entire life. And I would be entirely unprepared if the occasion were to arise!

  12. workingmommawithababy

    adorable!!!!!! By far the cutest party idea I’ve seen! For the record, tea party seems way cooler than firework sprinklers. πŸ™‚

  13. My suggestion: Next time, turn on the sprinklers, get a good book, a cup of tea, turn on some good music and a cup of tea, then you enjoy the Grey Poupon!

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