Recently, while I was tending to my roses, the middle '87 walked by with her dog, Kujo, the "killer" golden retriever. :P
I had finally gotten around to setting up my garden space -- potting my roses and putting together my patio table. It's not quite there yet, I still have a few plants that need proper pots and it's not quite blooming season for the roses. I let Kujo go off-leash in the yard, where he promptly rolled around and then proceeded to eat tufts of grass.
My cousin asked about the roses and I pointed them out by name.
"You gave them names?" she asked, slightly amused, especially since all she could see were thorns and leaves.
No. I don't give them names, they already have them.
"Oh. How can you tell them apart?"
Growth habits. Types of stems. Types of leaves. It's easier after they've bloomed.
Then she put the leash back on her dog and took him home for a bath. And that was that.
Until lil' sis said my cousin strongly hinted that she ask me if I would do a barbecue in the yard. Specifically, if I'd make Carne Asada. I said there wasn't time for a barbecue, but I could defrost my last container of Chicken Liver Pate and we could do an afternoon tea in the garden. My cousin brought over half a loaf of thick, dense Albertson's French bread. I deigned it unworthy of my pate and she tucked it back into her purse.
With one thing or another, spring break flew by and lil' sis went back to school. So on my cousin's last day in town, after work, I ran to Kiki Bakery - Alhambra to buy a chocolate swirl bun and a mini chocolate cake, and Banh Me & Che Cali Restaurant - Alhambra for a proper baguette. I caught her while she was out walking Kujo again and invited her over for afternoon tea. She rounded up her youngest brother and the older '88 and we had an impromptu afternoon tea, in the garden, amongst Portland from Glendora and Angel Face roses.
I had to insist that everyone sniff Portland from Glendora, one of the five roses that Nikki Polani so generously gave me. It's fast become one of my favorites. It's truly a lovely old-fashioned rose with a heady fragrance that my modern roses can't replicate.
I brewed pots of smoky green and black teas. Whole leaf, of course. My cousins snapped a few photos with their cell phones until they realized the photos would look nicer after I finished arranging the table just so.
The middle '87 told the older '88 to ask me about my roses and their names.
"You named your roses?"
My cousins are used to my oddities, but apparently this naming of roses was simply too quirky for them.
And who knew they were such pate fiends? Among the four of us, but actually more between the two of them, we polished off the whole baguette.
The older '88 asked me for directions on how to make it. The middle '87 promptly told her that my pate recipe, and many more, are all available on the blog. She's been cooking from the blog, you see.
We gave the middle '87's brother apple juice. The tea cups were one of my thrift store finds, $2 a set. Real Churchill China, made in England, not the knock-offs from elsewhere with poor quality transferware. Supposedly, the Blue Willow pattern tells the story of two star-crossed Chinese lovers who fled to be together, drowning when their boat capsized, and were reincarnated as doves.
That's Angel Face peeking in the back.
The only thing missing were the Cucumber Sandwiches like our last tea party. I guess we'll just have to have another tea party then.
Other tea party posts:
Thanksgiving Leftovers Afternoon Tea
Would You Care for a Spot of Tea?
1 year ago today, Baccali Cafe and Rotisserie - Alhambra redux.
2 years ago today, the prettiest Cobb Salad ever.