Special Teas: Recipes and Serving Ideas for Festive Occasions and Intimate Gatherings

M. Dalton King, Author
M. Dalton King, Author Running Press Book Publishers $19.95 (127p) ISBN 978-1-56138-166-1
Hardcover - 128 pages - 978-0-7651-9744-3
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``Many people are a little wary of having Tea,'' declares King; just spelling the word with an initial cap connotes formality. Yet the author, co-owner of a New York City-based company that caters teas, is eager to persuade Americans that while tea may be sumptuous or simple, it is, above all, social. King organizes chapters around holidays and other events: Thanksgiving, Christmas, even a ``feel better'' tea meant to cheer invalids. King savors the plushness of the afternoon repast: in exhorting readers to butter their bread, the author comments, ``Butter adds a richness and substance to each sandwich that is evocative of Tea as a whole.'' That sums up the philosophy behind the luxury assembled in the name of tea here (though some menus really resemble full-fledged dinners). Tea-table favorites, such as clotted cream and watercress sandwiches, are featured, as are American inventions such as goat cheese tartlets with sun-dried tomatoes and fried chicken and biscuit sandwiches. King offers imaginative fare for a children's tea--particularly ice cream cone cakes made to be eaten out of hand. Details about the origins of tea are woven into the prefaces to many recipes; the tone of the text is friendly yet authoritative. Perhaps the only weakness lies in a lack of information on tea as a brew. Readers are left wondering about unusual blends named but not described--e.g., Lady Londonderry. (Oct.)
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