Hello Abilene, Texas! Summer is in full swing and the kids are busy! Swimming, sports and camp are just three of the activities Abilene’s youngest citizens engage in each year. Parents are always looking for activities that are fun and wholesome. How about a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party ?
Even on a budget, your children can host a get together of a few friends. Using one of their favorite movies or books is a great way to start the planning. A tea party is a smart choice for children to begin entertaining .It also give you the chance to teach them about the family’s spending habits.
Keep the guest list short, and ask that all arrive dressed as their favorite Alice character. Let the kids e-vite their friends using the net. That cuts the cost of postage right off the top!
Decorations should be just as inexpensive. The brighter the better. A patterned top sheet works great for a tablecloth. For plates, cups and saucers, stop by the Dollar Tree at 3202 S. Clack. They have an excellent selection of disposable tableware that is really a $1.00 per dozen or so. Again, think crazy and bright and very mismatched. This is a Mad Tea Party after all!
Now, for the menu. Since it is a tea party and served in the afternoon, little sandwiches and cakes are in order. This is especially nice for smaller children. Handheld foods are certainly easy enough for the pre-school crowd.
Apple and orange slices are easy to arrange on plates. You can cut and let the kids arrange about an hour before the party. Grapes can be added as well. At this time of year, they are very affordable. Strawberries have been also been very resonable. Melt chocolate in the microwave and dip the berries. Place on a platter covered in wax paper to dry. Serve cold.
Pinwheel sandwiches are fun and easy to make. This recipe is very simple and the children can do most of it with a little supervision:
*1 loaf white or wheat bread *3 bananas
*1 jar creamy peanut butter * ½ cup honey
1. Cut the crusts from the bread, (freeze them for bread crumbs)
2. Place a slice of bread between two sheets of wax paper, and roll flat with rolling pin. Do the entire loaf,setting each to the side under cover. (This is where the kids will excel!)
3. Peel Bananas, and cut into small squares
4. Mix together peanut butter and honey. (Better cover the kids with aprons for this part!)
5. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter mixture on bread, and place a few banana cubes on top.
6. Roll sandwich into a tight little “finger and secure with a toothpick.
7. Place sandwiches on a plate as you work, covering with clear wrap to keep fresh.
8. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
Another easy to do sandwich is cream cheese and pineapple. Drain one can of crushed pineapple. Mix with one package of softened cream cheese. Spread on mini rye bread slices. Again, a very kid friendly addition.
Finally, no tea party is complete without a lovely dessert. One of the brightest, most fun, and economical can be found on Kellogg’s Rice Crispy Page. Amazingly simple, these “Crunch-a-Bunch Cupcakes” require no baking at all. See their recipe at: http://www.ricekrispies.com/recipes/crunch-a-bunch-cupcakes.aspx?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=cupcakes&utm_content=Cupcakes%2B-%2BHigh%2BVolume&utm_campaign=Cupcakes#/recipes/crunch-a-bunch-cupcakes
When it comes drinks, tea is the perfect choice. Offer fruit teas, cold or hot. These are not only good for everyone, but the prices is lot less than sugary soda.
There now…play pin the tale on the Cheshire Cat and read aloud favorite passages of Lewis Carroll’s beloved book. Maybe a screening of an age appropriate film version of the classic can be a part of the fun. Be sure and take lots of pictures. There is nothing cuter than a 7-year-old Mad Hatter!
ENJOY! I am Joellen Hodge, your Budget Meal Examiner for Abilene, Texas, and the surrounding area.