The women of P.E.O’s Chapter AG attended the Mad Hatter Tea Party yesterday. We left decorum at the door. We were ladies of many ages wearing hats, some of them elegant and some of them whimsical.
Many people are not aware of P.E.O. and that’s a shame. We are a 143-year-old organization that provides scholarships to women for college. We actually own a college, Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. There are almost a quarter of a million members. We do a lot of good work, but P.E.O. is so much more than that. It’s a sisterhood. There are certain promises we make to each other when we are initiated that last for our lifetimes.
And we eat. We eat all the time. We have coffee hour before our meetings and lunch after.
We have socials that always involve food. The tea, for example was a masterpiece of food. There were deviled eggs and chicken salad in tiny phyllo cups and pimento cheese sandwiches and lemon squares and…well, I could go on and on.
Food is so much a part of the social fabric of life. The sisters gather around the table, whether it be a long, long table at a restaurant or a buffet line, and review the marking posts of our lives. We talk of grave matters and light-hearted ones. We cheer our accomplishments and lick our wounds. Sometimes there’s even alcohol involved.
One of the hospitality committee members made palmiers for the tea. So I’ll leave you with my palmier recipe. It’s one of the easiest things to make for a tea or cocktail party. If you don’t tell people how you do it, they’ll think you spent 10 hours making them when, in fact, it takes 15 minutes.
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 container of store-bought pesto
Thinly sliced ham
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Put the puff pastry sheet on a cutting board dusted with a little flour. Roll out to flatten slightly.
Spread pesto on the puff pastry and top with slices of ham. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Roll the pastry up halfway from either end so the finished product resembles a palm leaf (if you want to see what this looks like, click here). Cut into half inch pieces and place on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes until they are puffed and golden.