Drinking our way through the English Tea

It is a well-known fact that most of the kitchen crew at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s English Tea enjoy a wee sip of spirits while plating food or doing dishes. The lure of alcohol is one reason why kitchen duty is a coveted job.

This year we started out with just a small mimosa and a few drops of coconut Kahlua in our coffee. It was about that time that we noticed the strawberries with signature St. Paul’s chocolate discs had been placed in front of a heat source and the discs were drooping like dogs in a heat wave. Oops . Of course, we didn’t serve them. The guests never knew.

Gerald beer

Gerald Hancock is a deliciously wicked man. He introduced booze into the tea kitchen. He gleefully greases the wheels of sandwich plating and scone decorating with beer and wine. My general rule is never to drink before the second seating is served. I violate it each and every year. Perhaps it is merely a suggestion.

Bill filling tart shells

So this year Bill Muir was invited to assist in the kitchen. We like to add a few men to the generally all-woman crew to demonstrate our inclusiveness. And because they’re a lot of fun. Bill played varsity football at the University of Michigan in the 1960s. So, obviously, I put him on lemon tart duty. Nothing like watching a big, burly former football player meticulously dabbing tart shells with lemon curd. Nothing.

Tea 10

That’s why we didn’t let him near the sparkling wine until after he was done. By the way, it takes a brave woman to wear a Santa sleigh hat while doing dishes. Kathy Ulezelski is a brave woman. And happy. Who doesn’t love a little bubbly with your Palmolive dish soap?

Aside from Bill, one of the hit additions to the crew this year was Ann Sizemore, who brought her homemade coconut Kahlua to the party. Extremely tasty.

Ann Sizemore

I don’t want you to get the idea that we don’t take the tea seriously. The number one rule is perfection. It is not a goal. It’s a rule. No one is allowed in the kitchen who isn’t a perfectionist and quick on their feet. So far, though, it seems the other qualification is bringing tasty alcohol with them. This, my friends, is why we’re not Baptists (bless their hearts).

One Comment

  1. Wanda Woolen
    December 18, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Please note that the front stage crew was at no time offered any of the above mentioned “adult beverages”. But after this year I will no longer be front stage crew, perhaps I will be allowed off the carpet. And into the back hall confines. You see, if you are “out front” you are not allowed to step off the carpet onto the “linoleum” floor. Their rule, not mine. Big smile here.
    Love alllllllllllllllll of you…..

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