by Sr Nunother
This is a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Tea at Bethany Retreat House. Every Friday in August we host a Harborside Tea on the patio overlooking Rock Harbor. Food preparation begins with a team of four on Tuesday afternoon, expanding to a team of seven by the actual day. Chicken salad on pita crisp, ham, cheese and cucumber on fresh dill bread, a roasted vegetable roll-up, and/or shrimp with mango salsa could appear on your plate. Attendees are required to select from several tempting desserts – perhaps a tiramisu, coconut cake, chocolate mousse sampler, mixed berry pavlova or chocolate espresso cheese cake. Thursday begins the parade of china, linens and silver. Dozens of linen napkins and twenty table cloths of intricate design are ironed to a wrinkle-free state. Combinations of china patterns and colors and silver flatware are selected, numbered by tables, and placed on trays for efficient Friday morning setting. Next door at the flower studio, buckets of freshly picked garden flowers await their turn. Beautiful and individual bouquets will be created to compliment each table. I helped serve at yesterday’s tea. The love and care we hoped to provide was reflected in the faces of those who came.