Thursday, 2 July 2015

Cups and Saucers

Take a few minutes to enjoy high tea with the CWA in my latest post for Sheryl Gwyther's 52-Week Flash Fiction Challenge on Facebook.
Cups and Saucers (500 words) 
I was chuffed. In fact, I think for a time there I stopped listening to the caller, Evonne, on the other end of the line. Twelve members of the famed Country Women’s Association booking out my little tea house for high tea. She’d said she was from the CWA VB – no doubt the Victorian Branch. 
Well, I thought, this could really put Cups on Saucers on the Valley’s foodie trail. 
I poured over CWA cookbooks and sourced local ingredients from my garden and orchard, and from friends and colleagues dotted around the Valley. 
Mine would be a high tea to remember. 
The freshest milk and eggs. The most delicious matured and soft cheeses. Cured and smoked meats. Even the flour was locally milled. And my neighbour’s delicious High Life Sparkling Pinot Noir would make the perfect accompaniment, alongside my impressive selection of hand blended organic teas. 
I had my heart set on creating the most scrumptious high tea a CWA member could possibly imagine. Cups and Saucers would be the talk of the town. 
The menu was ambitious, but days of planning meant that by the time the group arrived in their minibus, each perfect little morsel sat proudly on display: three cheese soufflés, mini pavlovas with brandied stone fruit compote, ham and cheese brioche, lemon curd tartlets, savoury scones, the selection went on and on and on. 
A delectable feast of the richest, most beautiful ingredients the Valley could offer. 
‘So lovely to finally put a face to a name!’ I gushed as I met Evonne. ‘I’m so thrilled to have you here!’ 
‘We’re thrilled to be here,’ she smiled. ‘You have no idea how difficult is to find someone to cater for the Vegan Branch.’ 
My jaw dropped, ‘No,’ I said meekly, ‘it must be difficult.’ 
I ushered the ladies into the front room and plied them with bubbles and pots of tea while I dashed to the kitchen to whip up, well, something. 
When my guests turned silent I was baffled to discover that they’d migrated to the dining room, and they were too busy eating to talk.
It was time to come clean. 
‘Oh, Evonne, I’m so sorry!’ 
‘Sorry?’ she asked, popping a pavlova in her mouth. ‘This is the best vegan high tea we've ever had. Can we twist your arm to share the recipes? Do you sell your tea blend?’ 
I called my neighbour and asked him to stop by with another case of High Life. 
He found me in the kitchen. 
‘What are you doing with that?’ he nodded towards the leaves I liked to dry and include in all my teas. 
‘Sshhh! It’s my secret ingredient,’ I whispered, ‘for my hand blended teas – they just love them!’ I beamed. 
I’m sure they do,’ he said, grinning. ‘I think you’d better keep the food coming.’ 
‘Yes, of course! Thanks for the bubbles!’ I rushed back to the dining room to replenish plates, teapots and glasses.  
Cups and Saucers was officially on the map.

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