Christmas tea 2014


Being Bahá’ís, my wife and I do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. (The Bahá’í gift-giving celebration period is in February.) But having grown up with the season, and given that Christmas is such a huge cultural event, it is an impossible occasion to ignore. And there is much to love about the holidays: the music, the food, the lights, the food, the general good will…and did I mention the food?

On Christmas day we usually hold a Christmas tea in the afternoon, followed by a discussion period, then some prayers and finally we end the evening with a traditional Christmas supper. Usually there are ten to fourteen attendees and a good time is, I promise you, had by all. The photos below were taken on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Frankly, I was so busy (I’m the chef de maison—my fancy title for ‘cook’) that there aren’t many, but I hope you enjoy the few I managed to grab all the same.

Before viewing the photographs, I would also like to invite you to visit the poetry blog, the Book of Pain. As always, special thanks to my dearest spouse Lyn, who does most of the hard part: the photo selections. Thank you for dropping by the Book of Bokeh.


In preparation for the Christmas tea and dinner, on Christmas Eve this year I made eggnog (real and homemade, using eggs and cream; non-alcoholic, of course), a vegetarian paté, chocolate chip cookies, shortbread dipped in chocolate, one big 12″ x 16″ (30cm by 40 cm) chocolate bar and the turkey stuffing. (The turkey itself with the rest of the trimmings was made on Christmas Day.) Note that the very first thing I do when cooking a lot—and especially cookies—is to prepare myself by wearing black clothes and no apron…that seems to be the best way to really get into the swing of things!






And finally, the payoff: setting up the tea just before people arrive.



The paté is made from mushrooms and walnuts. To be honest with you, I think it is better than any meat-based paté I ever managed to make in years past! By the way, I also designed and made that olive and savory plate. (One of my other passions used to be pottery…I wish I had the time to get back into more.)



All photographs and comments ©2015 by John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.


28 thoughts on “Christmas tea 2014

    • And how I would love to throw one for all my wonderful wordpress friends! Sadly, the best that I can do is tease you with photos! 🙂

  1. Hi John, the photos look so warm and welcoming. I especially loved those cups and I’m sure the cookies along with the food would have been delicious…I remembered the last cookies photo shoot that you had done was very tempting.

    • That is so very kind and sweet of you! Thank you so very, very, much! And, coincidentally, the exact thing I think of your posts! 🙂

    • Yes, in February is a five day period called Ayyam-i-Ha which Baha’is celebrate as a festive occasion. I will be sure to let Lyn know how much you loved the shot…she is the artist of the family when it comes to designing spaces…decorating our home, laying out our garden, choosing what goes into it. She will be honored by your remark! 🙂

    • You must make an effort to get to New England. If you can it would be our honor to have you over for tea. Do you prefer PG Tips or Tetley? Or something more upscale? (I have a recipe for crumpets and clotted cream somewhere, I’m certain…)

      Honestly, any time! 🙂

    • Thank you, and if ever you grow bored with those far and exotic places you keep going to and end up in boring old New England, please drop by for tea… 🙂

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