A few dozen ladies turned out for a Mother’s Day tea at the Mount Airy Public Library on Saturday, sporting their finest frills and furbelows. And of course, hats. There were lots of hats.
The ladies in attendance, running the gamut in age from very recently born to what the French delicately describe as “femmes d’une certaine age,” were brimming with praise for Angela Llewellyn, library assistant, who organized the event.
“Angela has done so much and cares so much, we always come and support any activity she’s doing,” said Mary Nicholson, face peeking out from beneath the broad brim of a floppy cerulean garden party hat which matched her abstract-floral-print dress to perfection.
“Absolutely,” agreed Hazel Wilmoth, face likewise shadowed by the broad brim of a black and white picture hat which cleverly echoed the pattern of her chiffon mille-fleurs frock.
“We get to dress up and put big hats on,” said Llewellyn, explaining the popularity of the library’s tea parties. “It’s a gathering of women. We get to chat and meet new friends. I like doing things like this, picking patterns and colors, planning and putting it together.”
Previous teas have had other themes: there was a book character tea, a mother/daughter tea, a Titanic-themed event and a royal wedding tea when Prince William married Kate Middleton.
“The wedding was at four in the morning, (due to the London/Mount Airy time difference) so I recorded it on YouTube, and we watched it later during the tea,” she said.
This was not the sort of tea where one is lucky to come away with a soggy cucumber sandwich and perhaps a stale cookie. Llewellyn concocted a full spread of sweets and savories that overflowed her buffet table, with cake stands and tiered muffin holders that spread the goodies vertically as well as horizontally.
“I have made a coconut butter pecan pound cake, triple-chocolate caramel brownies, my Grandma Hudson’s peanut butter cookies, my Mama’s sugar cookies, strawberries and cream cupcakes, orange cranberry muffins, lemon blueberry muffins, chicken Caesar salad pinwheels, cucumber and carrot veggie pinwheels, and turkey sandwiches on pumpernickel with a cranberry orange marmalade spread with spinach. We’ll have tea and lemonade to drink, and some hot teas to sample,” announced Llewellyn on the library’s Facebook page prior to the tea.
“I put the sandwiches together this morning, but I baked all day yesterday,” she said, while the ladies were partaking of her handiwork. “I didn’t bake the lemon drop cookies, but I did everything else.”
“This is so wonderful of Angela,” said Laura Wood, as she pumped Llewellyn for information on how she had made her pumpernickel turkey sandwiches.
They are made with “orange marmalade, cream cheese, cranberries, spinach, and of course, turkey,” said Llewellyn. “On pumpernickel bread.”
“A ton of marmalade,” mused Wood. “I will eat all the marmalade I can get, and I love pumpernickel so much.”
Cora Branch, a sixth-grade student at Millennium Charter Academy and a member of the Junior Honor Society, was getting in some volunteer hours assisting Llewellyn.
“I helped prepare things,” she said.
Mary Nicholson said, “We love it,” chatting with Rita Johnston and Hazel Wilmoth. “We do it when we’re sailing. We always go to tea at three o’clock when we’re on a cruise ship.”
Saturday, the ladies didn’t need to leave dry land to put on their hats and sip some tea.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.