Celebrate graduation with a tea party-style open house!

Graduation cap. Photo: Kevin Connors, MorgueFile.com

While San Jose State University and San Jose City College students graduated over Memorial Day weekend, most of the local high schools, middle schools and elementary schools are just finishing up. That means that many local students will be graduating this weekend or next weekend, and lots of families will be preparing for the traditional outdoor barbecue and graduation party. While there’s nothing wrong with a good barbecue, why not try something a little different this year? Remember, June is Iced Tea Month, and iced tea is a perfect beverage to drink with barbecue. You can even barbecue with tea!

An open house with food set up buffet-style is a more casual event where people can come and go easily, which means they can attend more than one graduation gathering in the same day, and may make it easier for more friends to drop by and see your favorite graduate. The tea party tradition provides numerous possibilities for “finger food” that would be perfect for a party buffet table, and pitchers of refreshing iced tea would be a natural and delicious beverage to go with the treats. Some of the items can even be prepared on the grill, and you might be able to avoid using the oven and heating up the house. Your tea party pantry can provide a selection of treats to put out for the guests.  Here are some suggestions:

Iced tea
Classic English scones with cream and jam
Grilled tomato tea sandwiches
Chinese chicken salad tea sandwiches
Roasted chicken salad with tarragon sandwiches
Deviled tea eggs
Jelly pockets
Citrus pound cake
Green tea or Chai ice cream

This is also a great idea for a summer birthday party.  Add a nice cake, some fresh fruit kabobs, and maybe some ice cream, and you have a great graduation party! All you have to do is keep the pitchers of iced tea full, or put out a cooler with ice and bottled iced tea.

Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.

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For more information: “Scholarship funds established in memory of shooting victims” SJSU News blog
“Is it too warm to sleep? Try soothing orange-blossom mint tisane”
“Celebrate the Fourth of July with a tea party picnic!”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“Review: Amandine Decanter by Teavana”
“Greet the summer in San Jose with iced tea during Iced Tea Month”
“Now is the time for garden parties and picnics in San Jose”
“Birthday gift ideas for the San Jose tea lover”
“Iced tea and how to make it”
“Cool off with tea ice cream”
“Bottled tea may contain fewer antioxidants than freshly brewed tea”
“Barbecue with tea for Labor Day”
“The Elixir of the South: sweet tea”
“Tea cocktails for any time of year – some recipes from around the Web”
“Planning a high school graduation tea party”
“Graduation party ideas”

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