Staying in to hand out candy to San Jose’s trick-or-treaters on Monday? Why not put together a collection of seasonal goodies from your kitchen and tea party pantry to warm your soul, and put on a good movie to pass the time between visits. San Jose’s weather has cooled down considerably this month, and Halloween night promises to be chilly, so cups of hot tea and warm treats are practically a requirement! They will be just as welcome to those who go out door-to-door, as those who stay in.
Chai, or some other spicy black tea blend, is a tasty and seasonal choice for autumn. You can make your own from scratch, or use one of the two main brands of chai concentrate available in local grocery stores. Perhaps you’d like something earthy or smoky to accompany the evening? In that case, a smoky Lapsang Souchong or earthy Pu-erh might be a good choice; both can be found at San Jose’s many Asian grocery stores, if not in every supermarket. Flavored teas for the holidays are just now re-appearing in local grocery stores, but you can make your own if you prefer, by using easy-to-find ingredients to make pumpkin spice tea or orange spice tea.
Scones, both savory and sweet, are always good to add to the tea table. If you feel creative, you can even dress them up to look like spiders or other scary-kitchy things, like Slightly Spooky Vampires! If you want to go all out and have savories, too, there are lots of yummy things available in the grocery store, farmer’s market, or in recipes on the Internet. Pumpkins can be made into savory things as well as pies (although mini pumpkin pies sound great!), as well as butternut squash or other squash, mushrooms, roasted vegetables, and all sorts of meats. Try making a filling out of some of these things and baking it inside pie dough turnovers or savory tarts.
Chocolate is another popular treat to enjoy this dark night, and if you stay out of the kids’ candy handouts you’ll have more room for good-quality chocolate with your tea! Baking with chocolate, like making Spicy Chocolate Bread Pudding, is always a good thing to do when you want something comforting and indulgent to accompany your tea. You can even make mini cakes and dress them up like Chocolate Mice or Spider Webs for the occasion!
If you plan to go out with the kids, you’ll need something hot to bring with you, and what better beverage than tea? There are many portable hot beverage containers available on the market, and the product called the Mobile Teapot from Village Tea Company is a good choice for those of us who prefer loose tea to tea bags; Satori Tea Bar in downtown San Jose sells an almost identical design made by a different company. Whatever you do, stay safe and warm on Halloween, and drink more tea than alcohol, because we all have to go back to work the next day!
Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.
For more information:
“What to do if it rains in San Jose on Halloween: have a tea party!”
“Tea tasting 101: characteristics of a good-quality black tea”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“What is chai and where can I get it in San Jose?”
“How to make masala chai at home”
“Tea 101: what is pu-erh tea?”
“Review of Tazo Organic Spiced Black Tea Latte concentrate”
“Review of Oregon Chai Original Chai Tea Latte concentrate”
“How to make holiday orange spice tea”
“How to make your own pumpkin spice tea”
“Slightly spooky savory black olive scones for Halloween”
“Chocolate and tea: the perfect match?”
“Aztec chocolate bread pudding to eat with tea”
“How to create easy vampire cupcakes for your Twilight tea party”
“Chocolate Mice” recipe from Food & Wine magazine
“Red Velvet Spider Web Cupcakes” recipe from Food & Wine magazine
“Review: Mobile Teapot from Village Tea Company”
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea”
“Review: afternoon tea at Satori Tea Bar”
Some other seasonal tea party themes:
“A Twilight theme tea”
“Twilight themed midnight tea picnic”
“Twilight Saga: Eclipse tickets with a midnight tea”
“Gothic high tea”
“Autumn harvest moon tea”
“Dia de los Muertos Tea”