Sister Stuff, More Tea Sandwiches, and Gratuitous Cheese Plate Photos

A couple weeks ago I threw my sister’s bridal shower.  I think it was a success.  There was lots of good food, absolutely no wedding dresses made out of toilet paper, and a lot of laughs.  And most importantly, Emily seemed to have a great time.  You can see a couple details below.  But first, I have to get something off my chest.

Before we sat around and watched Emily open a ton of boxes from Crate & Barrel and Bed, Bath, and Beyond, everyone took a turn saying something nice about Em.  Being the hostess, I set the example and went first.  Except I totally choked up.  I could blame fatigue after assembling dozens of tea sandwiches, but in truth, speaking about one of the most important people in my life gets me all misty.  It is truly embarrassing how easily I get emotional about things like that.

While I think the sentiment came through the tears, I didn’t get to say what I really wanted to say.  So, I’ll say it now, when I can blink away tears in the privacy of my own office….

Have I mentioned that my sister is one of my absolute favorite people?  Of all time? 

She is a fabulous partner for playing Taboo, at least if you have 25+ years of shared life experiences to refer to for clues that no one else would understand.   We say the same thing, at the same time, in the same exact tone, way too often.  She is probably the only person in the world who could accurately infer complete sentences from one hand gesture that I make when I can’t talk because my mouth is too full of cookies.  Despite a four-year difference in our ages and very different personalities, we often seem to go through parallel experiences simultaneously.  I can’t imagine going through life without Emily being there to commiserate, share happy news, and laugh uncontrollably at parts of movies that no one else finds funny.  And if I didn’t have a sister, I wouldn’t have had anyone with whom to wear matching outfits.

I don’t think of Emily as “my younger sister” or “my little sister”, just as “my sister”- a peer, a role model, and an amazing friend.  She is quite possibly the most energetic, passionate, and motivated person I know.  If you want something to get done, and done right, ask Emily.  She has strong values and they are reflected in her actions every day, but she is also open to new ideas and allows herself to continuously grow as a person.  Actually, she does more than “allow” herself.  She actively pursues experiences that help her to develop intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

I think that, in Mike, Emily has found someone who can match her energy, share her enthusiasm and beliefs, and support her independence.  Together (along with Cooper, the bunnies, the gecko, and HBD), Em and Mike are an incredible team, and I am so happy to have them both in my family.

And yes, I am a little teary now.  Let’s talk about food.

Since Emily loves tea, and she and Mike like spending a lot of time gardening, I used a tea-and-herb theme as inspiration for the shower.  It all started with the idea to have herbs potted in teacups as decorations (and also used for prizes during the games).  My mom was nice enough to execute my vision (in addition to all the work she and my dad put into setting up the house for the shower!)

Continuing with the tea and herb theme, I decided to make tea sandwiches that each used a different type of herb.

In addition to the Open-Faced Radish and Chive Tea Sandwiches  I’ve made before, I also made Ina Garten’s Turkey & Basil Tea Sandwiches (I used cranberry bread instead of raisin bread, and it was amazing) and this recipe from Martha Stewart for Smoked Salmon and Dill Tea Sandwiches.  Oh, and Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwiches although I can’t tell you if those were any good, given my mint aversion.

Unfortunately my camera died before I could document the amazing desserts that Emily’s friend Courtney made, but I do need to at least acknowledge them: a gorgeous chocolate cake with little sugar bees to match Em’s wedding invitations, and pavlovas with fruit and lemon curd.  So yummy.   The menu was rounded out by the best fruit salad I’ve ever had (brought by my aunt) and a beautiful veggie plate.  Instead of dealing with hot tea for a large crowd, we offered an assortment of iced teas, including Hibiscus-Pomegranate and Orange-Earl Gray.  And thanks to Mike’s mom for bringing the tulip centerpiece- it brought everything together perfectly!  No wonder Em felt so loved that day, with so many people contributing to the event.

And for no reason other than I love cheese and pretty cheese plates…

Note the crackers arranged in concentric circles.  Well done, Katie.



Filed under Cooking, Family, Life, My Crazy Mind

6 responses to “Sister Stuff, More Tea Sandwiches, and Gratuitous Cheese Plate Photos

  1. So many great ideas!! I especially love the teacup planters and using cranberry bread for the turkey tea sandwiches. Also, I don’t have any sisters, but I have known my best friend since we were both two (31 years now!) and when we play Taboo, no one can beat us. It’s like a mind meld! 🙂

  2. eatwilmington

    I envy you the great relationship you have with your sister. It is so special that you are able to tell her what she means to you – I am sure that warms her heart. Best wishes to her and her future hubby!

  3. Jessica Brooks

    Sarah I feel exactly the same way– though I didn’t get to throw a shower for Nat since she was in Cape Town, I did tear up every time I even Thought about my MOH speech!! never thought I would get through it, but I managed to hold back the tears til the very end 🙂

    Best of luck to Em and Mike! I love the theme, esp since it reminded me that we went as human tea bags (“Tea for Two”!) for halloween in 5th grade. haha. I really enjoy reading your blog, keep it up!

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