Pick a theme for your tea party or consider picnic possibilities


May 16, 2007|By Jill Rosen | Jill Rosen,Sun reporter

Tea Party

20 Themed Tea Parties With Recipes for Every Occasion


By Hilary Heminway and Alex Heminway

Gibbs Smith / 2007 / $19.95

When the weather warms, fans of alfresco dining start thinking of which restaurants have patios, of dusting off their deck furniture, of dragging a friend and a picnic basket to some picturesque spot.

I hoped this book would offer advice on planning a picnic -- what's portable, what holds up well in a basket, what won't give you food poisoning.

It doesn't.

Practicality isn't what the writers are after here. Instead they fill the pages with witty essays, stabs at poetry and some lovely photography.

They also have a creative definition of "picnic." Here, breakfast in bed, eating at your desk and packing munchies for a flight all count as picnic possibilities.

From the questionable "African Picnic" chapter, where they suggest what to take in your Land Rover to snack on during a safari, I made the Tanzania Tomato Soup.

Though the soup was fresh-tasting and required little more than loading a food processor with ingredients and pushing the button, I couldn't get past the silliness. Schlepping soup bowls and spoons and thermoses out to a park -- let alone the African plains? I don't think so.


Tanzania Tomato Soup

Serves 6

4 cups V8 juice

2 cups tomato juice

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

2 cups plain yogurt

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and blend well. Serve chilled.

From "Picnics"

Per serving: 109 calories, 4 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 741 milligrams sodium

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