It's finally feeling like autumn, my favourite Sydney season. May in Australia is all about Mother's Day and morning tea. Mother's day festivities occur on the second Sunday in May, in our family that's lots of baking and a long lunch. Weekends here are a bit crazy at the moment; three kids, winter sports, so I may have bought my own gift. I'd planned on flowers, the book delivery was purely coincidental. I won't spill the beans on my gift giving plans, there's an outside chance my mum may read this before Sunday ;)
"Australia's Biggest Morning Tea" is a fundraising initiative. Friends, families, school kids, colleagues get together, share morning tea and raise dollars for the Cancer Council; socialising, cake and supporting an excellent cause, it's a "win win". Thursday 22nd is the date this year, but tea is drunk and cake eaten all through May and on in to June. I've hosted before, this year though, I baked for a local event, and went "virtual".
It was beautiful on Wednesday morning in Lane Cove, and In the Cove's biggest morning tea was a lovely event. Jacky, Lane Cove local and community powerhouse, and Nikki from Stella Bella Home hosted lots of locals, who sat in the shade enjoying coffee, tea and the delights of the dessert table. Yes, I sent macarons, but was totally inspired by those butterfly cakes!
On to matters virtual; the very clever Erika Rax and Gemma Ryan devised the very modern virtual tea party and parcel swap. The virtual tea party is happening this week; a compilation, over on Erika's blog, of links to bloggers doing all things morning tea, one giant online tea party. Hopefully this post will link up, and you can "hop" on over to other sites and see what they are up to.
Apparently people have been parcel swapping for ages, who knew? Check out #postaparcel on instagram and prepare to be both amazed and intimated. For more beautiful parcels and a whole new level of intimidation, search #thecreativeexchange, remember, I warned you...
This was my first swap, and Nia our swap hostess, paired me with Tammi in WA; Tammi and I exchanged addresses and collected 5 items, morning tea themed, to post to each other.
I had a legitimate excuse to seek out op shops, trawl my fabric stash, and even plugged in my 11 year old clunky sewing machine to make napkins. Now call me a one trick pony, but macaron shells are perfectly postable... I made chocolate shells, added chocolate, orange oil and the ganache recipe, a cute little plate and the napkins, wrapped it all up and popped it in the post. My parcel from Tammi arrived the same day. A lovely vintage tea cup and saucer, pyramid tea bags, a jar of melting moments, strawberry jam and Tammi's grandmother's scone recipe - just perfect, lucky me! I've eaten the melting moments, drunk the tea, and plan to test drive the scones next week, yep, for morning tea. Those gorgeous labels are hand printed on vintage linen napkins, totally stealing that idea.
The parcel posting bandwagon, I've jumped right on! It seems to stem from Instagram, where I've been following Bianca from Sunday Folk for a while. Bianca organised another parcel swap, what folk eat. Now, cue spooky music, I joined the swap and was paired with Erika Rax! The freakiness of that coincidence was completely lost on my family...
A chocolate chunk cookie kit with gorgeous handwritten instructions came my way. I finally got around to making them this week and they were gooood, my son "rates" them :) you can find the recipe here. They are a little cakier, less chewy, than the recipe I usually use, I think they'd make perfect whoppie pies...
More op shop finds and home made napkins went in the parcel I sent, a chocolate hazelnut sundae kit; thanks Erika for sharing your photo :)
I'm loving social media, I may turn into a parcel swapping junkie. It's kind of strange how nerve wracking it was, waiting for someone you've never met to receive their parcel, really hoping they don't hate it!
Mother's Day or not, I hope you have a lovely weekend, maybe even bake something and do the morning tea thing :)