Someone should make a list of all the annual events we have in Cornwall. They’re part of what makes our community unique.
The Victorian Tea would be a comparative newcomer to the list. BFF has sponsored three of them, and has used the proceeds to provide weekend meals for students who might otherwise go hungry.
The most recent tea, at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Feb. 26, drew a capacity crowd of well-dressed women and men. (Well, there were seven men who arrived in tuxedos and top hats. A few of them carried walking sticks with a hidden compartment for beverages that could be used to spike the tea.)
The program included the drawing of raffle prizes, recognition of the guest with the best hat (Nancy Casparian) and a quiz on the Victorian era.
Upon their arrival, guests received leaflets with 10 multiple-choice questions. The guests didn’t have to submit their responses — which was a good thing, because there were a lot of groans when Sally Mattausch read the proper answers out loud.
Among the questions were — Who preceded Victoria on the throne? (William IV), Who was Elizabeth’s husband? (Prince Albert), and How many children did they have? (nine)
Volunteers decorated the tables before the doors opened at 2:30 p.m. The kitchen staff was successful in recreating the cuisine of a different era — making sandwiches you could hold in one hand and finish in a few bites. The selection included
-grilled chicken with honey mustard
-roast beef with cheddar, horseradish mayo and tomato
-turkey with avocado, roasted red pepper, lettuce and mayonnaise
People who baked had their own specialties, so they were free to improvise. The goodie plates included scones, lemon bars, and several concoctions with chocolate.
Courtnay Dittbrenner was the prime organizer of the event; Laura Nicholls chaired the kitchen crew, and Sally Mattausch was the emcee. At the end of the program, she invited everyone to come back next year — making it evident that the tea would continue to be an annual event.