The Eisenhower Library in Abilene hosted a First Ladies Tea Saturday, with Andy Och who produced the C-Span Series on the First Ladies. He was an excellent speaker and delighted us with stories of the first ladies from Martha to Michelle.
In a nutshell, he illustrated how each of them was very accomplished and unusual for their time. He told stories that were part of the series. You can see the series for free by going to cspan.com/firstladies.
I confess I became a fan of Mrs. Taft. She was the one who planted the first cherry blossom trees, and was the first to give her inaugural gown. She was asked by the Smithsonian to share something with them and thought because she wouldn’t be using the inaugural gown again it was the perfect item. A tradition was born!
The tea itself was tasty, but very minimal. They advertised the menu in advance, so that wasn’t a surprise, but I really wish they had offered more of a tea “experience.” Even if they had to charge more, it would have been nice to have more food offered, and to have the typical things expected at a tea.
We were served cucumber sandwiches, a chicken salad sandwich, a small scone, and two desserts. They had advertised a lemon dessert that wasn’t served, at least not to our table. They were all delicious, but more variety of delicate sandwiches and desserts would have made it much more of an tea event, to go with the wonderful presentation.
The food was done by Apple Mint Catering, and it was great. It just would have been nice to have more selection of food, and some of the traditional tea things – like lemon curd. I so wanted some of that to go with this lavender scone, which was wonderful!
All of that said, it was a wonderful experience. The presentation was spectacular and I would happily do it again in a minute. Mr. Och was the main event, and the tea seemed ancillary to the day. But, it was the tea that attracted me, and I’m guessing others as well. It wouldn’t take much to make it more of a tea experience and have the best of both worlds. I like to have my cake and eat it too. Or, in this case, my fascinating presentation and my tea sandwiches, too!
They are planning to do another one next year, the Saturday before Mother’s Day, so mark your calendar. I already have!