Anne of Green Gables has been a part of me for so long, I don’t remember when I first read it. The first volume about the misadventures of romantic, impulsive, ridiculous Anne Shirley might have been a gift from my dad, who always brought books home for me from his business trips. Or perhaps I borrowed it from the library?
All I know is, the book quickly became a place to me that I loved to visit, where a neglected orphan girl with an immense imagination could find love, acceptance, and independence when staid, sober siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert accidentally adopted her. They were expecting a boy.
I quickly snapped up all the books in the series, grabbing them greedily from bookstore shelves and devouring them. I looked up the poetry they referenced in my dad’s books, and studied the clothing of the period at the library to try to form a more complete picture. And then I heard PBS would be airing a TV movie. Made in actual Canada. I swooned, in proper Anne fashion.
Needless to say, I was a huge fan of the Sullivan Anne of Green Gables and the sequel. (Although I didn’t like how they condensed Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, and Anne of Windy Poplars in the sequel: I wanted three-hour movies of each of them!) And I’ve never seen Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story, which wasn’t based on any of the books and is wrong wrong wrong. No.
In junior high, my “bosom friend” and I wrote each other notes as Anne and Diana and had big plans to put on a play. While the play never materialized, I was able to throw a tea party for the two of us, including raspberry cordial. I promise I did not set her drunk.
When I heard that Jonathan Crombie, the actor who played Gilbert, suddenly died this spring, I made plans with another Anne friend, Kari, to have a tea and watch the first movie. We had a wonderful time, and I thought I’d share my recipes here, in case you’d like to do the same.
Many of them are from the official Anne of Green Gables Cookbook, and several are my interpretations of what Anne intended to serve Diana at their tea party: fruit cake became plum cake (okay it’s prune cake, but delicious), and instead of cherry preserves, I made shortbread with dried cherries and orange.
Anne of Green Gables Tea Party
Poetical Egg Salad Sandwiches
Cucumber-Mint Tea Sandwiches
Iny’s Prune Cake
Cherry-Orange Shortbread Cookies
I subbed dried cherries for cranberries
I selected a variety called “Lord Bergamot” because it sounded so romantic
I made a quarter-recipe and served it with club soda for sparkle
I set up a coffee table downstairs, queued up my Anne of Green Gables DVD, brought out my best china and teapot, and settled in with my kindred spirit Kari for a perfectly lovely afternoon!
My 10-month-old daughter Sarah joined us for part of the movie, and while she enjoyed my basil egg salad, I don’t think she had the attention span for the story. I’m hoping we can make it a yearly thing as she grows up!
Have any of you thrown an Anne tea party? What did you do? Post below!