Mary Jane couldn’t wait to invite her three “bestest” friends to come to a fancy tea party at her house. Her grandmother had given her a sweet little tea set that was decorated with colorful ducks, and Mary Jane was eager to show it off. All of her friends said, “Yes, oh yes, I’ll come!” It would be the perfect occasion for them to dress up in their very nicest frocks. (Of course, each friend planned on bringing along her favorite doll.) The girls knew there would be plenty of tasty things to eat and that they would find lots of things to giggle about. When the day of the party arrived no one was disappointed; everyone had a really good time. After the last cup had been poured, all the guests agreed that the afternoon had been, well, ducky.
The delightful child’s tea set here has a Nippon mark backstamp. Nippon porcelain was manufactured in Japan from 1891-1921 (Nippon being the Japanese word for Japan). This particular duck pattern was produced between 1911 and 1921.
How about some cupcakes to go with the tea? Easy as 1,2,3. Cupcakes date back at least to the 18th century, when they were known as number cakes, or 1,2,3,4 cakes. The names come from the proportions of the ingredients in the recipe: 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour, and 4 eggs. Older cookbooks refer to baking cakes in small cups, which may have been earthenware teacups. The smaller cakes became popular as they took less time to bake in a hearth oven and were less likely to burn than a larger cake.
Tea and cake anyone?