High Tea Party: “very, very English.”

The red sofas in Judy Raatz’s living room pop against the white walls and the golden oak hardwood floor. She has invited her friends to her St. James, Minnesota home on a Thursday for afternoon tea or “high tea.”

The gals sit around the living room, some wearing patterned blouses and others wearing dresses with their sunhats on their head or resting on their laps.

“A high tea, also called a full tea, means you will have three courses,” Raatz explains to her friends while standing at the entrance of her living room. “A high tea also means a cake sitting, and of course, also means high society. The funny thing is what it really turns into is gossip.” The women burst into laughter. “Then I thought,” Raatz continues, “‘Oh my gosh, Sunday, the minister says thou shalt not gossip.’ Oh my goodness. Here we are.”

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