Patty had asked how tea is served here as well as what type of sweets are served. Usually when company comes, it is expected that tea, sweets and fruit will be served. Fruit, which is offered first, can either be already placed on small plates with knives on small tables next to seats or offered to each guest from a bowl after plates and knives have been distributed. The typical fruits are apples, oranges, tangerines, bananas and/or small cucumbers as well as other seasonal fruits such as apricots or plums. The tea is just a basic black tea (I'm not a tea drinker so I'm not really familiar with the different kinds.) served in small cups or glasses and always with sugar cubes. Often, a sugar cube is held between the teeth while the tea is sipped. The order of offering tea is also important. You start with the oldest male guest then the oldest female guest and work your way around the room from there. This is followed closely by fresh plates and some type of sweets. The picture is of rice flour cookies with a jelly-like candy flavored with saffron called kolucheh maskati. These are a company tea-time staple which are available from pretty much every bakery. Occasionally, muffins or small slices of sponge cake layered with whipped cream will be offered instead. During our Eid company hosting, I had baked banana muffins as well as brownies.
On a seperate but somewhat related note, Reza celebrated this 1st birthday on the 14th. We ended up having about 20 people here including us and various relatives of Mohsen's. I made three single layer 9" cakes. Carrot and chocolate from scratch and a lemon cake from a mix that I wanted to try. When all was said and done we only had 2 pieces of carrot and half a piece of chocolate left. Reza thoroughly enjoyed his carrot and lemon cupcakes. And as with any Iranian gathering, tea and fruit were also served.
The birthday boy.