Sunday, December 11, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

Today, we'll chat about the second S in an afternoon tea menu - Sandwiches.

I adore tea sandwiches!
They are so yummy and given my "druthers" I'd eat them every day of the year. There is just something so "civilized" about afternoon tea sandwiches. LOL

Last week, when I was out for Christmas tea with my Victorian Fashion Group at a lovely tea room here in Victoria, one of the women in our group talked about how, during the 50's and 60's, her mom made dainty little "pinwheel" sandwiches just like we all had on our plates for church teas and special occasions.  I remember my Mom doing that too and she always made them for me and my little guests when I had my birthday tea!

Pinwheels are pretty easy to make... here's a short UTube Video you can watch.  Instead of using bread, he uses a tortilla wrap but you can use slices of bread... just cut off the crusts!

You often hear tea sandwiches referred to as "finger sandwiches".   Whatever!!  They are meant to be small, crust-less, dainty bites and are made with a large variety of fillings:

Egg salad (hard cooked eggs with mayo)
Cucumber  (finely sliced "English" cucumber and cream cheese)
Almond Chicken (chopped, cooked chicken, slivered almonds and mayo)
Watercress (white or rye bread filled with watercress leaves)
Cream Cheese, Celery and Walnut Sandwiches (chop celery heart very fine)
Ginger Tea Spread (cream cheese mixed with ginger marmalade and a pinch of paprika on brown bread)
Pickled Spread (bologna ground up mixed with ground dill pickle and mayo)
Smoked Salmon with watercress and mayo
Tomato slices sprinkled with basil on rye bread with mayo
Cream cheese pinwheels with dill pickle slices or asparagus spears for centers
Salmon salad (red canned salmon mixed with mayo and green onion)

For your tea menu, choose three or four different fillings for your dainties.  Vary your breads between white, brown, pumpernickel, even crisp bread and cut them up differently.  Allow about 3-5  little sandwiches per guest depending on their size. In the summertime, you could even add a flower to the plate.  It's all about creating a "pretty" presentation on a china plate!

What's poured first into a china teacup?  The tea or the cream?

Well we all know to keep our elbows off the table and our napkins on our laps but do you know if it's the tea or the cream that goes into the teacup first?  Actually it really doesn't matter.  Some say if you put the cream in first, the hot tea may scald it.  Others say that if you put the tea in and then the cream, it will cool the tea off!  Sugar, on the hand, should be added once the tea is poured and is offered by the hostess to her guest.  If you are the hostess, be sure to ask your guests, "One lump or two?"