It’s Thursday night. I’m at the Sugar Bowl with my sister and brother-in-law, pre-kids. Eric calls to say he’s running late and that we should order without him.
So we do.
Without hesitation and without looking at the menu, the three of us order The Turkey Special in unison: a slab of roasted turkey complete with stuffing and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy.
It’s Turkey Thursday–after all–the reason we’re here.
Eric enters the 50s-era restaurant and saddles up to the table. The waitress comes round and asks Eric what he wants–and, without hesitation–he orders:
“I’ll have the tea sandwiches.”
No manly plate of meat for him. Eric’s a tea-sandwich guy through and through. I kind of love this about him. Don’t get me wrong, he will happily eat–and more importantly, grill–a mean steak, but what can I say: The guy loves tea sandwiches.
This makes him the perfect afternoon tea date because while he loves tea sandwiches, I feel ho-hum about them. I’m in it for the scones and desserts (and tea of course). It’s how I got him to take me to tea for the very first time at Butchart Gardens in Victoria–when he didn’t even like tea. As it turned out, my tea-sandwich-loving husband not only ate my share of the tiny finger sandwiches that day, but he also drank me under the table and has been my teatime companion ever since.
All images courtesy of The Sugar Bowl. You can click to enlarge them if you wish.
The Mad Hatter’s Tea Sandwiches (seen in this post)
All recipes are from The Joy of Cooking. They have an excellent section devoted to the art of tea sandwiches entitled: Ideas for Tea Sandwiches. We doubled all recipes herein, which required 3 loaves of bread (crusts removed) and served 15 people. Should you not be throwing a Mad Hatter birthday tea party (and you really should), the portions below are more apt to feed a family rather than a crowd.
2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded white and dark chicken meat
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove skin from chicken and Crock-Pot for 3 to 3 1/2 hours on high until chicken is cooked and falls off the bone. Note that it is important to use white and dark meat for the best flavor (we used split chicken breasts and leg quarters). Cool and refrigerate until ready to prepare tea sandwiches. Then, combine all ingredients and spread on bread.
Combine in a medium bowl:
6 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons onions, minced
2 tablespoons celery, minced
Pepper to taste
Refrigerate until cold and spread on bread.
Bring your butter to room temperature (for high tea, we suggest you spring for the good stuff: Kerry Gold). Peel and thinly slice one cucumber. Spread softened butter on bread and add cucumber slices, slightly overlapping.
Psst! Made some yummy lemon shortbread cookies for a playdate today. Recipe coming at ya soon–with bonus cocktail recipe! Cocktail not consumed at playdate… ;-)