Some of the most endearing and memorable moments of love and friendship are the tête–à–tête moments. Often it occurs at any time: over a casual cup of coffee, shopping together, a lunch, a dinner, a birthday--even a short ride in a car.
For me, those special moments was going out to tea once a month with a dearest friend. We often tried a new one each month. But our very special once-a-year was at Christmas time when we went to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Pentagon City in Alexandria, Virginia. It had a lovely cocktail bar with a piano, lots of comfortable seatings and a large fireplace. We would order pots of teas and of course tea sandwiches and pastries.
But in the spring we gave our own tea parties, usually a mothers and daughters teas. we made lots of tea sandwiches and pastries and of course pots of teas. Everyone had to wear at least one dress-up item that often ranged from a large-brim hat to a special broach to just white gloves. It was fun and grand.
Here are five tea sandwiches we made, some are copy-cat tea sandwiches from our outings and magazines, others are our own creations and of course all are mini in size:
Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich
Turkey salad open-face sandwich
Salmon and dill sandwich
Open-face vegetable sandwich
Open-face egg sandwich
Preparing for a tea party really does take more than one person. A lot of cutting and slicing and chopping and toasting and spreading butter and mayo and more goes into it. Sharing different tasks with others is also just fun! Much of the preparation can be done a day ahead.
Assembling the tea sandwiches is also a fun task to share with others.
For ALL 5 tea sandwiches:
Cut away the edges of thin white bread.
Each slice is very thinly buttered on the top portion or for the mini BLT, on the interior slices. Then add a very thin layer of Miracle Whip (r) or mayonnaise.
Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich
Toast 2 slices of the thin white bread. Spread butter, then mayo on the interior side of the bread
1 firm Roma tomato, sliced thin.
Two small pieces of lettuce
Sprouts for garnish
To make two sandwiches, toast two slices of thin white bread. (To ensure that the bacon cooks flat, bake it. Lay the slices on a cooling rack that sits on a cookie sheet pay. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.)
Layer ingredients on whole bread, starting with bacon, then tomatoes, then lettuce. Slice the sandwich from opposite ends to form a triangle. Hold together with a toothpick. Garnish with sprouts.
Turkey salad sandwich
For the salad:
3 ounces smoked turkey, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise (or more)
Salt and pepper to taste
To assemble each sandwich
1 slice of toasted white thin bread cut into 2” rounds
2 slices of Swiss cheese, cut into 2” rounds placed on top of the buttered and mayo bread
Top with about 1-2 Tablespoons of turkey salad on the center of the cheese
Garnish with 1 slice of 2” celery stalk, cut into half
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Open-faced salmon dill sandwich (yields 4 ounces)
2 - 2” x 1” slices of thinly sliced salmon (or lox) for each mini sandwich
4 ounces of soft cream cheese
3-4 Tablespoons of fresh finely chopped dill
lemon juice to taste
Except for the salmon, thoroughly mix all the above ingredients. It’s best when allowed to refrigerate overnight. To assemble, spread a thin layer of butter on the bread. Then spread a layer of the cream cheese and dill over the butter. Top with 2 (two) layers of salmon. Garnish with a tiny sprig of dill.
Open-faced vegetable medley sandwich (yields 4 ounces)
2 medium-sized fresh radish thinly cut with the skin on
2 thinly sliced English cucumber, with skin on
2 thinly sliced yellow squash (Purchase a small squash, about 1-1/2” across the diameter.)
On the buttered/mayo sliced bread, place the slices of cucumber at opposite ends. Then place the slices of yellow squash on the remaining opposite ends. Butter one side of the radish slices (to help keep them placed) and placed them on top of the yellow squash. Cut the veggie sandwich between the cucumber slices along opposite ends to form two triangle pieces. Then cut each of the triangles from one corner to the center. What you want is 4 (four) triangles, each containing half-moon like slices of the vegetables. Garnish with salt and multi-colored freshly ground pepper.
Open-faced egg sandwich
2 thinly cut slices of hard-boiled eggs
Finely chopped curly-leaf parsley
1 slice of bread cut into 2 (two) triangles about 1” x 2”
After spreading butter and mayo on the top of the bread, also spread butter on the long-end of one edge of the bread. Dip this long-end edge into the parsley. Place two egg slices edge-to-edge on the top of one triangle buttered bread. Sprinkle with paprika. Garnish each egg slice with a 1-1/2” cut chive.
More ideas for tea sandwiches:
Sliced deli beef and horseradish
ham and cheese
egg salad and sprouts
English cucumber on butter only
shrimp salad on toasted bread