Goodbye To Lazy Sundays
It’s safe to say that this weekend’s Diamond Jubilee celebration of Her Majesty’s reign inspired many people to immerse in some British culture. At my home, that meant Sunday afternoon tea complete with delicate finger sandwiches. If it wasn’t for limited stomach room, I totally would have gone the whole nine yards with tiered platters of warm scones, clotted cream, homemade strawberry rhubarb jam, and mini Eccles cake. I’m absolutely thrilled about my latest batch of jam that I want to add a touch of ruby red to every bite I take.
It was a good thing I resisted because peanut butter and jam sandwich, no matter how fancy, just doesn’t seem to belong on a plate of elegant crustless sandwiches. Tea room is what I want, not school cafeteria. I bought my favourite sandwich bread in white and whole wheat from Bakery Nakamura in the morning. The square shape and tight crumb make these bread perfect candidate. Little Brother brew a pot of Tea Palace mango Ceylon and we sat down for a leisurely Sunday afternoon tea.
I didn’t make anything particularly elaborate for sandwich fillings. They were all ingredients I had in the fridge. I made a trio of Tomato & Cheddar, Cucumber & Cream Cheese, and Smoked Salmon Chives & Cream Cheese. Very classic combinations.
The key to successful sandwich making is not too wet and not too dry. Juicy fillings such as tomato and cucumber slices ought to be patted dry with paper towel before use. To further protect the bread from getting soggy, slick the bread with a fatty but flavourful ingredient. For example, I used cream cheese and butter for my sandwiches because the flavour matched well with the fillings I chose. Mayonnaise is a popular choice as well. Also, you want to work quickly and always cover the sandwiches so the bread wouldn’t dry out.
Trimming the sandwiches of crust may seem fussy but part of the appeal of tea sandwiches. Without the crust, each bite-size sandwich was so much more elegant. I saved the trimmings in a container and stashed it away in the fridge for late night snacking. No reason to be wasteful!
It was a relaxing afternoon sipping on tea and nibbling on sandwiches. However, it was probably the last relaxing afternoon I would enjoy in a while. Starting next weekend, I’ll have a non-stop racing schedule that takes me to Montreal, Wisconsin, Washington DC, Chicago, Quebec City, and Minneapolis…all before the first weekend of August. Somewhere in there, I’m also throwing a big Canada Day party at home. With all that traveling, I made the hard decision not to subscribe to my beloved Kawartha CSA. As much as I love the summer bounty, I may not have time to prepare and eat all that wonderful produce. I’ve been part of the CSA for a couple of years and changing to a more conventional shopping habit may be hard to adjust. 2012 is my year of racing and the season has only just begun.