Sunday, October 19, 2008

Suited to a Tea

Stands the Church clock at ten to three
And is there honey yet for tea?

Dainty little sweet or savory finger sandwiches used to be a staple at every garden party, bridge club meeting, or afternoon tea. Very few people (in this country at least) make or serve them any more, and yet with some exceptions – I’m thinking of one I saw recently that called for prunes, mayonnaise, and salted peanuts – the kind of tea-sandwich recipes that Betty Crocker, Fanny Farmer, and Mary Meade published in their numerous cookbooks are delicious and still acceptable to 21st century palates.

21st century waistlines, maybe not so much, but of course any of these fillings could be made with Neufchatel or other lowfat cream cheese, or maybe even yogurt cheese. All of them are from Mary Meade’s Magic Recipes for the Osterizer, published in 1952 for those lucky enough to own that modern kitchen marvel, the blender.

I got my copy at a church thrift shop. Hand-written on the inside of the back cover is a recipe for “Bill Miller’s Drink” that calls for eight shots of whiskey. Ol’ Bill obviously wasn’t a Baptist.

Almond, Cheese and Marmalade Spread - Ladies’ Choice

1 3-oz package cream cheese, cut in pieces
½ cup orange marmalade
¼ cup salted almonds

Have cheese at room temperature. Blend until almonds are chopped fairly fine. Thin with milk or orange juice, if necessary. According to the author, “This one is nice for rolled tea-party sandwiches.”

Apricot Nut Spread – For Dainty Sandwiches

1 cup well-drained soaked dried apricots
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup mayonnaise

Blend, leaving nuts chopped, not minced.

Maple Honey Butter – A Spread or a Sauce

½ cup honey
½ cup maple sirup
½ cup softened butter

Blend until smooth. Add pecans for Maple Honey Nut Butter.

Orange, Cheese and Pecan Filling – Fine For a Wedding Reception

1 cup pecans
¼ cup orange juice
outer peel of ½ orange, in strips
2 – 3 oz packages of cream cheese

Blend until well mixed and of fairly fine texture.

Walnut, Green Pepper and Cheese Spread – This Can Be Molded for a Party

1 green pepper, diced
½ cup walnuts
½ pound cream cheese, diced
¼ cup cream or milk
salt, pepper
dash Worcestershire sauce

Blend, leaving pepper and nuts in fine pieces. I think I would use a red bell pepper, and also white Worcestershire sauce instead of the dark stuff.

Tomato Cheese Spread – With Fresh Tomatoes

1 sliver garlic
2 ripe tomatoes, cut in pieces
½ pound cream cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
Thin slice of a small onion

Blend until smooth. Again, I’d try the white Worcestershire sauce, and seeded Italian tomatoes. A beefsteak would make the spread just too juicy.


Lydia said...

The apricot spreads sound delightful. And yay! Somebody besides me who knows about (and uses) yo-cheese!

Rochelle R. said...

The tomato cheese spread sounds very good. I love tomatoes and think I will try that filling for a regular sandwich.