Hello, are you still here?
Hi, friends. Remember me? Shion? From Shi’s Eating? Have you forsaken me? Am I talking to myself? (pardon the weirdness, it is 1:30 am on a Friday night and I had a restless night of sleep)
Anyway, I’m baaaaaaaaaack. I know – you never thought you would see the day. I know I have some ‘splaining to do. Here’s the thing, folks. I’ve been very lazy. By the time I come home at night on a weekday, it’s usually after 8pm, and really, WHO wants to cook an elaborate meal after a hard day’s work? Not me. So… the past year has been full of chicken sausage, omelettes, and Seamless. It has also been filled with a little extra cushioning in the love handle area, if you know what I mean. So, I’m going to get back on track and start cooking my own meals, free of preservatives and chock full o’ vegetables if I can help it. Let’s see what happens, shall we?
Last weekend, I helped throw a baby shower for one of my best friends, Kim. My fellow planner and I decided to go with an English Tea Party theme. If I haven’t already discussed this on the blog, I am convinced that I was British in another life. And this isn’t because of my fondness for Kate Middleton. My love for all things British runs much deeper than that. My sister calls it “obsessive” but I prefer the term “passionate” or “inevitable since I was British in another life” or even “if you’ve ever heard a British accent you will understand.” In fact, perhaps this is a good time to introduce you to my future husband: Richard Armitage. Enough said.
But back to this baby shower. I made two types of tea sandwiches (btw tea sandwiches are my jam – I also made them for my sister’s bridal shower way back when) cucumber and smoked salmon. I chose them because they are so easy to make and it allowed me to focus on other things, like party favors and decor:
Most of the decorations were provided by my fellow planner but I did pick out napkins and paper plates, so… there is that.
For the smoked salmon sandwiches, all you need is whole wheat/9 grain/rye bread, smoked salmon, cream cheese, and whatever herbs you’re into.
I bought two loafs of freshly baked bread (so they were probably smaller than store bought bread), two containers of 8 ounce cream cheeses, one ginormous bag of smoked salmon, and chives, mint, and parsley. Make sure the cream cheese is softened to room temp (if you’ve forgotten to leave them out in the morning just nuke it for about 15 seconds) and then add in chopped herbs. I used about 1/4 cup of chives, 2 Tablespoons of mint and 2 Tablespoons of parsley. Mix mix mix and then spread it on BOTH sides of the bread. Place salmon on one of the slices, put it together, and cut off the crusts. Always remember to cut off the crusts because as we all know, sandwiches were always un-crusted in Jane Austen books.
It’s important to put the cream cheese spread on both sides because you don’t want the bread to get soggy from the smoked salmon.
For the cucumber sandwiches, it’s even easier. I have been using this recipe since high school, when my English class read Oscar Wilde and the Bronte sisters and wrapped up the semester with a tea party. For this sandwich, you’ll want to use white bread, sliced cucumbers, softened UNSALTED butter, and mayo.
First, you want to slice up the cucumbers, put it in a collander, add some salt and let it sweat for at least half an hour. After you’ve done that, use paper towels to squeeze out the moisture so you don’t have soggy sandwiches. Obviously I am deathly afraid of sogginess. Lay out your pieces of bread and spread a thin layer of softened butter on one side and mayo on the other. Lay the cucumber slices on one of the pieces of bread, assembly, and CUT OFF THE CRUSTS!
When you’re cutting these sandwiches, make sure you have a very sharp bread knife, otherwise you’ll crush them as you’re cutting off the crusts.
And that’s it! I know neither of the recipes are very involved, but I’m easing into it!
For favors, I found some tea bag shortbread cookies on Pinterest so I made those and some sugar cookies shaped like tea cups and tea pots.
I’m still waiting for that call from Martha Stewart, asking me to be her COO/muse. Let me know if it accidentally got misdirected to you.