Victorian Rituals

Tea Thyme Sandwiches & More

  • Crab Puffs With Chives
  • Sage Cheese Wafers
  • Cucumber Basil Sandwiches
  • Lavender Ham Tea Sandwiches
  • Lavender Cream Cheese

  • They sat down to tea - the same party round the same table - how often it had been collected! And how often had her eyes fallen on the same shrubs in the lawn, and observed the same beautiful effect of the western sun! --Emma, Jane Austin

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    Crab Puffs With Chives
    Yields: 64 Puffs

    1 (6-ounce) can lump crabmeat, drained and cartilage removed **see note at bottom
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1/3 cup finely minced onion
    1/4 cup finely snipped chives
    1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    1/2 cup light mayonnaise (or may use regular)
    16 thinly sliced white bread
    Cayenne pepper for garnish
    Fresh sprigs of chives and chive flowers as garnish

    1). Butter baking sheet. In medium bowl, sprinkle crabmeat with lemon juice. Add Parmesan cheese, onion, chives, and seasoning. Mix well. Fold in mayonnaise.

    2). Spread on bread slices, using about 1-1/2 table spoons for each. Cut each bread slice in quarters. Sprinkle with a few grains cayenne. Arrange 1/4 inch apart on baking sheets.

    3). If desired, cover and refrigerate until serving time.

    4). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake puffs for 10 to 12 minutes until browned and bubbly.

    Serve hot on decorative plate with fresh sprigs of chives and chive flowers as a garnish.

    **NOTES: You may substitute canned crabmeat for imitation if it is chopped fine.

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    Sage Cheese Wafers
    Okay, so this isn't a sandwich, but it is none the less a great accompaniment to tea, especially iced tea.

    Yields: 40 Wafers

    1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut up and softened
    2 1/2 cups grated sharp Chedder cheese (10 ounces)
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/3 fresh sage, finely chopped or 2 teaspoons dried sage
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    Additional sage leaves for garnish

    1). Line baking sheets with foil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2). In food processor, combine butter and 1/3 of the cheese. Process until blended. Add remaining cheese, half at a time, processing until blended after each addition.
    3). Add flour, sage, dry mustard, salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce. Pulse with on/off turns until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl and forms a ball.
    4). Roll small pieces of dough between hands to form 1-inch balls. Arrange 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Press with fork to flatten slightly.
    5). Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Cool on rack. Store in airtight container.

    Serve on decorative plate and use sage leaves as a garnish.

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    Cucumber Basil Sandwiches
    Yields: 24 Sandwiches

    1/2 pound softened cream cheese
    2 tablespoons half-and-half
    2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
    1 loaf or 12 slices of rye or wheat bread
    1 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into thin slices
    24 fresh basil leaves

    1). In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and half-and-half until it reaches the consistency of soft butter. Stir in the chives.
    2). With a 2 1/2 round cutter, stamp out two rounds from each slice of bread. Spread the cream cheese on the rounds, then top with several slices of cucumber and a basil leaf.

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    Lavender Ham Tea Sandwiches

    Lavender Cream Cheese (see recipe below)
    Ham, thinly sliced
    Bread, crust removed
    Lavender flowers as garnish

    Spread lavender cream cheese on a slice of bread and add a slice of ham. Top with second slice and cut into fourths.

    Serving Suggestions: Use a lavender or purple napkin lined serving dish, or use fresh sprigs of lavender to use as a garnish.

    Untraditional Method
    1). Flatten the bread using a rolling pin, then spread with cream cheese making sure to get to the very edges.
    2). Add a slice of ham and roll it up as you would a jelly roll. Cut the roll in half and insert fancy toothpick.

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    Lavender Cream Cheese

    1 tablespoon herbes de provence
    1/2 teaspoon lavender flowers
    1 pinch white pepper
    8 ounce cream cheese

    1). Blend together all ingredients well and let rest at room temperature 30 minutes.
    2). Taste and add more herbs as desired.
    3). Wrap and chill well.
    4). When ready to serve, let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to soften; serve with slices of French bread, tea cakes, crackers, or in Lavender Ham Sandwiches.