Cucumber sandwiches - what's right, what's wrong?!

(72 Posts)
bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 11:19:06

Planning a nice afternoon tea for 'The Wedding', as we are having a small gathering to bitch about the outfits watch the proceedings, and of course I will be making cucumber sandwiches. So apart from cucumbers, what else do I need?

White bread or brown? (I'm thinking white)
And I cut the crusts off yes?

Do I do triangles or fingers?

Butter or margerine?

Peel the cucumbers or not?


My Godmother used to make heavenly cucumber sandwiches, I used to love them! Just can't remember much about the technicalities/etiquette!

Also, anything else that should be included in the tea? Pimms anyone?!

lljkk Thu 21-Apr-11 11:21:37

Oh Gawd, don't tell me there's supposed to be technique to cuke sarnies.
I do margarine on brown bread, sliced in rectangles.
I do not peel or add salt or remove crusts. I would not like extra salty sandwiches or white bread without crusts, myself.
DC like 'em my way, all happy.

BikeRunSki Thu 21-Apr-11 11:24:16

Butter not marge
No crusts
Skin on

We had "afternoon tea" for a friends' baby shower, last summer. That group of friends is all competitive undereaters and could not work out why they were so nice. It's butter you skinny loons, butter!

charitygirl Thu 21-Apr-11 11:26:20

I ALWAYS soak my cucumber slices (yes, peeled) in some wine vinegar for 5 minutes them drain. It bring out their flavour and adds moistness. I like white bread for cucumber sandwiches and I remove the crusts for a posh tea. Fingers seem to be what you get in restaurants but triangles or squares are easier to eat IMO.

And DEFINITELY butter (I'd use salted but I am a salt fiend).

KatyMac Thu 21-Apr-11 11:26:55

Well I think traditionally they were pickled in vinegar & served with mustard (or something revolting like that)

white bread
butter. Always, always, butter
crusts removed

Cattleprod Thu 21-Apr-11 11:28:50

Maybe some alternative sandwiches for people like me who can't stand cucumber!!

Cheese and tomato, blt, ham, egg etc.?

headfairy Thu 21-Apr-11 11:35:30

the key is to get the cucumber really thinly sliced... maybe use a mandolin or the slicey bit on the side of a box grater.

But yyyy to white bread and salted butter - God I want a cucumber sarnie now.

Pimms definitely, maybe teeny cupcakes. I like a macaroon too. And something like a Victoria sponge with raspberry jam and cream filling. Or scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

And you need one of those cake stands, and proper cups and saucers for the tea

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 11:58:10

How could I forget scones!

Right, so...white bread, salted butter, unpeeled cucumber & crusts off!

(Will do some other sandwiches too)

Might do some shortbread too.

Headfairy - when you say Macaroon do you mean the coconutty ones or ones like this

white, butter, no crusts, unpeeled and triangles!

how about salmon sandwiches? prawn sandwiches?

yy to scones

i would like strawberries and cream too

shinyshoes Thu 21-Apr-11 13:17:37

unpeeled cue
crusts off

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 13:39:54

Jam tarts? Or are they not 'posh' enough?

piprabbit Thu 21-Apr-11 13:46:05

Cucumber sandwiches need a little pepper too, it's about the only thing I add pepper to by choice.

i'd like jam tarts.

in fact what time shall i be there?

i'll bring a bottle of something fizzy!

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 14:20:51

Would noon suit?! wink



headfairy Thu 21-Apr-11 14:46:18

bebe, those ones you linked to. Not the coconut ones, but the teeny weeny delicate French style ones. I know, French cakes in a Royal wedding party, but they are uber chic no? <Gallic shrug>

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 16:24:51

They are tres chic yes! Can't think of anywhere round here I could get them, so would have to make them! confused Not impossible...but a bit of a pfaff!

So far I am thinking:
Cucumber sandwiches (plus possibly Smoked salmon and cheese & tomato)
Small scones with clotted cream & jam & butter options
A sponge cake with whipped cream & fresh strawberries
Jam Tarts (mostly for the kiddiwinks)
Copious amounts of Pimms

I feel I need more savoury, but crisps just won't cut it!

Any suggestions? I'm afraid my budget won't stretch to caviar! Maybe some Blinis with smoked salmon?

boosmummie Thu 21-Apr-11 16:39:53

Blinis with creme fraiche, smoked salmon and a dollop of fake caviar or salmon roe

Mini mini yorkshires with a horseradish cream (2tbls creme fraiche/1tsp horseradish), get a small rump steak, cook to liking and slice in tiny slices to top said horseradish cream.

Mini tarlet cases with a smoked mackeral pate made with philli, s&p, squeeze lemon juice and s.mackeral fillets.

I could go on and on!

boosmummie Thu 21-Apr-11 16:40:30


bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 16:43:38

Please do! Fab ideas...making me very hungry!

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 16:44:31

Had thought about mini toad-in-the-holes, but what you said with the beef sounds much nicer posher!!

headfairy Thu 21-Apr-11 16:44:52

cheese straws
mini quiches (shop bought natch, I'm not suggesting for a minute you make them )
Dainty toast fingers with gentlemen's relish on

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 16:48:17

Dainty toast fingers and pate too maybe?

My friend did some lovely little tartlets with tomato & chorizo at the weekend, but maybe that's a bit non-British?! confused

Cheese straws are a good idea, DD will probably scoff them all though!

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 16:49:04

Cheese & crackers?

HerRoyalHighnessPrincessCervix Thu 21-Apr-11 16:52:28

loving these idea.

so far i'm doing

cucumb sandwhes
egg sandwiches
smoked salmon
i'm planning a red/white/blue meringue thing with blueberries, strawbs and cream.

need a savory nibble

bucks fizz

boosmummie Thu 21-Apr-11 16:53:11

Vichyssoise soup shots with chives snipped on top. Or chilled roasted tomato and basil shots with a sprinkling of parmesan

mini prawn cocktail bites served either on baby gem lettuce scoopy sort of bites or on thickish peeled cucumber slices. Sprinkling of cayenne on each.

bite sized rolls of smoked salmon with cream cheese and dill stuffing

miniature fish and chips in rolled up cones of 'tending newspaper

mini quiches made in tartlet cases - lorraine/smoked salmon/ mushroom/asparagus

tiny sausages cooked in grainy mustard and honey glaze

HerRoyalHighnessPrincessCervix Thu 21-Apr-11 16:53:15

and scones

maybe some nuts

headfairy Thu 21-Apr-11 16:54:34
headfairy Thu 21-Apr-11 16:55:51

hmmm cheese and crackers ok, but not really posh enough for Royal Wedding tea... you could do little crostini with a smear of cream cheese and a teeny bit of smoked salmon on top.

boosmummie Thu 21-Apr-11 16:56:39

Actually Bebe mini toads are brilliant too, and also good with a bit of grainy mustard in the batter mix

HerRoyalHighnessPrincessCervix Thu 21-Apr-11 16:57:26

and cheese, i'll be needing cheese.

boosmummie Thu 21-Apr-11 17:00:18

mini cheese shortbreads

Also make tiny cheese scones and shove anything on them - always go down a treat.

Another nice dippy thing or to go with smoked salmon. Boursin garlic one mixed with about two tablespoons ish of cooked drained spinach, grating of nutmeg and maybe a tablespoon of creme fraiche is delicious. In fact I usually eat it before anyone gets to see it....

Baby new potatoes roasted in garlic and rosemary are great to dip into above as well!

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 17:04:45

headfairy - brilliant idea but how much!! shock I think I will make them!

Point taken bout the cheese & crackers.

HRH - Loving the Pavlova idea, might steal that!

So many fab ideas, really hungry, thank goodness it's nearly dinner time!

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 17:06:37

Just thought, I make yummy cheese muffins (cakey ones not English ones), could serve those with some cheddar & homemade tomato chutney. Very scrummy & look quite pretty. If I make them small enough they could be almost bite sized!

headfairy Thu 21-Apr-11 17:50:20

bebe.... you could buy a small box, put four delicately on a plate with a doily and scoff the rest yourself Aren't they notoriously difficult to make? <baking dunce>

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 18:12:02

I'm not sure. confused That Lorainne Pascal woman made them look easy on her telly programme. I'd consider myself a pretty good baker so wouldn't mind giving them a go, just not sure about having the time!

boosmummie Thu 21-Apr-11 19:11:35

bebe if you are a half decent baker then they really are not that difficult to make at all. Pascal's recipe is perfect and if you follow it to the letter you won't fail. I've made them a few times using her recipe and they are yummy. Well worth the effort. Just cook them for slightly less if you want to make bit sized ones.

::goes off to see if I have the necessary to make bite sized ones to scoff all by my self::

bebejones Thu 21-Apr-11 21:05:30

Fab! Think I might have a practise run this weekend then! Do you do the whipped cream filling or do you make different fillings? <goes to find recipe & make shopping list>

boosmummie Thu 21-Apr-11 21:18:41

I tend to use a butter/icing sugar filling and then flavour with whatever tickles me fancy. Cassis is nice, vanilla, lemon, orange, mint, really anything's a go go.

What time's afternoon tea then? I'll book my flight in the morning. You ought to do a dummy run and I'll grade you!!!!! grin followed by [greedy cow emoticon]

bebejones Fri 22-Apr-11 10:31:13

Might give them a go next week when DH is back in work! I fancy orange I think, I do like orange buttercream. There was a nice filling I saw online with ganache, might try that too!

Bogeyface Fri 22-Apr-11 17:22:36

Erm....can I just point out the correct way to make cucumber sandwiches?

Peel the cucumber and cut into quarters lengthways. Remove and discard seeds. Thinly slice and place on buttered good quality thinly sliced bread. Remove crusts and cut into fingers.

That is on the advice of someone who used to work at the Ritz!

Toast fingers with either marmite or Gentlemen's Relish. Cheese straws - I make mine using ready made pastry - roll out, sprinkle on strong cheddar, fold, reroll, sprinkle more cheese - repeat until it looks like there's plenty of cheese in the pastry, cut into straws, bake at about gas mark 6 until brown and yummy.

bebejones Fri 22-Apr-11 18:20:09

Wow that sounds very pfaffy making sandwiches like that!! But if it's good enough for the Ritz.......

boosmummie Fri 22-Apr-11 18:35:40

Bogey I so wanted to put that but everyone else seemed to insist on triangles so I was beginning to fear that I may be wrong in my assumption that if the Ritz do fingers (and Claridges for that matter) that fingers it should be!!!

bebejones Fri 22-Apr-11 18:51:25

I have to admit to thinking that it should be fingers although I think I would prefer triangles!

Swaliswan Fri 22-Apr-11 20:12:59

I've been to a garden party at Buckingham Palace (well, two, actually). I seem to remember that all of the sanwiches were fingers, crusts off and tasted divine! The cucumber was definitely peeled and had no seeds. The smoked salmon that was served was by far the best I've tasted (presumably duchy) as were the beef and horseradish sandwiches. Both times mini pots of duchy ice cream were served - yummy!

BikeRunSki Fri 22-Apr-11 20:21:00

I think the Ritz and Buck House ladies must be the best informed!

boosmummie Fri 22-Apr-11 20:51:48

One might just think so!

Bogeyface Fri 22-Apr-11 21:19:05

Happy to help!!

I know this because DSis and I threw a tea party for my mums 60th and I emailed my friend for advice. On his say so we did cuke sandwiches, smoked salmon, fresh chicken (which is a total bitch to slice thinly btw!) and egg (because we all love egg sarnies, not sure they are legit in "Posh tea" circles!) and they were gorgeous. They seemed to taste nicer eaten in fingers, and they were really easy to eat too. They seemed far more delicate but at the same time easier to eat than triangles, so much so that I even cut the kids lunch box sarnies into 3 fingers now, but crusts on

We had a stand of cupcakes, made by me, coffee ones with chocolate covered cocoa beans on top, vanilla ones with marbled pink and white icing and pink and white sugar flowers and lemon ones. What else.....oh yes, my sister made a tomatoey pestoey cheesy flan thing by rolling out puff pastry and putting the above onto it and ovening it til the pastry was cooked, and cut into the same size fingers as the sandwiches. Scones and cream and carrot cake. We had scoured charity shops for tea cups and saucers and tea plates in the preceding weeks so we had proper china to use (we re-donated them afterwards) and DSis found some lovely Cath Kidston-esque paper napkins.

It was a triumph, mum was thrilled and I have to say that Dsis and I were more than a little proud of ourselves

boosmummie Fri 22-Apr-11 21:45:07

Ahhhhh Bogeyface that's so lovely, lucky mummy! I might just consider that for my mum's next BIrthday. She will probably cry though!

Incidentally, for cheaty thinly sliced chicken, I use breast, slice it thinly while raw and then poach v. briefly in a light chicken stock and it's moist, flavoursome and terribly good in tiny sandwiches! Also do the same with thighs.

Bogeyface Fri 22-Apr-11 22:18:19

I could have done with that tip last year boo!

It was lovely, we just had mum there and invited her girly mates. We had some bottles of champagne too and she loved it, it really made her day. i would highly recommend it as a party to anyone, and actually it isnt that much effort to put together either.

Go for it your mum will love you forever!

boosmummie Fri 22-Apr-11 22:30:40

Well - next time you fancy high tea, you know what to do with the chicken! I'm sure you will come up with an excuse!!

I am passionate about cooking and when my older children were younger (tiny) I cooked for bored housewives in London for their dinner parties (so they could no doubt claim it as their own) and drinks parties etc. Loved it and will probably do something like that again when we move back. Also want to teach children to cook as well. Love it love it love it.

Bogeyface - do you think that if I printed out multiple copies of your post and stuck them all over the dses bedrooms and put a feww hundred into dh's briefcase, they might take the hint and do a teaparty like that for my birthday - or would that be too subtle a hint? grin

Bogeyface Fri 22-Apr-11 23:17:18

Waaaaaay too subtle!

Email it to them both, every hour on the hour followed up with text messages and every meal spell it out in their food. Bleach it into their clothes (backwards so it shows in the mirror) and make a CD of subliminal messages about it to play when they are asleep!

Then, when they dont get it, you have every right to have a hissy fit of monumental proportions!

boosmummie Fri 22-Apr-11 23:20:24

That's funny!

<<Waves at StayingDTG>> How are you?

I'm doing pretty well, thanks boosmummie - still having the therapy, but it seems to be working. And how are you? smile

boosmummie Sat 23-Apr-11 08:20:24

StayingDTG that's good to hear. OK thanks, just had two week visit to UK which was packed, but fun. NOw back home enjoying rain rain and rain having left all the nice weather behind! I do feel a little sorry for the apperent 400000 people who are heading to Spain for Easter!

bebejones Sat 23-Apr-11 08:35:46

Bogeyface - I am planning my own Birthday tea party...DH wouldn't think of doing it & DD isn't old enough! Maybe I could subtley drop hints too?! hmm On second thoughts I doubt it'd work! Have already be buying teacups & saucers in charity shops...for a different 'project'! Must step up efforts before next Friday!

Boosmummie - BIL lives in Spain, he is very cross that we are enjoying the sun this Easter having only just gone back to Spain last week!

I think I shall have to do the finger sandwiches now being all Royal and posh and that!! wink

boosmummie Sat 23-Apr-11 15:07:04

Bebe Where's your BIL? We actually have some lovely sunshine now thank goodness, but there are black clouds in the mountains behind sad. Been to Gibraltar earlier and it was very rainy over the top, but never mind. I was so lucky to have such lovely sunshine for our two weeks in England and tbh I don't really mind a bit of rain as from the end of the month here it will be glorious for at least 6 months! But as i said for the past three Aprils it has been absolutely foul here and I really do feel for the tourists that come over as there's not much to do for them when it's raining!

Hope your party goes well and hope you have a lovely Birthday tea party too (even if you do have to do it yourself!)

Boosmummie - I'm glad you had a good holiday in England. I'm not amongst the thousands flocking to Spain - frankly, as I live in Scotland, I can stay here and get rained on for free! grin BTW - is it true that the rain in spain stays mainly on the plain? wink

I took a bagful of knitting wool to the charity shop today, and did have a sneaky browse past the teasets there, but nothing leapt out and demanded to be bought - but I will be looking more, over coming weeks. I have just bought myself a mini Aynsley Indian Tree teaset - but I didn't read the ebay listing properly, and the teacups are actually only 2" tall - so more like espresso cups - but still sooo pretty!

boosmummie Sat 23-Apr-11 16:54:30

NO. It's bollocks grin. Professor Higgins was a big fat liar.

Boot sales are good... I love mushed up sets IYSWIM, with a variety of different cups and saucers.

bebejones Sat 23-Apr-11 21:22:47

Boosmummie - Not sure where BIL is blush...somewhere on the coast (I am aware that that is no help at all!)

I like mismatched sets too. Although it's probably a more expensive way to aquire them. DH thinks I'm mad because I don't actually drink tea!

boosmummie Sat 23-Apr-11 21:55:33

That narrows it down Bebe!!!! Well if he's had as much rain as I have then he's probably down here somewhere.

I think your DH is possibly thinking along the right lines with regard to your madness!!!!! grin

bebejones Sun 24-Apr-11 07:35:03

But they are just SO pretty & great for putting cupcakes in! (See profile pics!) Thinking of doing that for 'The Wedding'!

MarinaIvy Sun 24-Apr-11 18:37:46

Pimms. Loadsa and loadsa and loadsa Pimms. Well, booze of any kind, esp if you want to ==bitch about the outfits== watch the proceedings, but Pimms seems to match cucumber sarnies better than, say tequila shots.

Oh, hey, how about airline food? An homage to Kate's mum...

Who finally realises her invite is not, after all, lost in the post

bebejones Sun 24-Apr-11 18:41:50

If there is enough Pimms no one will actually care what food I serve...this could be a good plan! hmm

I saw a recipe somehwere a while back for Pimms cupcakes, maybe that would work?

boosmummie Sun 24-Apr-11 18:50:40

Thinking Marina is partial to a glass of Pimms grin. Damn good back up plan though!!!!!

MarinaIvy Mon 25-Apr-11 14:19:41

@boo: Pimms is nice in summer, but merely one of the many things I'll happily consume!

Forgot to suggest earlier (so obvious who could remember?!?): beer and bratwurst to homage Wills' side of the family. Swan bratwurst, natch.

boosmummie Mon 25-Apr-11 15:33:28

grin Marina

nappyaddict Tue 03-May-11 16:45:23

A proper metal cake stand is a nice touch. Finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, chicken, cucumber, egg mayonnaise and cress, roast ham and cheddar cheese) on the bottom, scones in the middle (to be served with jam and clotted cream) and cakes and pastries on the top.

A nice glass of fizzy is always a nice accompaniment as well.

I know this is probably "wrong" but I like grated cheese and cucumber together shock

nappyaddict Tue 03-May-11 16:53:40

Does anyone have cucumber and cream cheese?

I think it's supposed to be ham and mustard but I don't like mustard, chicken and mayo but I sometimes have pesto instead and Smoked salmon with dill, cracked pepper and lemon but sometimes I have cream cheese instead of butter.

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