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Old 05-24-2005, 03:37 PM   #1
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High Tea/Party Ideas

How about having your own High Tea Party? Bring out your best tea cups, have guests dress up in high tea fashion & get creative. Add some scones & fresh fruit to the menu & have a relaxing afternoon. Loved the following intro...so I included it here. Some suggestions/ideas follow.

One of the greatest pleasures of any tea party is in consuming the vast amount of "tea sandwiches" that are served. When making such sandwiches keep in mind that the bread should be sliced thinly and served without crusts. The sandwich should be large enough for only two bites and, even though many people serve sandwiches cut in the shape of stars, crescents and other odd shapes, it is far more elegant for sandwiches to be cut in thin rectangular, triangular, round or square shapes. As to the choice of bread, white bread, challah, light rye bread, Danish pumpernickel and dark Russian bread make the best tea sandwiches. As to fillings for sandwiches, the choices are virtually infinite. Consider some of the following:


White meat of chicken or turkey with mayonnaise or butter.
White meat of chicken with chutney butter.
Chopped chicken with chopped almonds
Chopped chicken with sweet pickles.
Baked ham with chutney on pumpernickel.
Chopped ham with English mustard, fresh horseradish and sweet cream.
Chopped ham with chopped black olives and grated cheese.
Thinly sliced tongue with French mustard and chopped chives.
Thin slices of roast beef with English mustard or horse- radish and sweet cream.
Thin slices of roast lamb with garlic butter.
Thin slices of roast veal with anchovy butter.
Sliced salami with herbed mayonnaise.
Finely chopped shrimp with seasoned mayonnaise.
Finely shredded crab meat with herbed or garlic butter.
Finely shredded crab meat mixed with chopped chives and mayonnaise
Smoked salmon and butter.
Smoked salon with horseradish.
Thinly sliced onion and cucumber.
Chopped green olives and mayonnaise.
Chopped green olives and nuts mixed with cream cheese.
Chopped green olives and chopped eggs with mayonnaise.
Thinly sliced avocado with garlic butter.
Cream cheese and chives with cucumber.
Watercress with butter or butter and mayonnaise.
High quality Roquefort, Bleu Cheese or Gruyere with butter
Thinly sliced cheddar cheese and cucumber.
Smoked salmon with cream cheese
Thinly sliced cucumbers and mushrooms with butter
Thinly sliced hard boiled smoked turkey eggs with butter or mayonnaise
Thinly sliced avocado with mustard flavored mayonnaise.
Roquefort cheese that has been blended with butter and cream cheese.
Anchovy fillets that have been chopped very finely and blended with cream cheese and chopped pickled onion
Red caviar (salmon eggs) mixed together with lemon juice and cream cheese
Anchovy filets with chopped hard boiled egg.
Chopped green olives and nuts blended with cream cheese.
Thin slices of fresh salmon and cucumber.
Finely chopped green pepper bound with mayonnaise
Cream cheese* blended with fresh horse-radish
Cream cheese* and chives with cucumber
Cream cheese* that has been blended with chopped chives, French mustard and black pepper
Cream cheese* that has been blended with Indian chutney and butter
Cream cheese* blended with chopped chives, French mustard, salt and pistachio nuts.


* Note: Cream cheese used in tea sandwiches should have a minimum fat content of 16%.

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Old 05-24-2005, 05:00 PM   #2
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"Thin slices of roast beef with English mustard or horseradish and sweet cream
and
Thinly sliced avocado with mustard flavored mayonnaise"

sound so very delicious indeed!
Thanks for ALL of the info - now when's tea?
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:13 PM   #3
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Traditionally in Scotland 'High Tea' is a meal of a savoury, such as poached finnan haddie or poached eggs, thin sandwiches such as cucumber or smoked salmon and then lots and lots and lots of cakes - tea cakes with butter, scones, 'cut and come again' cakes and cream cakes. And lots and lots of good tea! When we were children it was a treat to be taken to Jenner's (posh department store in Edinburgh) and have high tea in their restaurant - or in Mackays in George Street.

Nice to read how it's done on the other side of the pond!
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Old 05-24-2005, 06:23 PM   #4
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Mish, your post brings back fond memories of the fancy tea parties my grandmother had when I was a little girl. She was very active in a number of clubs and church groups, so she had a lot of them.
She'd work for a week, polishing and scrubbing, till her house was spotless (which it always was anyway) and windows sparkling, washing and ironing her good linens, polishing silver (I got to help), and making sure all her china and silver were gleaming.
Then some of her friends would come over the day before to help prepare the food.
I got to help cut the crusts off the bread...she always had white, wheat and dark...while she obsessed over her chicken salad. The ladies sat at the kitchen table and chopped everything by hand...fine, fine. I remember the cream cheese and olive spread, and another they made with cream cheese, olives and braunsweiger.
The next day, everything would be set out buffet style on a long table covered with a white damask cloth. There were always fresh flowers, and the ubiquitous little bowls of nuts and mints...coffee, tea, (with a pitcher of cream and a plate of sugarcubes with a tiny pair of silver tongs) and a punch...the sandwiches, little sweet gherkins, and a couple of desserts...usually a tiered plate of fancy cookies and some sort of cake or fluffy dessert.
Once, when I was 7 or 8, my mother dressed me up in a frilly dress and petticoats, and I got to pour the coffee and tea.
Grandma's the one who gave me my love of entertaining.

Difference being, she did hers for social prestige, and I do mine because I love showing my friends a good time.
They don't mind if my windows are dirty, as long as the gumbo is good.
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Old 05-24-2005, 07:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
Mish, your post brings back fond memories of the fancy tea parties my grandmother had when I was a little girl. She was very active in a number of clubs and church groups, so she had a lot of them.
She'd work for a week, polishing and scrubbing, till her house was spotless (which it always was anyway) and windows sparkling, washing and ironing her good linens, polishing silver (I got to help), and making sure all her china and silver were gleaming.
Then some of her friends would come over the day before to help prepare the food.
I got to help cut the crusts off the bread...she always had white, wheat and dark...while she obsessed over her chicken salad. The ladies sat at the kitchen table and chopped everything by hand...fine, fine. I remember the cream cheese and olive spread, and another they made with cream cheese, olives and braunsweiger.
The next day, everything would be set out buffet style on a long table covered with a white damask cloth. There were always fresh flowers, and the ubiquitous little bowls of nuts and mints...coffee, tea, (with a pitcher of cream and a plate of sugarcubes with a tiny pair of silver tongs) and a punch...the sandwiches, little sweet gherkins, and a couple of desserts...usually a tiered plate of fancy cookies and some sort of cake or fluffy dessert.
Once, when I was 7 or 8, my mother dressed me up in a frilly dress and petticoats, and I got to pour the coffee and tea.
Grandma's the one who gave me my love of entertaining.

Difference being, she did hers for social prestige, and I do mine because I love showing my friends a good time.
They don't mind if my windows are dirty, as long as the gumbo is good.
Ishbel, thank you. Would love to hear more...

Constance, your post makes me smile & feel warm all over. Forgot to mention, we should polish the silver too - as you mentioned. Please tell us more & what goodies were served.

Never had meat on a tea sandwich. My faves were watercress & butter on white, & cucumber.
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Old 05-24-2005, 08:24 PM   #6
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Here's another tidbit I came across & wanted to share. Hoping folks will contribute their experiences & recipes for these dainty little bites fit for a Queen..

RECIPES


Muffins and Crumpets


1qt Water
2oz Yeast
1/2lb Potatoes
1/2oz Salt
flour

Makes 24 Muffins or Crumpets

MUFFINS: Wash, peel and boil the potatoes, rub through a colander, add the water (just warm enough to place the hand in it without discomfort); dissolve the yeast and salt in water, and stir in sufficient flour to make a moist paste. Beat it well in a deep bowl and then clear off the paste from the hands; cover over with a clean cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place. When it has well risen, and is light and spongy, turn it out on the table, dredge over with flour, and then divide it off into pieces about 3 oz in weight, roll them up into round shapes, and set them on a wooden tray, well dusted with flour to prove. When light enough, see that the hot plate is hot, and then carefully transfer the muffins from the tray, one at a time, using a thin tin slice for the purpose, taking particular care not to knock out the proof or the muffins will be spoilt. When they have been properly cooked on one side, turn over with the slice and cook the other side. When the muffins are done, brush off the flour, and lay them on a clean cloth or sieve to cool.

To toast them, divide the edge of the muffin all round by pulling it open to the depth of about 1 inch with the fingers. Put it on a toasting fork and hold it before a clear fire till one side is nicely browned, but not burnt; turn, and toast it on the other. Do not toast them too quickly, otherwise the middle of the muffin will not be warmed through. When done, divide them by pulling them open; butter them slighlty on both sides, put them together again, and cut them into halves. Pile on a hot dish and send quickly to table. Time: 25 to 30 minutes to bake. Sufficient for about 2 dozen muffins.



CRUMPETS: Proceed exactly the same as directed for Muffins (above), but stir in only half the quantity of flour used for them, so that the mixture is more of a batter than a sponge. Cover over, and leave for 1/2 an hour. At the end of that time take a large wooden spoon and well beat up the batter, leave in the spoon, cover over, and leave for another 1/2 an hour. Then give the batter another good beat up. This process must be repeated 3 times with the intervals. When completed, see that the hot plate is quite hot, lay out some crumpet rings rubbed over inside with a little clean lard on a baking tin, and pour in sufficient of the batter to make the crumpets. When cooked on one side, turn over with a palette-knife, and when done take off on to a clean cloth to cool. Muffins and crumpets should always be served on separate dishes, and both toasted and served as quickly as possible.
Time: about 20 minutes to cook. Sufficient for about 2 dozen.


High Tea Lemon Cookies


2 cups butter, room temperature*
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cornstarch (yes, this is correct!)
Lemon Frosting

* Very important that you use room temperature butter (not softened or melted).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar; cream until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract; beat well. Add flour and cornstarch into butter mixture and beat well until well mixed.
Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from oven, carefully remove from baking sheet, and cool on wire racks (when warm the cookies are delicate). When cool, spread Lemon Frosting onto top of cookies.


Yields 6 dozen cookies.


Tea sandwiches


Use day-old, thinly-sliced, square white loaves. Cut off the crusts and butter the bread sparingly, using soft butter so the slices don't break. Add a modest amount of filling, and no more; two tablespoons per slice of any of the fillings below is sufficient. Spread the filling, add any garnish, and place another slice on top. Using a long, sharp knife, make an X-cut to get four smaller triangular sandwiches. Add a couple of long toothpicks to help stabilize while you are cutting. Place the cut sandwiches on a serving platter, and cover with a damp napkin. Refrigerate for at least four hours.


FILLINGS: Mix up a small batch of three of four of your favorite sandwich fillings. You can use a curried egg salad (the usual mayo & eggs but add 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder,) tuna salad with lots of celery, deviled ham with some extra mayo, scrimp salad, etc. Try to pick out flavors that will taste well together. Some popular combos are:
  • Anchovy butter and Greek olives: combine 1 ounce of anchovy fillets, 2 tablespoons of butter, and a pinch of black pepper in a small food-processor. Spread very thinly on the bread, and add a layer of finely-sliced pitted greek olives on top.

  • Avocado slices: with dijon mustard dressing and chives.

  • Tomato slices with basil

  • And, of course…cucumber

Enjoy!
Hmmm, the avacado slices seem a little heavy to me for a tea sandwich. Another I enjoyed was salmon & cucumbers. The lighter the bite, was the most enjoyable.
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Old 05-25-2005, 05:09 AM   #7
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Hmmmmm - interesting recipes, Mish - but English crumpets and muffins are not like the recipes shown above. Here's my recipe for crumpets that I posted on another thread, back in October or November, last year.


Great on a wet, cold winter's afternoon, freshly toasted and dripping with butter (no substitute will do!) and a pot of Earl Grey tea. 8)

The following amount makes about 14-18 crumpets


1lb plain flour, sifted
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp/1x7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
Half pint of warm milk
Half pint of pint warm water
vegetable oil
4 crumpet rings or 3in plain pastry cutters, greased

Place the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and yeast making a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and water and mix to give quite a thick batter. Beat well until completely combined and cover with a tea towel or cling film.
Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour until it's a light, spongy texture.

Stir well to knock out any air and pour into a large jug.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a very low heat with a drop of oil. Wipe the pan with kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Sit the greased crumpet rings in the pan and leave to heat up for a couple of minutes.
Pour in enough mixture to fill the rings just over halfway up the sides. Leave to cook until plenty of small holes appear on the surface and the batter has just dried out. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
Remove the rings and turn over the crumpets to cook for a further minute or two on the other side. Sit the first batch of crumpets on a wire rack while continuing to cook the remaining mixture.

When cooled, store in an airtight container. Toast before serving. Traditionally they are served with butter, but my family sometimes add jam to the top of the crumpets!
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Old 05-25-2005, 05:23 AM   #8
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And I just looked up the Delia Smith recipe I use for muffins - but have to confess, I don't make them very often nowadays as my local baker shop makes really GREAT muffins - but I always make my own crumpets!

English Muffins – recipe from Delia Smith’s book of cakes.
Makes 12


1 lb (450 g) strong plain flour
1 rounded teaspoon salt
8 fl oz (225 ml) milk
1 level teaspoon caster sugar
2 level teaspoons dried yeast
2 oz (50 g) lard
You will also need a thick, solid-based frying pan or a girdle.

Measure the milk and 2 fl oz (55 ml) water in a small saucepan and heat until just 'hand hot', ie, so that you can hold your little finger in without it burning. Now pour it into a jug, add the sugar and dried yeast, mix it with a fork and leave it for about 10 minutes to get a real frothy head.
Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, making a well in the centre, then pour in the frothy yeast mixture and mix it to a soft dough – it should leave the bowl cleanly but if it seems a bit sticky add a spot more flour. On the other hand if it seems a little dry add just a spot more water.
Now transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead it for about 10 minutes by which time it should be very smooth and elastic. The dough can go back into the bowl now. Just slip the bowl inside a large polythene bag (a transparent pedal bin liner is ideal), and leave it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This will take about 45 minutes or longer, depending on the temperature. When the dough has risen, lightly flour the work surface, then tip the dough out and roll it out to about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Then, using a 3 inch (7.5 cm) plain cutter, cut out 12 rounds, re-rolling the dough a couple of times again if it starts to get puffy. Mix the scraps and re-roll as well to use it all up. Now place the muffins on an ungreased, lightly floured baking sheet, sprinkling them with a little more flour, then leave them to puff up again for about 25-35 minutes in a warm place.
When they are ready to be cooked, grease a thick-based frying pan or girdle with just a trace of lard, then heat the pan over a medium heat, add some muffins and cook them for about 7 minutes on each side, turning the heat down to low as soon as they go in. You'll need to do this in 3 or 4 batches but they can be made well in advance.
If you want to serve them in the traditional way, all you do is break them just a little around their waists without opening them, then toast them lightly on both sides. The correct way to eat them is just to pull them apart without cutting and insert a lot of butter. You can store them in an airtight tin for about two days before toasting if you have any left over.
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Old 05-25-2005, 09:19 AM   #9
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Thank you Ishbel, for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. There was an excellent bakery here called Michel Richard (sp?). Not sure if it's still around. Would like to learn more about what is proper at a High Tea & read people's experiences. I do love those dainty sandwiches. Come on over to California & I'll go buy some good silver
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:00 AM   #10
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Mish
Thanks for the invitation!

I still do a modern version of high tea. About once a fortnight, usually more in winter than summer, a group of female friends come round to my home. It's always at my home, cos most of them can't or won't cook and they are all gluttons for cakes!
I serve some or all of the following

The savoury, which could be

Poahed Finnan haddie
or
Poached eggs
or
Welsh rarebit
or
Scotch woodcock (which isn't woodcock at all!)

Followed by
Thin cut brown bread and butter, thin cut brown and white sandwiches, usually ham and English mustard, egg and cress, smoked salmon and lemon juice, cucumber. They have the crusts emoved and are served as small triangles.

Followed by a cake stand full of cakes

Including some or all of the following
Dundee cake, Madeira cake, Battenberg, cream horns, choc eclairs, lemon cakes, fairy cakes, gingerbread cake.

Choice of Earl Grey, Darjeeling or Lapsang Souchong... I use my 'best' china, which is Royal Doulton - the cutlery is silver, but I don't think tea tastes 'right' out of silver - so the family teaset that was my Mum's pride and joy stays on the sideboard, where it has caused a major cleaning task for many years!

Since my family don't really eat cakes etc in great amounts, most of my friends go home with 'goody bags' of cakes!
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