Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lady Bracknell's Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Algernon: (Picking up empty plate in horror) "Good Heavens! Lane! Why are there no cucumber sandwiches? I ordered them specially."
Lane: (Gravely) "There were no cucumbers in the market this morning, sir. I went down twice"
Algernon: "No cucumbers!"
Lane: "No, sir. Not even for ready money"
 -- The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

There's a reason the cucumber sandwich plate was empty by the time Lady Bracknell arrived for tea...

Lady Bracknell's open-face cucumber tea sandwiches
Makes: However many you need. One loaf of 40 bread slices makes 80 sandwiches
  • One loaf of thin-sliced, white bread
  • 1-2 English Cucumbers
  • Plain cream cheese (Philadelphia brand Whipped cream cheese works best)
  • Parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper
*optional: Use a vegetable peeler to peel the green skin off the cucumbers before starting.

With a sharp paring knife, cut the entire cucumber into very thin slices, as transparent as possible. Set aside.
Spread each piece of bread with a thin layer of cream cheese on one side. Take a bread knife and cut each slice of bread in half, either straight up and down to make two rectangles, or diagonally to make two triangles. 
Take the cucumber slices and lay on as many as needed to cover the surface of the slice. Lay sandwich on a platter or plate. Repeat until you have as many sandwiches as you need.
Take the salt shaker and shake a very light layer over all the sandwiches on the platter. Repeat with the pepper shaker.Garnish with parsley if desired.
Serve immediately.
*note: it's best to make these right before serving - storing in the refrigerator can make them limp and soggy.

Enjoy with your favorite brand of tea! And no, holding your pinky finger in the air is NOT well-mannered ;-)

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