Once again, our tiny tea party with just one friend featured all-vegetarian recipes, since said friend is a vegetarian. And also because chicken salad, while delicious, seems lazy when you're looking for something new and interesting to try.
This one featured recipes from a new cookbook acquisition, The Lunch Box and Every Kind of Sandwich by Florence Brobeck. My edition was published in 1949, although I believe the original was published sometime in the 1930s.
Unlike last time, my ambitious list didn't go QUITE as planned. Adapting historic recipes can be like that.
1940s Spring Tea Party Menu
Open-Faced Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches on Rye
Blue Cheese, Pecan, and Celery Sandwiches on Whole Grain
1940s Whole Wheat Honey Quick Loaf
1940s "Plain Buns" with Butter and Jam
Fresh Sugared Strawberries
Strawberry Lazy Daisy Cake
Tea with Cream and Sugar
I decided to mash them up - literally - into one, slightly more interesting filling. I mixed a quarter pound of very soft blue cheese with about a cup each of diced pecans and finely minced celery, with a splash of Worcestershire sauce. It was a curious mixture. Next time I would probably add cream cheese to temper the blue cheese a little, and maybe add some scallions and/or smoked paprika. But otherwise it was quite nice on squares of thinly sliced whole grain bakery bread.
Half the fun of tea sandwiches is the fun and dainty shapes you create. I always find it easier to slice the bread first, and then fill, but some people do it the other way around.
Whole Wheat Honey Quick Loaf
I followed this recipe pretty much to the letter. It makes a tall loaf with a springy crumb - not at all the crumbly, moist, cake-like texture we come to associate with most quick breads today. Much more like true bread texture than cake. Here's the original recipe:
2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/2 cup liquid honey
Sift the flour and measure it; then sift three times with the dry ingredients (or if you're lazy, just whisk everything together). Beat the egg with the milk, and stir this into the dry ingredients alternately with the honey. Beat and pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about forty-five minutes or until done.
Tip out of the pan and cool on a rack. Serve with salted butter, honey butter, and/or jam.
1940s "Plain Buns"
1 cup scalded milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 yeast cake
1 cup flour
2/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon lard or shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, grated rind
1 cup seedless raisins or currants (I used golden raisins)
2 or more cups flour
1 egg yolk
Scald the milk, add the sugar to it and, when it has cooled to lukewarm, add the yeast cake broken into small pieces. Cover this and let it stand twenty minutes. Then stir in one cup of sifted flour mixed with the salt. Cover and let this rise until light. Work the butter and lard together until creamy, add gradually the sugar, then the lemon rind. Combine with the first mixture, add the sifted flour (about one and one-half cups) to make a stiff sponge. Beat it well. Cover and let it rise again. Then add chopped raisins or currants and enough more sifted flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise again. Then pull off pieces and shape into large rolls. Arrange on a greased baking sheet one inch apart, cover them, and let rise again. Then brush them over with egg yolk, diluted with one teaspoon of water.
Bake in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees F.) twenty minutes. This makes twenty to twenty-four buns.
Strawberry Lazy Daisy Cake & Walnut Tassies
Have you had a tea party recently? What favorite food did you feature? Tell us in the comments!