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Tea Sandwiches

August 8, 2013

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Don made us tea sandwiches before we set off for a talk one evening. The sandwiches were delicious but as an added bonus came a flood of memories. Long ago my Mother would occasionally have a group of ladies over for afternoon tea. The morning was filled with preparing tea sandwiches and baking. The sinful white bread with all the crusts cut off was made ready and butter was smeared right to the edges. Devilled eggs, cheese along with meat fillings was prepared. A special concoction of peanut butter and banana was laid on the bread and then the bread was rolled and cut into swirls of delicate circles. The sandwiches were moved from the mess on the kitchen counter to china and glass serving dishes. An embroidered tea cloth was laid on the table before all the plates were put in place. Damp tea towels covered the sandwiches until it was time to serve them. My sister and I guarded and very quietly tested the sandwiches while awaiting the ladies. Meanwhile the kitchen chaos was cleared, teapots and cups were made ready, aprons came off while we waited for tea. I don’t remember one of the people that came for tea but remember in detail those plates of sandwiches on the snowy white tea cloth. Do you have a tea cloth story and a picture you’d like to share? Gail

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara Fox permalink
    August 8, 2013 3:24 am

    My experience with tea sandwiches was about 1962–my older sister’s bridal shower. Friends of my mom gave her the shower, which was actually a tea… and they served several different types of tea sandwiches, dainty little things with very interesting fillings and cut out in many different shapes. Being just 12 years old at the time, some of the tiny little sandwiches were not to my taste. Favorite fillings were Underwood’s Deviled Ham (remember that?), cucumber and deviled egg. Other’s had “bad things” like onions and celery. I smile here because tea sandwiches sound delicious to me now… thanks for sharing your memories Gail.

    • August 9, 2013 3:05 am

      Barbara, I asked Don about Underwood’s Devilled Ham and he told me it was like pate’. So I guess you know that I don’t recognize it. He says it is universal. Maybe my Prairie Canadian memories are different then in the States. We always depended on local farmers in addition to Safeways. You don’t mention that there was or was not a tea cloth on the table???? If so what did it look like? Gail

      • Barbara Fox permalink
        August 18, 2013 10:04 pm

        Ah, regarding table clothes: yes there were gorgeous table cloths either out of linen or cottons. Their edges were hemmed and embroidered in some cases, usually in color and carefully chosen to fit the occasion. My memories are vivid and I wish I had some of those linens. I do have some tatting that my Norwegian grandmother made. She always wanted me to learn how. Also a pillowcase with embroidered motifs and edges. Precious items…

  2. August 8, 2013 7:03 pm

    Like Barbara my experience with tea sandwiches was on occasions for ‘ladies’, teas showers and such. I remember they were often formal situations with everyone on their best behavior and best dress—especially the children. Ladies sat on their edges of their chairs, their dark skirts pulled carefully over their knees, legs crossed at the ankles or not crossed at all. They sipped tea while my sister and I were allowed offer tea sandwiches from the best china. The part we like the best was eating sandwiches with no crusts! The only filling I remember was egg salad filling. I am sure there were others…memory fades. I remember being able to iron the linen napkins with no wrinkles, and then after the party depositing the linen napkins in the wash basket…they were hardly dirty at all, maybe just a slight lipstick stain here and there. Lovely memories.

    • August 9, 2013 3:15 am

      It was sacrilege to use paper napkins – lace or linen or other fabric were always used. I also remember that my Mom always changed her cotton house dress before an occasion such as this. House dress is another word from the past, isn’t it? Did American Moms of the 50s and 60s also wear house dresses or was it only Canadians and British? Gail

      • Barbara Fox permalink
        August 18, 2013 9:58 pm

        I remember my mom wearing a dress all the time except when we were on vacation and then, rarely, some “peddle-pushers.” (now that’s another of those old words from the past) My mom’s dresses had fitted bodices, buttons down the front and usually a belt. Cotton fabrics that always needed ironing. I can see her now and she was definitely a mom of the 50s and 60s. To answer your question Gail, yes, moms from the US wore house dresses.

  3. Barbara Fox permalink
    August 18, 2013 10:06 pm

    I believe they still make Underwood’s Deviled Ham. Will look next time I’m at the grocery store and bring one up to Don so he can serve that “delicacy” to you 🙂

  4. November 24, 2014 10:03 am

    Reblogged this on Don2's blog.

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