Welcome to Tasty Tea Sandwiches and Sweet Treats
(This will be updated as Tea Time goes by…)
My Wedding China
Whenever I’m feeling fancy I always love to get out the good china to eat and drink something “fancy” on it.
Gordon and Julie Bridal Shower, First Christian Church, Rome, Georgia 1985
The platter in the photo above, is pictured here in the photo below.
I can’t believe that it made it through all of our many moves without breaking.
I am originally from the state of Georgia. Although I’ve lived in several states, five in the south alone, whenever I think of home and my roots and heritage, I always think of Rome. As in Rome, Georgia.
And when I do think of home, I think of my grandparents and great-grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors, and how they would all come together for celebrations. The ladies would always offer to give someone’s daughter or grand-daughter a tea or a luncheon whenever there was an engagement, or a graduation, or an upcoming birth. Even a housewarming party.
But what I remember the most are the “Teas.”
Interestingly enough, tea usually wasn’t served at the “Teas.”
Although I do have a nice coffee going in the photo below.
Some Delicious Tea Sandwiches and Coffee in my Grandmother’s Fancy Coffee Pot
Sitting in one of my grandmother’s chairs.
My favorite, Cucumber Sandwiches
My grandmother, Nellie Mae, is far left in the photo, and my mother, Mary Keith, is in the middle. Judith Ann, Elissha, and Florence gave me the TEA.
Love the Magnolia Flower Centerpiece
My Bridal Shower, 1985 Hosted by The Witt-Broadman-Smyth’s
(Excuse the RED panty hose. I blame Princess Diana.)
(As I said, every “tea” I ever went to, there was never “tea”, always punch. So why aren’t they called Punch’s?)
That would be me above, dressed like Bozo the Clown for some strange 80’s reason?
My Great-Aunt Margie is in the Center, Above
( I have been doing everything to try and figure out exactly what the food is on the table? There are always tea sandwiches that we ladies can grab and eat as we stand in line to receive guests, as I am doing above.)
My grandmother was my biggest influence in the affairs of entertaining. She was a social butterfly and after watching her at a function once, I understand where the term comes from. Allow me to explain. She took me with her to a social gathering. It was some ‘covered dish’ affair. NOT a ‘pot luck’ though.
There is a difference, I just don’t know what that difference is?
I didn’t know very many people there. We walked in the front entrance, it was a large room, my grandmother motioned me to sit down on some chairs that were located by the entrance. I did. Then she took off and went to work flitting here and there. I watched her approach the first circle of people. She had her ‘covered dish’ in her hand that she had made for this affair. She greeted everyone in that group, smiling, flirting, grasping hands with some of them, air kisses with others, she laughed, smiled, winked, and then she was gone. As in on to the next circle of people standing just a few feet away from the group she just left. Eventually making it to the back table to place her ‘covered dish’ among the others that were brought by the lovely ladies there.
I watched in amazement as my grandmother seemingly charmed her way around the room from group, to group, smiling, flirting, hugging, air kisses, grasping hands…. Once she made the rounds of that room she had gotten to me. But not to sit with me, or talk to me, just to check in, “Julie, are you alright?” Then before I could even answer her she was off to do it all over again. Like the butterflies that flit all around my backyard. That’s when it dawned on me. Whoever came up with that expression, is a genius!
To look at photos of my grandmother you wouldn’t believe she is the person I am describing. She didn’t smile much in photos. I don’t know why? She had so much self-confidence in her social skills yet it didn’t reflect in photographs. Perhaps it is because she grew up during The Great Depression? Most of them didn’t smile in photographs.
I actually enjoyed being at that function and not knowing anyone there to talk to. Because I was able to watch my grandmother. I never realized it until that moment but she was skilled! She had charm, grace, she was Scarlett O’Hara, the personification of a southern belle. I always considered myself to be a southern belle just because I was born in the south. But, there is so much more to it than that. My grandmother had something that I will never have. CHARM!
Whenever she could come and visit me whether it be when we were living in Hawaii, or Florida, she would go out for a walk and come home and tell me every single thing there was to know about everyone in my neighborhood. I would ask her, “How do you know all this?” Then she would reply, “They told me.”
When I was living with her in Rome at her house on Morningside Drive, she would take me out to lunch or dinner sometimes. While we were in line waiting to get into whatever restaurant we were going to eat in she would all of a sudden start talking to whomever was in line behind us. She would laugh with them, and talk to them about their aunt Freda that’s having surgery next week. She would give them advice on whether they should buy a car at this time, or wait until next year. I was always dumbfounded as to why she isn’t introducing me to these people? You know, etiquette? So, when she would finish talking to them, and we were being led to our table by a hostess, I would ask her why she didn’t introduce me? And she would always reply, “Because I don’t know them.” I would then tell her that “What do you mean you don’t know them? They just invited you to their daughter’s wedding! What do mean, you don’t KNOW them?” And she would always shrug her shoulder’s and reply rather nonchalantly, “Never seen ’em before in my life!”
p.s. U.S. Government: We don’t need spy’s. We need grandmother’s! They can get you all the info you need without any bloodshed!
Nellie Mae’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches are a staple in the south for as long as I can remember.
Picnic with me and my Grandparent’s and Great-Grandparents
I guarantee that pimiento cheese sandwiches are on that picnic table!
Every picnic, every trip, every pot luck dinner, every covered dish dinner, every tea, every wedding, every graduation, every bridal shower, every baby shower, every luncheon, there are always pimiento cheese sandwiches.
When my mother was a teenager, she and her friend Elissha would take the train to Miami, Florida to stay and visit with Elissha’s relatives for the summer. They would carry their lunch of pimiento cheese sandwiches and fried chicken in a shoe box to eat on the train.
(Elissha is pictured above in the photo of my bridal shower. She is second from the right. Elissha was East Rome High School’s first homecoming queen. That is her claim to fame and whenever there is any mention of her in the newspaper they always reference that. I told her once that they will write that on her tombstone. Although I can’t recall the year right now, the high school’s in Rome at the time divided the boys between the girls. Boy’s went to one high school, and the girls went to the other. This was in the 50’s. However, the school principals and the teacher’s noticed that the girls would show up at school with curlers in their hair, and very sloppily dressed. So, they then decided to combine the high school’s so that the girls would dress better. And guess what? It worked!)
That is Me with Woody and Ellisha Smyth at my Grandparents House
Incidentally, Elissha’s two daughters, Lisa, and Judith Ann, went on to be homecoming queen’s themselves at East Rome High School. With Judith Ann being the last homecoming queen of East Rome High School. Elissha, her mother, being East Rome’s first homecoming queen. Just a little homecoming history. The high school’s of Rome went on to be combined and now it’s just Rome High School.
Nellie Mae’s Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches
Whenever I would come and visit with my grandmother in Rome, Georgia she always made her pimiento cheese for me. It was my lunch many a visit with her. She always kept them in a Tupperware container with a damp paper towel draped over the already made sandwiches. That kept them nice and fresh and moist for whenever we would take them with us, but the moist paper towel never touched the sandwiches. She managed to position both ends of the paper towel between the edges of the Tupperware so that it just hovered above it.
The women of her generation were genius! 🙂
Pimiento Cheese Sandwich Ingredients
I once asked my grandmother what is the secret to a good pimiento cheese sandwich and she told me, “Rat cheese.”
“Rat Cheese” Makes the Best Pimiento Cheese
By “rat cheese” she means that good old cheese that the rats would get into. And it is even written on some old recipes as “rat cheese” as an ingredient. Only that WWII generation would know what that meant.
But here we are using Sharp Cheddar Cheese, or for my preference, Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
You just want to grate whatever amount of Cheddar Cheese that you want. Then add a drained jar or two of Pimientos.
Next comes the dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, and Ground Cayenne Pepper to taste.
(Obviously making this batch for Halloween.)
Now for the Mayonnaise, or Miracle Whip that we are using here.
I do have to say that the best Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches seem to be made with Hellman’s Mayonnaise.
Combine all the ingredients and spread onto any bread that you like.
There are many Pimiento Cheese Sandwich recipes in the south. This one is my favorite as I did grow up eating it.
Pimiento Cheese on Pumpernickel
Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches are served at The Master’s Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, every year. My brother Johnny who lives in Ireland always requests that either me or my mother send him jars of pimiento’s just so that he can make the pimiento cheese sandwiches to eat while he watched The Master’s Golf Tournament.
My Grandmother’s Recipe….
and her pastry thingy.
She gave me 2 of them.
One was all beat up from use, and one was brand new. Sadly, I threw out the beat up one and kept the brand new one. She used the beat up one to make her Cheese Straws.
(This is more my mother’s recipe so I will write hers down as she wrote it to me. And this is probably a very basic cheese straw recipe anyway.)
1 lb. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 Sticks Margarine
4 Cups Plain Flour
1 t. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 t. Cayenne Pepper
Mix cheese, margarine and seasonings. Gradually add flour until well blended. Shape into straws or wafers (cookie press) and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 300 degrees until lightly browned (about 20 to 25 minutes.) May be frozen.
by Mary Keith Haskin Lancaster
My Grandmother’s Pastry Thingy
My Grandmother, and every southern lady used that star shape for their cheese straws. It’s all beat up from use. All the other templates look brand new because they were never used.
With the star shape attached, it’s ready to add the cheesy mixture.
How I have set the part that goes on top of the tube, is how you should set yours.
Filled with the Cheesy Mixture
Put the oven on 300F
Use an ungreased baking sheet. You just want to push the cheesy dough mixture out through the star shape by twisting the handle downward in a clockwise motion. Righty tighty, lefty loosy.
Ready for the Oven
Unfortunately, mine don’t look like straws, they look like snakes!
But come to think of it, my grandmother’s did too. 🙂
Fresh Out of the Oven
(I did sprinkle a little bit of Cayenne Pepper on top before they went into the oven.)
Beautiful Crispy, Tasty, Cheese Straws/Snakes
My Grandmother’s Recipe:
As written in her handwriting….
1 Cup Stivers Flour (I think that was a brand of flour that she used.)
3/4 Cup Grated Sharp Cheddar
1/2 Cup Shortening (she means butter or margarine.)
1/2 t. Paprika
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Cold Water to make stiff dough.
Sift and measure the flour. Add the cheese and shortening, rub them into the flour. Add the Paprika and Cayenne. Make a stiff dough by adding water a little at a time. Roll the pastry 1/4 inch thick, cut into strips one third inch wide by 5 inches long using a pastry jigger or a sharp knife. Place the strips on a baking sheet in even rows and bake in a hot oven (425) F until the straws are a delicious brown, about (10 – 15 minutes)
Cream Cheese and Dill Pickle Sandwiches
In the photo above of my Bridal Shower these pickle and cream cheese sandwiches were served. I know this because my friend Scarlett couldn’t stop eating them.
I have featured these tea sandwiches a few times on my site but I wanted them here on this post as well because they are a “tea sandwich.”
The Ingredients are Simple
Cream Cheese, Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix, Pickle’s and Slices of Bread
Also as excellent spread for crackers.
Just mix together the softened cream cheese and a packet or two of the Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix, and that’s it! I use about 3, 8 oz. cream cheese’s with about 3 of the Zesty Italian packets. If you are just making it for a spread for crackers, refrigerate it for a little while so the flavors can blend together.
You can just use plain cream cheese for these sandwiches, but I like it this way.
You can use any sliced bread that you like here. I prefer a whole wheat or a plain white bread with the crusts cut off.
You also want to remove the pickle’s and dry them with some paper towels. You don’t want a wet pickle here.
Now just place the pickle in the center of a slice of bread where you have spread the cream cheese mixture onto.
I’ve actually combined the photos of two different versions of this recipe into one.
Now just roll the bread around the pickle and slice into bite sized sandwiches.
When you finish making them place into a container and keep in the fridge. They taste better the next day actually.
Edible Flower Tea Sandwiches
This is the same recipe as the dill pickle and cream cheese sandwiches above, except here I’ve added some fresh herbs and edible flowers.
How Very Pretty!
Very easy, very dainty, and very good!
Cream Cheese, Zesty Italian Salad Mix……
Same recipe as above except I placed the cream cheese on pre-made cocktail bread.
Here I washed the herbs and edible flowers for the tea sandwiches.
I wanted to use a rye bread, this is the pre-cut bread so all I have to do is adorn it.
The pretty pink and yellow rose petals are for decoration, NOT for eating!
Rye Bread, Cream Cheese Spread, Fresh Parsley, Edible Flowers
Our Fresh Mint
I wanted to incorporate our fresh mint into these sandwiches. Below I used a mint jelly along with our fresh mint.
Tea Sandwiches are so Easy to Make!
All you need is fresh bread and cookie cutters, and something to place inside of them.
All the sandwich shapes pertain to Alice in Wonderland
Cats, Mushrooms, and Cards
Just use your imagination and create something beautiful.
Some pretty jelly’s will go very well inside of them.
Lois Findley’s Cucumber Sandwiches
Lois Findley was someone I’ve known my entire life, up until the day she died. She lived down the street from my grandmother. She and her husband went to my grandmother’s church. And the Findley’s took in some wedding guests from out of town that were part of mine, and Gordon’s wedding party.
Lois always had a smile on her face and always greeted everyone with a pleasant hello.
Although Lois and her husband are no longer here, she did leave behind an excellent recipe for her cucumber sandwiches. Whenever we make them we think of her and we appreciate that we knew her, and can still enjoy her sandwiches.
The Simple Ingredients:
I have photos here of how Gordon made the “cucumber” sandwiches.
But I do have to say that he did go ‘hog wild’ with the carrots.
Here Gordon is Grating the Carrots and the Cucumbers
Now, Grating the Onion
See all the water from grating the veggies?
You need to place the grated veggies into a cloth and drain all the water out.
Otherwise you will have a soggy sandwich.
Squeeze and Squeeze Again….
Mayonnaise, Cream Cheese, Blend……
Then Add Your Veggies
Adding Some Freshly Ground Pepper and Some Salt
Blend Together Again
by Lois Findley
1 (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
3 Small Carrots
1 Small Onion
3 T. Mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Grate, grind, or blend cucumber, carrot, and onion. Drain well. Mix mayonnaise and cream cheese, then add well drained vegetables. Spread on bread. Makes 10 to 11 sandwiches.
I found these Tuxedo Cups at one of my favorite stores, Tuesday Morning, so I bought them knowing full well that Gordon would create something nice to put in them. And he did…..
Chocolate Tuxedo Cups (Chilled)
1 Pkg. Hershey’s White Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 Pkg. Jell-O Chocolate Pudding Mix
Dried Marshmallow Bits
Two Cake Decorating Bags
Prepare both pudding mixes as suggested by the manufacturer.
Once the puddings have set, place them in the pastry decorating bags using a rubber spatula.
Try to keep the air out of the bag when filling. Twist the end of the bag multiple times to close.
Remove your chocolate Tuxedo Cups from the refrigerator, keeping them in their package container.
Below, I am placing the chocolate pudding in the bag.
Here you can be as creative as you like. I chose to pipe both puddings in at the same time, making it half white chocolate and half milk chocolate.
Gently squeeze the bag to force the pudding out of the tip. Choose a tip of your liking. Usually these bags come with multiple tips.
Then you can also mix the puddings throughout the chocolate cups.
Both ways make a great presentation. Once done, you can garnish the top of the cups with the dried marshmallows.
You could also use a sprig of mint!
Chill the cups in the refrig until ready to serve.
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It was lovely for you to come.
See Y’all Later,