British Tea Timecucumber mint sandwiches

Cucumber-Mint Sandwiches
(Serves 12 pieces; 24 halved)

Mint adds a delightful twist to a classic cucumber tea-sandwich.

1/4 C fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)
2 T butter (softened)
2 T cream cheese (softened)
12 slices firm white bread
1/3 of a seedless English cucumber (thinly sliced)

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl, blending well. Spread the mixture evenly on all 12 slices of bread. Place cucumber slices on 6 slices and cover with the other 6 slices. Carefully, trim the crusts (save for making breadcrumbs). Then slice the sandwiches diagonally for 12 pieces; slice again for 24 smaller triangles.

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Tips & Glossary

Clotted Cream: a thick yellowish cream made from unpasturized cow's milk. You can make your own, although it's hard to find unpasturized cream in the U.S. Still, you'll find 3 recipes under Scones. All use pasturized cream; try to avoid "ultra" pasturized.

Ploughman's Lunch: sounds romantic, like a peasant dish from medieval times, but it's a marketing gimmick from the 1970's! It's become a popular lunch in Britain now: a piece of bread, hunk of cheese, with onion, gherkin, and an apple. Our Ploughman's Soup is a take-off on that name.

Roux: (“roo”), paste-like mixture of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. Used as a thickening agent for soups and all classic French sauces. Basic Roux: melt 1 part butter and add 1 part flour. Stir continuously till it becomes paste-like. Slowly add whatever liquid your recipe calls for.

Tea Time: Afternoon tea became fashionable in the mid-1600's. A light snack with sandwiches and sweets, it's served from 3-5 in a sitting room. High tea, is a light meal served from 5-6 in a dining room. ("High" because the dining table is higher than the low ones in a sitting room.)

Yorkshire Pudding: from the northern county of Yorkshire, originating in the early 1700s when flour was more readily available. A pancake like batter is spooned into the drippings of a roast as it cooks. Eaten alongside the roast or as a separate course.


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