My beloved sister’s birthday was last Saturday, and I surprised her by inviting some friends over for tea. I decorated the table with ferns against simple white, just like she likes, and my creativity was quite happily occupied baking all kinds of goodies, and trying to make most of them gluten-free for me and dairy-free for one of the guests. Since some of the recipes are rather simple and some are copyrighted I decided to make this post one big conglomeration instead of giving them each a separate one, even if it means they’re harder for me to find later.
So firstly, we have blackberry tarts made in my brand-new little tart pans, which I’m very happy about. The recipe is found in The Complete Tea Companion, by Victoria magazine. But alas, in the scramble to get them finished before the guests arrived I ditched the idea of the glaze, and they definitely missed it. They just weren’t quite sweet enough and I felt badly for my guests, but for my part I didn’t mind because I’m not much of a sweet tooth. Actually, I think it was the crust itself that would have benefited from a touch of sugar, since it was so prominent.
Aren’t they dainty?!
The cake also was the from Victoria book. It wasn’t much of a hit because my family is more into chocolate cakes than white, and not so in to jam fillings. That’s the problem with baking and cooking. There are endless possibilities… but you have to have adventurous guinea pigs, which I rather lack.
Now for my favorite thing… the tea sandwiches! They were so much fun to make!
For the pinwheels I decapitated a loaf of sourdough, cut it into four pieces, rolled those pieces out with a rolling pin, spread them with pesto made from arugula, pine nuts, and parmesan, then placed a couple slices of provolone and a couple of turkey breast on top. After that I rolled them up tightly, which was tricky to manage at first and I was afraid they weren’t going to hold together at all but would just be a big mess. However, I came up with an ingenius idea (if I do say so myself) to wrap foil around them a couple times and twist the ends like tootsie rolls. It held them together perfectly, so by the time I came to unwrap them and slice them up a couple hours later they didn’t budge from their shape.
Now I’m just delighted by the cucumber sandwiches. They look like pretty little presents! All I did was spread some whipped cream cheese on some gf bread, sprinkle chives on top, lay out cucumber slices, cap with another piece of bread, and cut into little rectangles. Then I used some very long chives to tie them up with presents, and tucked the cucumbers underneath. The way to flay out the cucumbers is to first slice them into coins, then make a slice halfway through and twist the ends out in opposite directions. It sounds confusing, but if you look at them carefully maybe you’ll be able to decode the method.
We also served lemon bars, deviled eggs, and a yummy banana bread which I have decided deserves its own post afterall. And that is the story of Katie’s birthday tea, told in food.