Saturday, April 14, 2007

In Pictures: Mad Hatter Tea Sandwiches

When I think of tea parties, I think of women dressed in outdoorsy, flapper ensembles sitting underneath spotless, wide-brimmed umbrellas. I think of starched linen tablecloths, tabletop wicker baskets brimming with freshly-baked scones, and ornate glass containers holding sugary fruit preserves. I think of pinkies saluting upward and long and tapered fingers delicately holding the handles of porcelain tea cups.

Recently, I was inspired by
Wandering Chopsticks to throw my own tea party, because I wanted to sit back and relax from the hurried and vexing stresses of this week.

Similar to
Wandering Chopsticks, I also made tea sandwiches for my party, but I added a uniquely Californian flair to the classic sandwiches. In doing so, I transformed a traditional, sophisticated tea sandwich into one worthy of the Mad Hatter. The images conjured up by my odd tea sandwich creation, were garish, gaudy, and clown-like, akin to the polka-dotted bow tie and purplish, elephantine top hat donned by Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter.

I started with a soft loaf of multi-grain bread. Using a tea cup as a stencil, I cut into the bread with tip of my knife, tracing a circular cutout into the wholesome bread. Being as frugal as possible, I used the bread ends as well.

On the bread rounds, I smeared a gentle coat of
freshly-pureed pesto.

Then, I sliced creamy avocados into thin crescent-shaped half moons and interlayered the slices on top of the bread rounds.

Next, I topped the sandwiches with crimson-colored beet slices,

And thin squares of chilled brie.

As I finished making the sandwiches, I couldn't help but to smile like the Cheshire cat at my odd creation. This tea sandwich was definitely worth of a Mad Tea Party!

29 comments:

  1. Wow! Looks like a simple but very yummy sandwich!

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  2. wow..i was awed by the new look of your blog PE. i must be really out of the circulation for a long while.

    j haw

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  3. classy and elegant... and delicious!

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  4. Smart to replace the "f" with the "t"
    I thought it looked so much like a burger without the beef but with the beet now :D

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  5. It looks like there's an artichoke in the toothpick, but what's the red sauce on top of the bread?

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  6. look delicious. creative. would love that to go with my teacuppa.com keemun black tea! ;)

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  7. yum! look at these adorable little sandwiches. i don't know if i want to give them a hug or eat them up. how clever, loos deeelish :)

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  8. Beautiful and droolsome pictures...and the shape of these tea sandwiches are so cute and seem like a mouthful...I like! :)

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  9. Vegetarian Wow! Thanks Passionate Eater, I'm always on the lookout for interesting flavor combinations that are vegetarian. Those are an elegant presentation too, great guest lunch idea.

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  10. You can bring those sandwiches to my tea parties any time. ;)

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  11. round pefection! i love it. so elegant and such a lovely combination!

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  12. I was hungry before, and I'm hungry now. These are fine looking sandwiches. Well done.

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  13. These look so wonderful and different! I love the whole idea of a tea party, it is just so civilized and something we could use more of in today's world!

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  14. Don´t eat your brie (and other cheese) cold!! You will kill the flavour. As a former cheesemonger, cheese, especially pongy softs like brie, are far better at rooom temp.

    Nice pairing of the brie and the beet, not sure about the avo though

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  15. you make it look so simple. When I try to make them, I'll have to think of you and their simplicity. Thanks!

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  16. Very jaunty placement of the artichoke flummery to top your tea sandwiches. Lovely.

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  17. i super super super super super super super (times infinitiy) love your blog! :) i get this "i want to eat this screen" feelings everytime i go here!

    do you mind if i link you to my blog at http://s2.blog.sanriotown.com/superbong:hellokitty.com/ ? :)

    best,
    b ong

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  18. Lovely and elegant--just like a tea party!

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  19. PE, wow, new look! movin' on up the food chain! deliciousness, as always.

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  20. been eating subways lately, nothing like this cutesies, good way to control my diet haha, but they do look so preety :)) btw, I got tt exact same blue flowery cup too hehe, I use it for my green tea n soy milk :)

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  21. What a wonderfully fun idea! I also love beetroot in sandwiches and combined with avocado and brie - wow!

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  22. Whole grain bread: love it
    Pesto: love it
    Avocado: LOVE it
    beets: love it
    Brie: LOVE it

    I would LOVE to come to your tea party!

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  23. I just featured you in a food meme over at my blog. I thought you were a better person to better introduce California's cuisine since you eat passionately in SF and around :D
    I'm not doing CA cuisine justice, I know.

    Care to join the fun?

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  24. Hello everyone, thanks for your comments and kind words! I am also glad you found these Mad Hatter Tea Sandwiches interesting! Haha, my siblings and friends found them a little odd because of the flavor combinations, but in the end, they ate them all! To address some specific questions and comments:

    Christine D., sorry if it looks mildly strange, but that "sauce" was just the vinaigrette marinade from the artichokes! No deliberate sauce there, just artichoke sauce love.

    And thanks The Geographer for the brie tip! I am going to defer to you for all cheese-related tips and questions!

    Thanks for visiting Bong, it would be honored if you linked here!

    And Tiger Fish, I can't wait to write the meme! And you TOTALLY do California cuisine justice! Every time I go to your site, I leave starving like a ravenous zoo animal!

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  25. I love the green of the avocados and the ruby red of the beets...what beautiful pictures.

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  26. We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email haleyglasco@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)

    Haley

    http://blog.keyingredient.com/

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  27. I LIKE THE ROUN SHAPE TO THE BREAD BUT... YUK FOR THE CHOICES UP UNDER THIS. I WOULDN'T SERVE THAT. GREAT BLOG THOUGH.

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  28. I made these with creamy Havarti instead of the Brie, between the avocado and beets on French peasant bread toasted and pesto on both sides, turned out awesome. I drank Barry's Irish Breakfast Tea with them.

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