Dainties and Sandwiches for Afternoon Tea.
Tea CakesSift a quart of flour three times with two teaspoonfuls of baking-powder and one of salt. Chop into this a tablespoonful of butter and one of cottolene or other fat. (In all preparations requiring shortening, cottolene is preferable to lard.)
Mix in a bowl with a wooden spoon, adding about three cupfuls of milk, or enough to make a soft dough. Turn out upon your board and roll, with swift, light strokes into a sheet half an inch in thickness. Reverse a jelly-cake tin upon the sheet and cut with a sharp knife cakes just the size of the tin. With a spatula, transfer to a floured baking-pan and bake in a quick oven.
Split while hot, butter and cut into triangular pieces, six to each cake. Do not divide them until the triangles are drawn from the plate by those who are to eat them.
Tea SconesMix as directed in recipe for tea cakes, but cut into rounds with a small biscuit cutter. Bake upon a soapstone griddle, upon both sides, to a delicate brown; split and butter while hot. Line a plate or a tray with a napkin, lay in the scones and fold the corners of the napkin lightly over them.
Oatmeal SconesTo three cupfuls of oatmeal add one of white flour, a teaspoonful of salt and two of baking-powder. Heat three cupfuls of milk to scalding, not to boiling, stir in a tablespoonful of sugar with two and a half of butter, and mix with a wooden spoon these ingredients into a soft dough.
Do not touch it with your hands.
Turn out upon a kneading-board, roll into a sheet less than a quarter of an inch thick, cut into rounds with a large biscuit-cutter, and bake upon a hot soapstone griddle, turning to brown. Butter while hot.
Corn-meal Tea CakesMix fine white corn-meal with boiling milk; gradually add a little salt, and let it simmer half an hour or more, then drop it from a large spoon upon a soapstone griddle, and bake on both sides to an even brown. Butter and eat hot.
Bristol Tea CakesRub two level tablespoonfuls of butter into four cupfuls of sifted flour; mix it with thin cream to a soft dough to roll out; toss the dough upon a floured board, cut with a biscuit cutter into rounds and bake on a hot griddle, or in the oven; split and butter them; serve on a napkin.
Raisin BreadMake as you would ordinary white bread, with the addition of one-half cupful of raisins to a small loaf. Spread thin, triangular slices of this with butter, and then with a layer of cream cheese.
Hot Milk Tea CakesInto three well-whipped eggs beat a cupful of sugar, a large cupful of prepared flour, and a teaspoonful of vanilla. Beat hard; add a gill of scalding hot milk, stir in quickly and turn the mixture into greased pate-pans. These cakes are best if eaten hot, but are also good cold.
Stuffed RollsLight rolls, shaped like ringer rolls, but larger, may be cut open on one side, the crumb dug out and the cavity filled with minced and seasoned chicken, turkey, ham, or tongue. Close the roll and bind it with narrow ribbon tied with a bow and floating ends. You may tie the ham rolls with one color, the chicken with another.
Peanut CrispsOne cupful of roasted and chopped peanuts, one cupful of powdered sugar, one tablespoonful of flour and the whites of two eggs. The mixture is dropped on a buttered paper and baked to a light brown in a moderate oven. A quart of unshelled peanuts will yield the necessary cupful of chopped nuts.
Salted AlmondsShell and blanch the almonds by pouring boiling water over them, letting them stand for ten minutes, then stripping off the skins. Dry the nuts between the folds of a clean dish towel, and put them in a baking-pan with a tablespoonful of melted butter. Turn them over and over in this until all are coated, then set the pan in the oven until the nuts are delicately browned, stirring often, that all may brown evenly.
Turn into a colander, strew thickly with fine salt, and shake the colander hard to dislodge superfluous salt and grease.
When cold, the nuts will be crisp. Keep in a dry place.
MargueritesThe white of one egg, partly beaten; two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and one-half cupful of chopped walnuts. Stir all together and spread on wafers, or upon long narrow crackers. Bake to a light brown.
The first requisite in the preparation of good sandwiches is to have perfect bread in suitable condition. Either white, brown or entire wheat bread may be used, but it should be of close, even texture, and at least one day old.
For very small, dainty sandwiches to be served at afternoon teas or breakfasts, the bread may be baked at home in baking-powder tins. These should be only half-filled, and allowed to rise before baking. The butter should be softened by creaming, not melting, and spread smoothly on the bread before it is cut. Cut the slices as thin as possible, and when a variety is o,fered it is well to keep each kind of a different shape, as, for instance, circles of anchovy, triangles of chicken, ringers of game and squares of fruit butters.
Flavored butters are much used in making sandwiches, and are simply and easily prepared. Fresh, unsalted butter should be used. After creaming the butter, add the flavoring material, and beat until smooth and thoroughly blended. Caviare, anchovy, sardines, oysters, salmon, lobster, cheese, cress, chives, Chili, Chutney, olives, parsley, cucumbers, horseradish and paprika are all used for flavoring these various butters. For afternoon teas, fruit and flower butters make delicious sandwiches. Of these the most popular are strawberry, pineapple, red raspberry and peach. Lemon butter mixed with fresh grated cocoanut is also a delectable sandwich filling, and cherry jelly with shavings of dried beef another. Butters flavored with rose or violet petals are very delicate and attractive, but, as may easily be imagined, find little favor with the sterner sex, who prefer their refreshments of a more substantial order.
Cream Cheese for SandwichesInto a broad pan pour the fresh warm milk as soon as possible after it is milked; set at the side of the range and bring slowly to the point where it just begins to simmer. Remove at once and set in the ice-box, where it will cool suddenly, and leave it there for six or eight hours. Now skim and press the clotted cream into small jars or deep saucers. Sprinkle the top of the cream with fine salt, and cover. Keep in a cold place until wanted.
Peanut Butter for SandwichesShell and skin freshly-roasted peanuts and pound or grind them to a fine powder. Mix to a smooth paste, with half as much butter as you have peanut powder. If the butter is rather fresh, add a little salt.
Anchovy SandwichesRub the yolks of hard-boiled eggs to a paste, season to taste with anchovy essence, and add a few olives, stoned and chopped very fine. Spread this mixture on very thin slices of buttered bread and cut into dainty shapes.
Caviare SandwichesSpread thinly-buttered bread with fresh caviare seasoned with lemon juice and on top of this lay a little minced lobster. Finish with another piece of buttered bread.
Olive SandwichesScald and cool twelve large olives, stone them, and chop very fine. Add one spoonful of mayonnaise dressing, and one teaspoonful of cracker dust; mix well, and spread on buttered bread.
Egg and Olive SandwichesBoil six eggs hard, remove the shells and chop the eggs very, very fine. Stone and chop eighteen large olives, and mix these with the minced egg. Moisten all with a little melted butter, season to taste and mix to a moist paste. Spread on thin slices of crustless bread, and press the two halves of the sandwich firmly together.
Cheese and Olive SandwichesMix cream cheese and chopped olives together; spread very thin slices of bread with the mixture; serve on a folded napkin.
Lettuce and Cream Cheese SandwichesCut white bread into very thin slices and remove the crusts, then butter lightly. Spread with Philadelphia cream cheese. Dip a leaf of crisp lettuce in a French salad dressing, and lay it upon a slice of the bread, then press another slice upon it. With a sharp pair of scissors trim off the projecting leaf of lettuce. Pile these sandwiches on a plate, cover and keep in the ice-box until wanted.
Queen SandwichesMince finely two parts of cooked chicken or game to one part of cooked tongue, and one part minced cooked mushrooms or truffles. Add seasoning and a little lemon juice, and place between thin slices of buttered bread.
Lobster SandwichesPound two tablespoonfuls of lobster meat fine; add one tablespoonful of the coral, dried and mashed smooth, a teaspoonful of lemon juice, a dash of nutmeg, one-fourth of a teaspoonful of paprika, and two tablespoonfuls of soft butter. Mix all to a smooth paste and spread between thin bread and butter.
Ham and Chicken SandwichesInto a pint of cold boiled or roast chicken, chopped very fine, stir a cupful of minced ham; season with a few minced olives, and moisten with salad oil. Add white pepper to taste, and spread between thin slices of crustless white bread, buttered lightly.
Beef SandwichesTo two parts of chopped lean, rare beef, add one part of finely minced celery, salt, pepper, and a little made mustard. Place on a lettuce leaf between thin slices of bread and butter.
Jelly SandwichesMix a cupful of quince jelly with half a cupful of finely chopped hickory or pecan nuts, and spread on buttered bread.
Date SandwichesWash, dry and stone the dates, mash them to a pulp, and add an equal amount of finely chopped English walnut or pecan meats. Moisten slightly with lemon juice. Spread smoothly on thinly-sliced brown bread.
Fig SandwichesStem and chop very fine a sufficient number of figs. Add enough water to make of the consistency of marmalade, and simmer to a smooth paste. Flavor with a little lemon juice, and when cool spread on thin slices of buttered bread, and sprinkle thickly with finely chopped nuts.
Fruit SandwichesCut equal quantities of fine fresh figs, raisins and blanched almonds very small. Moisten with orange juice and spread on white bread and butter.
Ginger and Orange SandwichesSoften Neufchatel cheese with a little butter or rich cream. Spread on white bread, cut in very thin slices, and cover with finely minced candied orange peel and preserved ginger. Place over another slice of bread. Candied lemon peel and preserved citron, finely minced, also make a delicious sandwich filling.
Frappés and Beverages
A PLEASANT custom prevalent at many summer afternoon teas is that of passing nearly frozen beverages for the refreshment and delectation of the guests. These glaces or frappes are so easily prepared that the veriest tyro in the ice-making art need not be afraid to attempt them. On a warm day they are a refreshing variety upon the conventional cup of tea, and are so light and innocuous as not to interfere with the enjoyment of the dinner which must come an hour or two later. These ices are served in glasses, and with spoons.
Café FrappéPut two cupfuls of finely-ground coffee into a large French coffee-pot, or biggin, and pour upon it two quarts of boiling water. When this has dripped through the strainer, pour it into a pitcher and turn it back into the strainer. Repeat this process four times, then pour the clear coffee into a bowl, and stir into it two large cupfuls of granulated sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and set aside to cool. When cold, add the unbeaten whites of two eggs, turn into a freezer and grind until frozen, but still rather soft. When turned into a glass it should be of about the consistency of soft snow. This rule of consistency applies to all these frozen beverages.
Tea FrappéScald a china teapot, put into it six teaspoonfuls of the best mixed tea and pour upon it eight cupfuls of freshly-boiling water. Let this stand for six or eight minutes, strain it into a bowl, and sweeten to taste. When cold, turn into the freezer.
Ginger Ale FrappéOpen three bottles of imported ginger ale and turn the contents into a bowl. Add the juice of four lemons and a half cupful of granulated sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved; turn the mixture into a freezer, and freeze. This ice is very refreshing.
Frosted LemonadeBoil together for fifteen minutes two quarts of water, and four cupfuls of granulated sugar. Remove from the fire and when the syrup is lukewarm, add the juice of a dozen lemons. Set aside until cold, then freeze.
Frozen OrangeadeMix together the juice from six oranges and two lemons. Boil together three cupfuls of water and one cupful of sugar for ten minutes; remove from the fire and add the orange and lemon juice. When cold, add the unbeaten white of one egg, and freeze.
Frozen Raspberry JuiceMash two quarts of red raspberries and cover them with three heaping cupfuls of granulated sugar. Let this stand in a warm place for an hour, then press through a cheese-cloth bag or a vegetable press to extract all the juice. To this add the juice of three lemons and of one orange, and two quarts of cold water. Stir well together and freeze. Some persons put a spoonful of whipped cream upon each glass of this ice. The contrast of the white with the pink is very pretty.
Graham WafersSift three cupfuls of graham flour and one cupful of white flour with a heaping teaspoonful of salt and two teaspoonfuls of baking powder. Melt two tablespoonfuls of butter with one of sugar in a pint of scalding milk. Make a hole in the middle of the flour, and pour this in. Stir to a soft dough, turn upon a floured pastry-board, roll out quickly and lightly into a thin sheet, cut into rounds with a biscuit-cutter, and bake in a floured baking pan until brown and crisp. While hot, spread lightly with butter.
Lemon WafersCream a cup of butter with two cups of sugar, work in two beaten eggs, a small cup of cold water and the grated rind and the juice of a large lemon. Add flour to make the dough stiff enough to roll out; roll very thin, cut into rounds and bake. Orange wafers may be made in the same way.
Peanut WafersCream together four tablespoonfuls of butter and a half-cup of sugar. When this mixture is soft and creamy add the well-whipped yolks of two eggs, four tablespoonfuls of milk, a cup of roasted and ground peanuts, and enough flour to make a good dough. Roll into a thin sheet, cut into rounds and bake.
Virginia WafersRub two tablespoonfuls of butter into a pint of flour, add enough iced water to make a stiff dough, put up on a floured pastry board, and roll out as thin as writing paper in rounds as large as a saucer. Bake in a floured pan in a quick oven. They should be rough and "bubbly" on top. Eat cold.
The Home Brew
Tea (hot)First. Never buy poor, cheap tea. It is the dearest in the end, in every sense of the word, being unwholesome, unpalatable and wasteful. One teaspoonful of good oolong, souchong, hyson or "bud" tea, will go farther than four of a mixture which, when brewed, tastes at the best, like boiled hay.
Second. Have the kettle boiling, and freshly boiled. An hour's simmer after the boil has once been reached, makes the water stale and flat.
Third. Draw off the tea within three minutes after the water is poured upon the dry leaves. After that, the boiling liquid extracts tannic acid in pernicious quantities and strength.
Fourth. Have the cups hot and fill with clear tea, adding sugar, or cream, or both afterwards, to suit the taste of each drinker.
Cold TeaStrain the liquid from the leaves within a few minutes after it is poured on. Set away until cold. Half-fill glasses with cracked ice; add a slice of peeled lemon, a squeeze of lemon juice (if desired) and granulated sugar to taste.
Breakfast CoffeeAllow a cupful of freshly ground coffee to a quart of boiling water. Put the coffee into the strainer and add the boiling water by degrees, until it is all in. Pour off into a heated pitcher, and return this to the strainer. Repeat until the beverage is of the requisite strength, and pour into heated cups.
After-dinner CoffeeMake as directed in last recipe, allowing, however, three cupfuls of boiling water to one of freshly ground coffee, and run three times through the filter.
Never pass cream with black coffee in after-dinner cups "(demi-tasses)," as the French, who taught us to drink it, call the dainty digestive agent.
To ask for cream in such a case is a gastronomic and social solecism.
Café au laitMake strong black coffee and, while hot, add to it one-third as much scalding milk. Cover and set in boiling water until needed.
Iced CoffeeSet aside cafe au lait until cold. Fill tumblers half-full of cracked ice; sugar to taste, and pour in the coffee.
ChocolateHeat two cupfuls of milk, and the same of water. Rub six tablespoonfuls of chocolate to a thin, smooth paste with cold water; pour the water gradually upon it; put into a saucepan and bring it quickly to a boil. Cook thus five minutes, pour in the milk and boil ten minutes longer. Sweeten to the taste of each drinker, and lay a tablespoonful of whipped cream upon the top.
If you would make the chocolate particularly good, heat a sillibub churn and beat the beverage hard for five minutes; set in a vessel of boiling water on the range to get smoking hot; pour out, sweeten, and cap with whipped cream.
CocoaIt is made in the same way.
Breakfasts and Teas; Compiled by Paul Pierce