Choosing the Nov 13th birthday of the Earl as the occasion to celebrate this format, I made one of my theme meals centered around his namesake: a sandwich tea for a party of 6. Few meals are as aristocratic as the sandwich tea, with the emphasis on delicate, refined preparations that are only fleetingly filling, and often contain little actual nutrition.
The savory menu consisted of four of the most classic tea sandwiches: the quintessential mild cucumber sandwich, the creamy egg sandwich, the sharp cheddar sandwich and the salty salmon sandwich.
I went shopping in the early afternoon to find the freshest fillings and bread. The only advance preparation was the mixing of the chopped dill and chives with lemon juice and zest into seasoned cream cheese, and the mixing of mashed boiled egg with seasoned mayonnaise. And the de-crusting of the bread, of course.
For the second round, I sandwiched a thick-cut slice of cheddar (had the cheese guy at the supermarket do it to my specification) with a spoonful of Branston pickle between buttered bread, and a generous amounts of smoked salmon between plain slices of bread that had been spread on the interior surfaces with the cream cheese and herb mixture.