Charcuterie or grazing boards are trendy, easy, and delicious. They are easy to put together and it allows people to chat, drink and nibble while enjoying each other’s company. Charcuterie boards often offer a mix of deli meats, cheeses, crackers, nuts, and fruit for guests to sample. It’s light fare.
Light fare is what afternoon tea was always intended to be. It is, after all, the bridge between lunch and dinner, just when those two seem so far apart that your tummy objects to the lapse in time without nourishment. Afternoon Tea was first popularized by the Duchess of Bedford. Her idea was that it would be nice to have something to eat during the long stretch in the afternoon. Once the idea took hold, it became very fashionable to have afternoon tea and it became a social affair. There are, in fact, many types of teas: cream tea, afternoon tea, and high tea to name a few. This offering pairs well with Harney & Sons Indigo Punch iced tea that we featured on our blog last month. You can read all about it here.
The Best of Both Worlds
What if the two came together? A little lighter and a bit more informal. A little less fussy perhaps. Introducing the Afternoon Tea charcuterie board. I often get a little overwhelmed with the amount of food presented at Afternoon Tea. There are typically 3-5 choices for the savories course, then the scones course with the wonderful scones, jam and clotted cream, and finally the sweets course. I have to be honest, by the time I make it to the top of the tiered tray, I am often horrendously full of tea and often too satiated to eat the sweets. I miss my favorite part. With a charcuterie board, the portions are smaller and it allows for more free-flowing conversation. Since it is a melding of two styles, you can pick and choose your favorites from each. It’s quick and easy to prepare if you happen to have unexpected company.
Our board consists of some of our favorite items from both really making it a new take on afternoon tea. We paired smoked gouda, baby brie, and swiss with some green grapes. We simplified things by purchasing white chocolate and raspberry and double chocolate scones from our local Cobs Bakery added some pecans and mini jams, fresh Ontario strawberries, some macarons and mini chocolates from our local Loblaws grocery store, and added some cucumber sandwiches we made from a recipe we discovered from the Spend With Pennies Blog. It was the perfect summer treat. We love the versatility that this concept offers.
We have included the wonderful cucumber sandwiches from www.spendwithpennies.com. We opted to cut the recipe in half and convert them from sandwiches to canapes.
Spend With Pennies Cucumber Sandwiches By Holly Nilsson
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp fresh dill chopped
- 1 tsp fresh chives chopped
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 loaf sliced bread
- With a hand mixer cream cheese and mayonnaise in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in herbs, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread bread slices with cream cheese mixture.
- Thinly slice cucumbers. Layer over half of the bread slices. Top with additional herbs if desired.
- Top with remaining bread slice, remove crusts if desired and cut each sandwich into 3 pieces.
- Serve immediately or cover and store up to 24 hours.