These Light & Refreshing Cucumber Tea Sandwiches are perfect for a tea party or a sweet afternoon brunch on the porch. They even work for a massive picnic party celebration!
Speaking of massive picnic party celebration, we celebrated National Picnic Day at our church’s “in-between” time this past Sunday. True to its name, the in-between serves as a bridge to get people stick around after Sunday school, and prior to the next service. Giving them refreshments to occupy their time “in-between” seems to work.
Our coordinator was out of town and I was assigned to help out with Sunday’s in-between. Because of it conveniently falling on National Picnic Day, I thought it would be fun to throw a picnic. The church has its own lemonade stand, so I served lemonade, chocolate chip cookies & cucumber tea sandwiches. I also whipped out some gingham tablecloths and picnic baskets to dress the tables.
Here’s a photo of the lemonade stand and half of the tent before it got super crowded.
And that’s when things went south.
But before I share with you what happened, let me defend where the idea for these sandwiches came from.
You see, over the summer, we held a mix and mingle for the wife of our new senior pastor. During that luncheon, we served a cucumber tea sandwich recipe from one of our favorite ladies, Mrs. Beverly.
The ladies LOVED those sandwiches. They were dainty, light, refreshing….the compliments were abundant. So much so that I emailed Mrs. Beverly for the recipe and decided it would be perfect for National Picnic Day. It’s relatively easy, albeit a bit time consuming with all the cucumber pulp straining that goes on, but it makes a ton of the cucumber spread filling and it seemed “picnic-y”.
I just knew they’d be a hit again.
With the ladies, perhaps yes.
With the men?
Welllll…..that got a little interesting.
From my perch, a few steps away from the lemonade stand, here’s what I overheard:
“Cucumber Sandwiches? I’ve never heard of a cucumber sandwich!”
“Man one: Look how nice the in-between looks today.
Man two: Yeah, but they have cucumber sandwiches instead of donuts. I don’t even know what’s inside a cucumber sandwich.”
Hint: a cucumber! duh.
“Cucumber Sandwich! What’s a cucumber sandwich??!! Have YOU ever heard of a CUCUMBER sandwich. Gross. I’m having a cookie!!!” -youth group member
A couple of men were brave enough to try them and commented things like “well, that’s different”, and “not too bad, would be better with some ham”.
The women, as predicted, raved over them.
“Oh, I love a good cucumber sandwich!”.
“These are so good, I think I’ll have another.”
“Aimee, are these going to be on your blog? So good!”
I’ve doubled and modified slightly the recipe I was provided from Mrs. Beverly Hammond.
- 4 large cucumbers (wash, remove ends, and cut into chunks)
- 2 whole green onions (washed, ends removed)
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (softened)
- 4 tablespoons butter (softened)
- juice of 1 lime
- salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce
- fresh dill, garnish (optional)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (if desired)
- Put the cucumber chunks (with peel and seeds) and green onion into the blender. Chop both items until only small pieces remain; then pour into a fine sieve. Strain and press until no liquid remains (this yields about 4 cups of liquid).
- Combine the cream cheese, butter, lime juice and spices until well blended. Add the relatively dry cucumber/onion pulp and mix until blended. If it’s too stiff, add small amounts of mayonnaise until the right consistency.
- Make into sandwiches: You can use the small party bread by Pepperidge Farm, or thin sliced white sandwich bread. **You can add a small spreading of mayonnaise (to keep the filling from soaking into the bread), then add the filling. You can also refrigerate the cucumber filling for a couple of hours and it will firm up as well. Cut away the crust and quarter the sandwich. Garnish with a small piece of dill.
- Store in a plastic storage container with moistened paper towels between the layers. Refrigerate up to 2 days before using, or serve immediately.
She received the recipe from Debbie Sanders who got it from Nancy Holloway. Don’t you love how church recipes just circulate and circulate?
Here’s some notes Mrs. Debbie had:
“I’m happy to share this recipe with you. I got it from our UMW member Nancy Holloway.
A couple of things I did when making a smaller batch: the small cucumbers have more flavor, a more tender peel, and smaller seeds so I try to buy a package of those whenever I can (I did not do this for the event as that was too many to process). You need to use 2 to 3 small cucumbers per 1 large. Also, the salt enhances the overall flavor so don’t omit it. Last, the Tabasco adds a lot to the flavor and I found I needed more than a drop or two. I did not use the green food coloring…it had plenty of color without it.
I put cheesecloth in a fine strainer and you must push all water out until you end with “dry” cucumber pulp. If not dry enough it will be a sloppy mess!”
So, there you have it. A cucumber sandwich recipe with mixed reviews from the men, but hands down enjoyable for the ladies.