Do you know what this is? It is a vintage 1950′s kitchen gadget called the “Slice-A-Slice.” You place a slice of bread in it, close it and move a knife down between the two sides which guide the cutting of the bread into two very thin slices for tea sandwiches. I found it at a garage sale at a mission that was closing. What a find! I love tea sandwiches and after having tea last week at the Crest Hill Antiques Tea Room in The Plains, VA, I was inspired to make some for our Teacher Meeting Potluck. What impressed me the most about the Tea Room was that as soon as we ordered, the hostess gathered the sandwich ingredients to make our sandwiches, right then, not from a tray of sandwiches made up earlier that morning or Heaven knows when. Now that is fresh! I have this old Southern recipe from back in my officer wife tea days, for a Cheese Ring which is essentially shredded cheese mixed with chives and mayonnaise, molded into a ring with a small cup of strawberry jelly in the center, served with buttery crackers. But I took this recipe and modified it for a tea sandwich.
1. Use the freshest bread
2. Always cut off the crusts, unless using a crusty artisan bread
3. Use a serrated knife in gentle sawing motions
4. Cover sandwiches with moistened paper towels then plastic wrap to keep fresh if serving later
5. If using very moist fillings then spread the inner sides of the bread with a thin layer of butter or cream cheese.
6. Only use “Slice-A-Slice” on bread for tea sandwiches that have more solid fillings such as lunch meats, cheese slices, cucumber, or smoked salmon. A moist filling will make very thin bread soggy unless using a hefty pumpernickel or party rye.
Cheese and Chive Tea Sandwiches are very delicate and delicious. The mild chive lends a slight onion taste while the strawberry jelly gives a surprising sweetness to this otherwise savory sandwich. Most will be pleased with the simple balance. These sandwiches travel well and do not get soggy. Try this little sandwich in place of the ever popular cucumber or smoked salmon tea sandwich.
Cheese and Chive Tea Sandwiches
1 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar or jack cheese (or blended)
2 T. fresh chopped chives
1/3 cup mayonnaise
pinch kosher salt
2 pinches fresh cracked black pepper
8 slices fresh bread (I used honey wheat)
In a small bowl mix the first five ingredients well. Divide evenly, and spread on four slices of bread. On the remaining slices spread a very thin layer of strawberry jelly. Place those slices on top of cheese slices and cut off crusts. Cut into four triangles. “Slice-A-Slice” not required. You may get one more sandwich out of this depending on how thick you spread the cheese. Makes 16 triangles or serves 4-8.
Note- I usually purchase strawberry preserves and empty contents of jar into a bowl and puree with my immersion blender (my kids have texture issues). But this technique also makes spreading this type of preserve much easier. I think it tastes better too. It reminds me of the old fashioned jellies made back in the day when the women did not use pectin. You will find this to be a bit syrupy but we like it that way. When put in a squirt bottle, it makes PBJ sandwich making a cinch!
PS- The “Slice-A-Slice” can occasionally be found on e-Bay.
Goodbye Tastespotting you will be missed!