Finger Foods at Tea Parties

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You're planning a tea party--good for you! But now that you've picked the tea and the tableware, you're wondering what food you should make. If you're a terribly busy person--and who isn't nowadays--you'd like to serve something that won't take much time or preparation.


The good news is that most people consider finger foods essential to a tea party. Tea sandwiches are simple to make as they are delicious to eat, and scones are another tasty classic. Include some savory finger foods and don't forget cookies for dessert.

Tea Sandwiches

  • What's a tea party without little tea sandwiches? They're remarkably easy to make and go with tea perfectly.

    Here are some suggested fillers for tea sandwiches:
    -- Cucumber (thinly sliced) and butter
    -- Cucumber (thinly sliced) and cream cheese
    -- Egg salad
    -- Chicken salad
    -- Watercress and cream cheese
    -- Thin slices of ham or turkey and cheddar cheese

    Choose white or wheat bread and spread a thin layer of whatever you've chosen. Add the top bread. Cut all crusts from the bread and cut across the sandwich diagonally so that you have four triangles.

    Make as many small sandwiches as you need, varying the ingredients. Plan on at least six triangles per person, but you may need more depending on what kind of tea you're having.

Scones and Clotted Cream

  • Scones and tea go together like nothing else. You can bake your own or buy scones from a local baker; almost all specialty markets and even some supermarkets sell scones. Most scones are fairly sweet, so they need little other than butter, or if you can find it, clotted or Devonshire cream. Purchase clotted cream from a local import shop or online. A word of warning: be sure to put the cream in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before the party so it is ready to use. It spoils easily, even in the refrigerator, so be sure to use it up within a week.

    Plan on one to two scones per person, depending on the size of the scone.

Savory Snacks

  • Add some savory snacks to your tea. Deviled eggs, mini quiches and popovers can appease hunger while sipping tea. Or plan on a plate of crudites with buttermilk or ranch dressing for dipping.

    Have at least six savory snacks per person.

Just Desserts

  • Don't forget dessert! Cookies and shortbread go wonderfully with tea. Try chocolate dipped shortbread (purchased or make your own), almond cookies, linzer cookies, or even a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies.

    Plan on three or four cookies or small desserts per person.

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References

  • Tea Party Recipes
  • The Book of Afternoon Tea, Lesley Macley, 1992
  • Biscuits and Scones,http://write.demandstudios.com/edit.php?articleid=665683 Elizabeth Alston, 1988
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