Nowadays when you are invited to a wedding or baby shower it is often held at a restaurant or catering hall. Considering the guest list this sometimes seems the best way to accommodate the crowd. Refreshments are served by employees of the establishment or perhaps cafeteria style. While all of this is convenient for the organizers, it is expensive and somewhat impersonal. That is why I recommend considering the option of an old fashioned wedding shower.
My grandmother, Elizabeth, prepared the wedding reception dinners for both of her daughters’ weddings. She also hosted many showers in her day. What could be better than a home cooked comfort foods to celebrate such special occasions in our lives?
Elizabeth always enjoyed cooking and baking for her family and friends. Her presentation was as elegant as the food was delicious. The menu was simple: fruit cup with frosted grapes, tea sandwiches, cucumber salad, German potato salad, Kiffle cookies and a decorated pound cake.
I have vivid memories of the wedding shower my grandmother had for my sister Sue. It was small enough that we all sat at the dining room table. The table was set with a lace tablecloth and Elizabeth’s best antique china. She used her cranberry glassware to serve the fruit cup and champagne. Each place setting was decorated with a delicate old fashioned chocolate cup filled with lilies of the valley picked from her garden.
When you begin to plan a wedding shower perhaps you will consider quality instead of quantity. Invite just a handful of people and make the effort to create a special luncheon which will live on in the memories of your guests for years to come. I hope you enjoy my grandmother’s special recipes below!
Below are 3 of the 6 tea sandwich recipes my grandmother always made. She recommends using Pepperidge Farm white bread.
Chicken Salad: Take a small chicken (about 3 pounds) or just use breasts and put it in a pot with about 3 quarts of water. Add 2 carrots cut into 3” pieces, 1 onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 stalk celery cut into 3” pieces, sprig of thyme and parsley, 2 cloves, 1 tablespoon salt and a sprinkle of pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken.
Use 1 cup of chicken breast cut into small pieces, add ¼ cup finely chopped celery, 1 teaspoon finely grated onion, ¼ cup Miracle Whip salad dressing thinned with a little milk. Toss together. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread over white bread. Cut sandwich into 3 “fingers.”
Cucumber: Lightly salt thinly sliced cucumber. Butter white bread and place a thin layer of cucumber to make a delicate sandwich. Cut sandwich into 3 “fingers.”
Date and Nut: Use 1 or 2 cans of date and nut bread. Cut into 1/4” slices. Spread 1 slice with cream cheese and top with a second slice to make a sandwich. Cut in half to make half circles. Simple but delicious!
Take a large cucumber, peel and slice thinly. Put into a bowl and salt lightly. Leave stand for about ½ an hour. Then press the slices between your hands to press out all of the water. Put the pressed slices into a bowl and add ½ tablespoon minced onions, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, and a heaping tablespoon of sour cream. Mix well. Sprinkle with paprika and serve. This looks so elegant served in a pretty cut glass bowl!
Carrie J. Gamble