Posted by Hil on December 14, 1997 at 17:42:34:
In response to Cucumber sandwiches, written by Mark on December 12, 1997 at 17:40:55
] ] ] I don't know a lot about cucumber sandwiches, but I think, like watercress sandwiches, they're consider a dainty thing, ladies tea, that kind of connotation.
] Trust me, they are not considered dainty things, at least not in England twenty years ago when I was there.
'I am a creature of my Pen, Mr Ash, my Pen is the best of me, and I enclose a poem, in earnest of my great goodwill towards you. Now would you not rather have a Poem, however imperfect, than a plate of cucumber sandwiches, however delicately salted, however exquisitely fine-cut? You know you would, and so would I.
And you send a poem,, and observe wisely that poems are worth all the cucumber-sandwiches in the world. So they are indeed - and yours most particularly - but you may imagine the perversity of the poetic imagination and its desire to feed on imagined cucumber-sandwiches, which, since they are positively not to be had, it pictures to itself as a form of English manna - oh the perfect green circles - oh the delicate hint of salt - oh the fresh pale butter - oh above all, the soft white crumbs and golden crust of the new bread - and thus, as in all aspects of life, the indefatigable fancy idealises what could be snapped up and swallowed in a moment's restrained greed, in sober fact.
But you must know that I am happy to forgo the sandwiches, dreamed or soberly chewed, for your delightful poem-'
They forgot the pepper, but what more enticing recipe could we want, and how better could the daintiness and exquisiteness be implied?
I too lived in England and Scotland 20 years ago, and as far as I know, (truckies aside - they are a law unto themselves), cucumber sandwiches have always been a delicasy served especially at High Teas. And if we want a more modern confirmation, Bernie and Kali had High Tea, complete with cucumber sandwiches, at the Ritz in London this summer past.
As for variations, I am partial to cucumber and hummus sandwiches, and I think they are immeasurably improved if you use Lebanese cucumbers!
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