Food You can Eat: The Cucumber Tea Sandwiches That Got Me Removed From Downton

A refreshing late afternoon snack

Image via ITV. That's me on the far left and my uneaten cucumber tea sandwiches are left forefront.

Contrary to what you may have heard, I am alive and well. According to this:

I am 136 years old, which feels about right. This is the real reason why previously you haven’t heard from me in almost a century. After my return from The Great War and I got back use of my “tingling leg” I went down to the kitchens and told Mrs. Patmore and Daisy that I would provide the Wednesday cucumber tea sandwiches. Knives out. Before I knew it word got ‘round that I was motoring along and…well, you might know the rest, and I’m not one to talk about myself.

12 slices good white bread, sliced fairly thin, 1/4” is good enough

1 tub of herbed cream cheese

1 (or maybe 2) English cucumber(s). These can grow as long as a man’s arm. You’ll know them because here in America they’re usually in some kind of wrapping. Why? Because the skins are very thin so they bruise easily and a further benefit is that their seeds, such as they are, are unnoticeable.

Lay out the bread (the Downton kitchens have a special table for this; I did not know), carve 12 slices with a bayonet attachment, if you still have yours, and slice off the crusts. Smear (“schmear” is the New York term, I’ve learned) a generous helping of herbed cream cheese over 6 of the slices. Size up those 6 slices as you would a Hun trench and slice enough English cucumber in thin rounds to cover them all. Top with the other 6 slices of bread. Have Mrs. Patmore find room in the icebox to let these chill. Quarter them when you’re ready to dispatch one of the servants to serve them.

“But Mr. Crawley, this is far too much food for a Wednesday tea. I’m sure Lady Mary would only have a nibble on one—“

“Lady Mary is not only a distant cousin but my wife and let me tell you, when you get her alone she eats like a Yorkshire sow.”

“Matthew! What are you doing down here? The whole family is looking for you.”

“Mary, my beloved, I was just checking on how the tea was coming along. Shall we go upstairs?”



  1. Since it’s August, isn’t it about time to be packing up your tearful six year old and sending him off to an abusive boarding school?  Will he be allowed one of these sandwiches if he stops that womanly howling, or is he to be taught a lesson by denying him food until supper?

  2. My great grandmother always made cucumber sandwiches whenever family would come to visit. I never could get a taste for them but every time I was there I, like an Alzheimer’s patient, would try them again and would still hate  them. 

    • During our Florida trip, my bestie and I were talking about we’re that way with Cracker Barrel cornbread. Every time we’ve been there, hope springs eternal that it will actually taste good. 

      The best part? She and half the group stopped for dinner there during the drive and she told me that even though 5 hours previously we’d been bitching about how we always try it again, she said she still fucking tried it and was (OF COURSE) disappointed!

    • Maybe I worded that incorrectly. You have a loaf of good Englsh bread. From it you carve (with your bayonet attachment) 12 slices, each 1/4″ wide, so you have used 3 inches of the loaf total. 

      • neh you probably worded it right….im just dense and difficult
        to me tho 1/4  means quartered
        i dont give a shit about what you americans mean with the fancy “”” i dunno…floaty dot thingies

          • oh right…..quarter inch
            i really wish we could all get on the same page with measurements
            then we can get back to discussing the important issues
            like its not fucking aluminum
            and forts do not need holding down

            • So, I was checking the calibrations of some instruments at work recently, and I had to look up the conversion factor, because I just know approximations…
              Maybe everyone else knows this, but it turns out the official length of an inch is 25.4 millimeters.  The English system is based on the Metric system.  All those people complaining about the metric system are just using a clumsier version of it.
              I thought that was funny.

          • Somewhat related, is the 50th anniversary of the introduction of decimalization to Britain and I read this fascinating piece on it. There was an intro period where people were introduced to the new coins, and they devised tills (cash registers) with drawers for both, so if you paid with shillings you’d get new pence back…The country was completely confused of course. The timing was kind of bad because Britain was entering an inflationary period and a lot of people blamed this new “funny money” for it.


            • i lived through that shit
              but it was the fucking euro
              (which by the by…i voted against….like most of the country….but the gubment then went eh…it was just a referendum and as such not legally binding and went for it anyway)

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