Summer has come, and with it wedding season, so you must brush up on cucumber sandwiches. These exclusively summer dainties come our way from England, where they are mandated for those incredibly fussy and rapacious high teas you read about in Edwardian novels. Similarly, we serve cucumber sandwiches for gatherings where decorum rules (however ostensibly), at social luncheons, cocktail (i.e. happy) hour on the patio, and of course those inevitable wedding rehearsals and receptions. Offering cucumber sandwiches at a kegger is the epitome of gauche.
Do not use those elongated green zeppelins you’ll find in the local grocery; your sandwiches will become soggy before making it to the table. Go to the farmers’ market and select the larger cukes, even if they’re a bit yellow, as long as they’re firm. These should be partially peeled and sliced as thinly as possible; use a mandolin. Refrigerate and drain.
When it comes to cucumber sandwiches, cast your concern for your colon to the winds and concentrate instead upon looks. Use the best white bread you can find, and trim the crusts. Some prefer cutting into squares, some triangles. While the Brits use a butter spread, our warmer climate requires a more stable blend of cream cheese and mayonnaise (3:1). Season with dill, a little lime or lemon, white pepper, and fine salt.