While bakers like Suzi and I choose the sweetness of cookies and cakes, our catering partner, Kristin, is the chief of Team Savory. She can always be relied on for gorgeous soups, delicate yet memorable sandwiches, and entrees that are on everyone’s lists of perennial favorites. Her shepherd’s pie and macaroni and cheese are nothing short of legendary.
For afternoon tea menus, we try to balance the sweet and savory items to achieve a pleasing whole. Previously, I used to favor the sweet side of the menus simply because I enjoyed creating the miniature jewel-like fancies that crown the top of the 3-tiered server. That said, the older I get, the less I want to eat so many sweets and would rather graze the savory course. When going out for afternoon tea, we’ve tended to take most of the sweets “to go” as we have eaten more of the scones and sandwiches. I am recognizing the deep contributions of our Team Savory.
Moving forward in tea menu planning, we’ll be looking for ways to beef up, pardon the pun, our savory offerings. One easy way to get more umami into our menus is to add a savory scone. Even sweet scone aficionados find these scones delicious and now count them on their list of favorites. A wonderful intersection of sweet and savory happens when jalapeno jelly is served with them.
Here at My Tea Planner, we have many recipes at all skill levels for sweet and savory foods that will enliven your tea menus and spark your imagination. As we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in March, check out our proposed Irish-American menu here, St. Patrick's Day menu and browse our sandwich, savory tart, salad, and spread recipes.
In preparing for this blog, I came up with a list of foods that could be modified or miniaturized to fit into a tea menu with the thought that I would do some recipe testing and photos of any good ones. My guiding thought was, would Team Savory approve of this dish? With that in mind, here is my rough list: miniature British pork pies, small empanadas or samosas, Scotch eggs made from quail eggs, cheese and cornichon sandwiches, and individual shepherd’s pies.
However, before I could launch my testing project, I got the news that our captain of Team Savory, Miss Kristin, will be departing Northern California for the east coast. I’m glad we don’t have any big tea parties scheduled as it will be impossible to replace her. While we are so happy that she is starting a brand-new adventure, she will be sorely missed during fun catering times and all the other extremely fun times between tea parties. From everyone on Teams Savory & Sweet, at Dancing Starfish Ranch, and all the friends in NorCal, we wish Kristin bon voyage!