I had cucumber sandwiches the first time as a little girl, about 8, at a Mother’s Day tea party. They were very good, a somewhat unusual fare to me, leaving an impression–yet for some reason, I failed to eat them again for perhaps almost a decade after, until I had read The Importance of Being Earnest. Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde and one of the funniest pieces of literature I have ever read. There’s a bit about cucumber sandwiches when the character Algernon manages to eat a platter of cucumber sandwiches prepared for a guest, and then cannot procure any more cucumbers as there are none available, “not even for ready money.”
My mother was recently telling me the ways I could use edible flowers in food preparation and mentioned a friend of hers who liked to put edible flowers on cucumber sandwiches for an added pop of color. I decided to give it a try.
My cucumber sandwich is a departure from the teatime favorite in several obvious ways, including the thickness of bread and crusts left on (I actually do despise bread crusts for being too dry but sandwiches look pathetic without them). I also prefer the skin on the cucumber–that’s where the nutrients are concentrated, and it has a nice crunch. And, since I was adding flower petals anyway, I threw on some spinach leaves as well.
The taste of petals and spinach was negligible in the mild sandwich; the creaminess of the cream cheese and butter and the refreshing melon flavor of the cucumber were chief, followed by the wheat bread taste. I enjoyed the sandwich with a cup of tea (of course!) as I listened to the audiobook The Silkworm.