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WASP-y recipes for Badminton picnic outing

Hi all,

My friend is having a badminton picnic, and requiring us to all wear white. This sounds like a very waspy thing to do, and as such I would like to bring a dish that conveys that sentiment.

Being non-wasp, I'm not sure what's appropriate. In my mind its some sort of crustless finger sandwich so as not to get your whites dirty.

Any suggestions?



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  1. Martinis.

    And whatever food you bring, make sure that there isn't quite enough to feed everyone.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rubymydear


      Chicken salad w/dried cranberries on white bread if you must. I'd rather take mini-croissants and fill them on site.


      1. re: laliz

        Thermos container of white clam chowder

      2. re: rubymydear

        Remember that the key parts of WASP are the Anglo-Saxon Protestant (white is redundant.) So think of what the English would serve. Small cucumber sandwiches on crustless white bread would be perfect. Here's one variation:

        Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwiches

        1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
        2 tablespoons unsalted butter
        2 tablespoons cream cheese
        6 slices of bread
        3-inch length of cucumber

        If you use dill instead of mint, you'll have what we WASP southerners call a benedictine.

        Also consider potted shrimps:

        100g/4oz butter
        2 blades of mace
        a good pinch of cayenne pepper
        freshly grated nutmeg
        570ml/1 pint peeled brown shrimps
        6tbsp clarified butter

        1. Put the butter, mace, cayenne pepper and a little grated nutmeg into a medium-sized pan and leave to melt over a gentle heat.
        2. Add the peeled shrimps and stir over the heat for a couple of minutes until they have heated through, but don't let the mixture boil.
        3. Remove the mace and divide the shrimps and butter between 6 small ramekins. Level the tops and then leave them to set in the fridge.
        4. Spoon over a thin layer of clarified butter and leave to set once more. Serve with plenty of brown toast or crusty brown bread.

        If you get warm playing badminton and you're a racy set, it is acceptable to serve whiskey and soda. Just think to yourself, what would Gatsby serve to impress his neighbors?

        1. re: rubymydear

          OMG how true!!! As a second generation Irish American, running out of food while people are your guests is a horror beyond imagination! We always had waaaayyyy too much when people came over. The only other close seconds were our Italian American friends...same shame factor. I thought everyone was the same way. Until I had friends whose parents cooked miserly portions. They were nearly always WASPS! I'll never forget going to someone's house and they were serving a roast chicken. One roast chicken for 15 people. About a pound of mashed potatoes, and a small bowl of green beans were the sides. I think I got the lower half of a chicken wing and 2 green beans. For breakfast the next morning the mom scrambled 6 eggs for 8 of us. We each got a half a slice of toast to go with them. Needless to say, McDonalds was the first stop on the way home!
          Rubymydear, that is too funny!

        2. Deviled eggs. You may add curry powder to the yolk mix and garnish with major grays chutney.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ginnyhw

            Deviled eggs are an excellent idea :)

            Hmmm...on the tackier end of waspy food:

            Potato salad - loaded with mayo of course
            Macaroni salad
            Jello salad - perhaps a savory one with lime with cottage cheese, onion and celery - bonus points for a big elaborate mould, or sweet: red jello, canned fruit salad mixed in.

            I'd love to know how this turns out. Update us after the badminton party please :)

            1. re: maplesugar

              Definitely on the jello salad! My WASP mom's favorite is pastel green (oh, how appetizing!) with canned fruit and served with a dollop of mayonaisse on top.

          2. This idea made me think less, WASP and more British summer house party fare...watercress and cucumber sandwiches, maybe a Hunter Sandwich for the gentlemen (Two Fat Ladies cookbook has a super recipe) scones ( there are a multitude of variations), Stilton and biscuits, Banbury Cake, Empire Biscuits, boiled raisin cake, Pims Cup, Earl Gray Tea.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LJS

              That's what I was thinking too. And yes - definitely Pimm's.

            2. A pitcher of very dry martinis, darling, of course. And a jar of olives.

              1. pimm's cup with cucumber stirring stick, cuke and butter tea sandwiches.

                and you wasp-bashers, you are confusing cheap people for wasps.
                southerner wasps are never chinchy with food. i can't speak for yankee wasps.
                and give me a good "tacky" (!) potato salad any day.


                14 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  Actually, I'm married to a wasp, so no bashing here!

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Sorry tacky was the wrong word.

                    Canadian wasp here...In my defense I was thinking of the grocery store potato salad served at many picnics in my youth... the kind with pimento and rubber eraser like egg bits in it. ick.

                    1. re: maplesugar

                      maplesugah, honey child, all sins forgiven if you were talking about grocery store tub-o-mayo potato salad. ;-)

                      1. re: maplesugar

                        diane in bexley, being in london (?) i would guess you would know wasp.
                        but. pesto? remoulade? nope, not wasp. (as much as i love them, esp. the remoulade with some nice big gulf shrimp, peeled, but tail on for dragging through the sauce!)

                        1. re: alkapal

                          mmm, but UK members are a bit more ur-WASP than the US variant, while having similar influences there's a somewhat different result.

                          so, remoulade, no, but rather horseradish and ketchup, yes.

                          (either one is fine with me if the shrimp's good)

                          I love pesto, but that's not WASPy at all it's unless spread so thin as to be inascertainable.

                          (Not on message) pesto shrimp cocktail, the crop's gonna die soon...

                          1. re: hill food

                            hill, what's an "ur-WASP"?

                            and i'm down with the cocktail sauce for the shrimp.

                            1. re: alkapal

                              ur: the prototype, the standard by which all variations are judged.

                              in the US only found in certain enclaves, tends towards the endocentric. frightens easily when out of familiar or fabricated circumstances.

                              and my pesto comment was a reminder to self regarding the basil out back.

                              1. re: hill food

                                but the rec was not ur-wasp despite being from diane in bexley. and we are just assuming (and we know what that means!) diane is a wasp just because she is in the u.k.! < i observe astutely that diane is stayin' outta this one. ;-)>

                                and "Ur" of the Chaldees was Abraham's birthplace. what language is your ur?

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  I've see it used this way:

                                  ur- (o-or)

                                  original, primitive

                                  Etymology: Ger: akin to Goth us, ON ōr, out of, from, OE or-, early"

                                  pronounced "er" or "oor" not an acroynym or a txt abb.

                                  1. re: hill food

                                    so..."out of WASP" or "early-WASP"?
                                    if it doesn't fit, you must acquit! ;-)

                      2. re: alkapal

                        "southerner wasps are never chinchy with food." Right about that, kid. In fact, when I saw this post, the first thing I thought of was the homemade stuff from some very elegant kitchens available in the food tent at fancy horse events. My favorite was the very no-nonsense chicken salad we had at the only Grand Prix I ever got to, in Williamson County, TN - just perfectly poached chicken (light AND dark, thank you very much!), skinned and cut into chunks of exactly the right size, lightly seasoned, with just enough mayonnaise to bind. No apples, nuts, or any of that fancy stuff. Served on home-baked white bread. A perfect example of how some folks won't go all la-di-da on you just because they have money.

                        Although I'd be willing to bet it was the cook that did the work...

                        1. re: alkapal

                          Another southern wasp here and loving it. Always have way-way too much food on southern wasp tables.
                          If I had to pick a southern wasp finger food, I would serve angel bisbuits with hand-carved ham slices topped with homemade mayo and homemade honey mustard. This would go well with alkapal's "tacky" potato salad. Yum.

                          1. re: Pampatz

                            Southern WASPs obviously very very different from most northern ones ...

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              Go check out a tailgate spead at an SEC football game this fall. Talk about tables groaning!

                        2. Sincere apologies for taking this discussion into juvenile territory. To atone, I will offer some more useful suggestions:

                          Crab salad
                          Sidecars (1 1/2 oz brandy, 1/2 oz Triple Sec, 1/2 oz lemon or lime Juice)

                          And, if this is at all possible, a clambake.

                          1. Thinking that cheese straws or biscuits, anything with pimento cheese spread would be very WASPy, or is that Southern WASPy? As tomatoes are in season, canapes of Pepperidge Farm dense white bread, spread with pesto flavored mayonnaise, thick slice of roma tomato would also be WASPy. Finger sandwiches would also work very well. Look up canapes in books like Joy of Cooking or Fannie Farmer for inspiration. Also, spicy boiled shrimp in shells with remoulade sauce seems pretty WASPy to me.

                            1. anything simple to the point of bland and appears as if made with no effort. absolutely NO tableside prep.

                              plenty of decent liquor.

                              I appreciate all heritages and have no qualms with a bit of fun being poked at mine, but as Alkapal points out WASP doesn't always equate cheap. sometimes frugal in unpredictable ways, sometimes a fixation on something often considered cheap but done well. as in stupidly boring chicken salad at Grandmother's correct country club or "my kids go to the right schools, but I drive a used Buick. my shoes are worn out, but dangit we live in the 'right' zip code."

                              so bring on the deviled eggs and potato salad (but I'd shake it up with more of an ali-oli than mayo - still got that rebel teen streak a million years late)

                              1. watercress crustless sandwiches, gin and tonics using "Old Raj" brand gin

                                1. Hi all!

                                  Thanks for all the suggestions, and the hilarious posts. I decided to go with a variation of TNExplorer's recipe of cucumber sandwiches, adding abit of sprouts to the mix.

                                  I used one loaf of Arnold country white bread. Not knowing how many people are attending, this could fall on either side of inadequate or adequate quantities. Either way, it sounds like I can play it to my advantage.

                                  1. A true WASP would be having this catered and not asking people to bring food.
                                    Sniff. Harumph.

                                    1. Badminton whites. Reminds me of suffering with tennis white's at Essex County Club, the f**king fox hunts interrupting golf at Myopia Hunt Club, and the bocce protocol at The County Club in Brookline, followed by pimento cheese sandwiches, eaten with upward-pointed pinkie. It made me wish I was at Katz's with a reticulated jaw like a snake, gnawing into a thick pastrami and chopped liver on rye. I never should have been born a protestant...

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        Wow, this brings back memories, having lived on the North Shore of BOS in the early 80's. We had many a great tailgate at Myopia Polo, and just laughed at all the stuck-up lock-jaws who showed up there. Going back 10 more years, the deli scene in Boston was somewhat of a novelty, with the Bulkie and Jack & Marion's leading the pack. Thx for the memories!

                                        1. re: HSBSteveM

                                          I add in the most reverent, sincere sense that these golf venues have hosted 7 US Opens and numerous other world-class events, over the last 126 years, including our amazing Ryder Cup in 99. Justin Leonard's winning putt on 17, ten pro's couldn't make with a bucket of balls.
                                          Good luck in Valhalla ,KY, next week, guys!

                                        2. re: Veggo

                                          hey veggo, even us WASPS can enjoy a juicy katz's pastrami on rye, now! even without the reticulated jaw. i wish i could post a drawing of veggo's word picture. maybe i will (if mr. alka doesn't kick me off of the mac) ;-D

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            This is a cool topic and makes me proud to be a WASP Texan! Some of us do have reti ..cu...lated (damn that's hard to spell), jaws. We do not skimp on food! Potato salad, pimento cheese sandwiches (with crust removed) and deviled eggs!

                                          2. veggo, my insomnia permitted me to create the sketch of your waspy-reticulated jaw self at katz's deli eating pastrami on rye....

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              Extremely funny! My first laugh of the day after a poor round of golf this morning. It appears that I'm choking down my third sandwich. And you guessed right about the bow tie. (Yes, I tie my own). My own personal Guernica, memorializing the horrors of waspdom. Can I purchase an artist's proof ?...;)

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                The first two are waiter and cashier. It's also a good likeness because it is a tall snake.
                                                Would you rather be Latino?

                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                  Actually, when I'm living in Latin America, I get a kick out of how often latinas in grocery stores ask for my assistance reaching all the good produce way in the back of the bins that the shorter shoppers haven't been able to reach all day. I'm delighted to help. Their little kids in tow stare at me like I'm a freak of nature.

                                                2. re: Veggo

                                                  veg, i'd be happy to send you the drawing; let me know. i *assumed* about the bow tie from certain folks who i knew from my college and law firm days that were uber-waspy. they also over-used the "alligator" (with the collar up, fer sure). gosh, maybe i should start bustin' them out! i love chowhound!

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    Ms. Alka, please e-mail me so I can send you a post-paid envelope. Thanks for the gesture!

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      veggo (love the new avatar; it looks like me eating a bunch of my mom's porcupine meatballs! we too love chippies around our yard. they are so cute. have you seen them rush a big bird from their territory where breadcrumbs are thrown? they're really fast!) i emailed you at VFL12 (at) earthlink.net to send you the reticulated jaw snake-veggo to get an address. right/wrong?

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        I did e-mail you back; Sept 9 at 9:52 am. I'll reply again, and I'll pass your compliments on the avatar along to my brother, who took the photo.
                                                        EDIT: I just re-sent the e-mail reply. Again, thanks!

                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                          it will be on its way. btw, we always played ellenton in the far reaches of our n. ft. myers high school "red knights" football. we lost, of course!

                                                3. The hell would I know? I'm a YJAB. Actually, small ham & cheese sandwiches w/ a bit of cucumber, lettuce, and tomato, dab of mayo. Good, pricey ingredients, but tiny sandwiches.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                    Y? Japenese A? Baptist?

                                                    please do share:)

                                                    1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                                                      Yellow (although I never really got this assignment of color) Japanese American Buddist.

                                                  2. Since the OP requested "...so as not to get your whites dirty", I fear we have neglected the importance of the appropriate service implements:


                                                    12 Replies
                                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                                      plastic?! foodfuser, you should know only silver (or -plate) will do! try these (with a second mortgage - or govt. bailout): http://www.goantiques.com/detail,engl...

                                                      but there is something very wrong with this concept: http://www.sterlingsilvertoothpicks.com/

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        I have a set of 6 tiny sterling forks, about 3 inches long, and I often carry one in a coat pocket to social functions. When the shrimp or the bacon-wrapped livers/scallops outlast the toothpicks or other spearing devices, wasps are too polite to go after them with their hands. At that point, they're all mine.

                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                          Whilst I respect your and alkapal's sentiments on the silver, those tiny forks offer no competitive grazing advantage when the buffet tables are crowded.

                                                          Thus, the tool preferred above all:


                                                          1. re: FoodFuser

                                                            Amusing and perhaps practical, but a little garish and a bit aggressive for a wasp event...better suited for an all-you-can-eat chinese restaurant buffet.

                                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                                              foodfuser, that is necessary to get the best canapes and apps, as those are typically high, in the middle of the big round table, or far away on the back of the table against the wall.

                                                          2. re: alkapal

                                                            No, they're twist action (extending/retracting). Probably self cleaning...ugh.
                                                            I want a spring-loaded one where it will jab the food for you.

                                                            1. re: Scargod

                                                              or those around you trying to get to the food first.

                                                            2. re: alkapal

                                                              As I am a veteran of a marriage to a Southern Division WASP I contend that the silver must be heirloom, each piece accompanied by a clever anecdote about the ancestor whose initials are engraved upon them that will get repeated... every...single...time...they are used. Oh, how I flared my nostrils gently with amusement each time I heard those tales.

                                                              1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                "flared nostrils with amusement" is something with which i am unfamiliar, but would quite like to see! ;-)

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  I'm sitting here trying to do it -- gently -- I must look demented.

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    Just think smug thoughts and it will happen naturally.....

                                                            3. Dry martini's all around/with olives,
                                                              and maybe make egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches - update them a bit with ingredients like curry, and apple/dried cherry. Or make little filo cups and fill them with your salads.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                curry and fruit in the salad?

                                                                I don't think so.

                                                                but I'm with you on the martini's as long it's in a tent or duskish - after all if the good lord meant for us to drink in the noon day sun, we'd never have had venetian blinds.

                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                  You've never had dried cherry or apple in chicken salad? You shoud try it.
                                                                  And I also make another chicken salad with curry, or maybe you thought I meant all together. Or do you mean for a WASP-y party? Did you see my offer to update it a bit, or maybe you don't think that is a good idea?

                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                    apple in a chicken salad goes back as far as I can remember and I think that goes back to the creation of dirt. I'm just not a fan of pouring on the mayo, though. I like to see a light sesame kind of dressing; though that might not be true to the WASP style...

                                                                2. This has made me realize that I have no idea what a WASP menu would be. I have lived in the South, the Northwest, and now the Midwest, and the food is so different everywhere. Is this more of a class distinction? Because the food at a Baptist church in Georgia is a world away from a Baptist church in Oregon. So, are we just talking country club set?

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: gridder

                                                                    no, it is not just country club. although baptists in georgia (and south carolina, north carolina, tennessee, alabama and virginia are probably the best cooks of the wasps). <just kidding..... and..... ducking fast!>

                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      I'm willing to be contradicted, but my observation is that wasps south of the Mason-Dixon will lick their fingers after a delicious hand-held morsel, whereas northern wasps will pass the opportunity.

                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        We're not so hotsy-totsy. We will eat with our hands.... and say things like, "just throw me a piece of that, will ya?"

                                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                                          region is significant, and some will pull religion as well. class, not so much as long as you came from the 'right' people - meaning we know them back a few generations.

                                                                          fruit in a chicken salad? - sorry chef chicklet, only at a Bridge party in my Grandmother's book. (don't let her deal)