need ideas for serving an elegant but inexpensive menu for an afternoon tea type party at home
I'm looking for ideas for what to serve and where to get it for about 50 people for a baby welcoming party. I'm hoping to keep the costs down to about 8. person or less and preferably- elegant but cheap is the idea- there will be adults and some young children.
Well, didn't they serve cucumber sandwiches during "high tea" ? Not sure what a crumpet is but I guess you could serve them.
I think I would go with assorted little triangle sandwiches and assorted pastries. I would make one of the pastries lemon bars. cream puffs would be nice and pretty easy.
You could even get those puff pastry bowls in the frozen food section and fill them with fruit, curd, pudding.
I would serve them all on 3 tier tidbit trays like these: http://www.google.com/images?q=3+tier...
re: Hank Hanover
Hank, a crumpet is similar to an english muffin, but it looks like the "holey" side of a pancake on both sides. They are usually served warm with butter, jam or clotted cream.
To add to the sandwich list, I'd also suggest tuna salad and chicken salad, goat cheese and chive, cream cheese and smoked salmon. Try to chop everything fairly small, you don't want chunky fillings for tea sandwiches.
When I make something like cucumber or radish sandwiches, I'll whip up a few compound butters like anchovy butter, lemon and chive butter, port-fig butter. They should be at room temp before spreading on the slices, you're less likely to tear the bread.
I think the key is simplicity (for you), and for your mixed crowd. Have some savory sandwiches and some nice sweets as well. My nana served cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sands, and cream-cheese-and-olive sands at tea. Occasionally, smoked salmon would come into the mix, but rarely. She also served killer shortbread cookies and jam "thumbprint cookies", and had both traditional (darjeeling) and savory (lapsang) teas at the ready. Keep it simple, and have fun.
You can update the tea sandwich idea with Hy Roller bread and make pinwheel sandwiches.
Or you could do a tapas bar selection of appetizers.
Or did you want an entree type meal?
Here's a menu that I did for a tea party/brunch
Whole Grain Bread
Prosciutto & Arugula
Gravlax with Dill Honey Mustard
Tarragon Chicken Salad
Whole Wheat Bread
* * *
English Bacon Mini Baguettes
* * *
Sweet Cream and Jam
Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze
You may want to fill some of the finger sandwiches with peanut butter & jelly, or tuna fish for the young children who will be there. (When my son was a pre-schooler, he attended a birthday party of a friend whose mother was British. Rather than serving pizza, which was pretty much the ubiquitous fare at birthday parties, the mother served PB&J and tuna fish finger sandwiches -- cut into little triangles, with the crust cut off. I thought it was brillant.)