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Picture of victorian ladies in costume
Yesterday was the first hot, sunny day in England for about 2 years, so I'm inspired to share the ulitmate summer garden party dish: cucumber sandwiches.

This is a recipe from Mrs Beeton, my favourite Victorian. She first published her book of Household Management in 1861, and it's been a smash hit ever since. My copy, from the 1920s has 1680 pages and includes tips on how to choose a gas cooker (recently invented), and how to manage the servants (can't get the staff).

She also has a recipe for cucumber sandwiches, and being the most famous English, Victorian cook ever, she should jolly well know.


1 large, fresh cucumber (the long English sort, of course)
creamed butter
good white, or brown bread
salad oil (I compromise and use virgin olive oil)
vinegar or lemon juice

Mrs Beeton's Cucumber Sandwich Making Instructions

Picture of cucumber slices
"Peel the cucumber, slice it thinly, season liberally with salt, drain on a hair sieve for 1 hour, and dry thoroughly. Now put it into a basin and sprinkle with pepper, salad-oil, lemon juice or vinegar, liberally or otherwise, according to taste.

Have ready some thin slices of bread and butter, and stamp out some rounds of suitable size, place slices of cucumber between 2 rounds of bread, and press the parts well together.

Dish slightly overlapping each other in a circle, on a folded napkin, and serve garnised with parsley."

Party on and don't forget the Pimm's.



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