Naughty Habits High Tea @ the Nunnery

Missy B was performing in a festive concert last weekend, so we got the family along en masse to cheer her on. I decided I wasn’t busy enough, what with the new job, Christmas round the corner, etc, etc, so I embarked upon a genteel high tea for Grandma & Grandpa Battenburg, Uncle Nick and Roxane. As well as the various special needs mentioned in previous posts, Uncle Nick has now been advised to steer clear of dairy products. I nearly uninvited him, but he promised he wouldn’t throw a hissy fit about a bit of cheese/cream/butter on special occasions. Thank the lord for that. I mostly went dainty, but I never quite get these sausage rolls small enough to fall into that category. It’s still an aspiration, but actually I don’t really care – they are so so so unspeakably delicious. All gone by Monday, when they really should have lasted the week. For the non-vegetarians, I did your basic sausage roll, with some cranberries for a festive twist. And for N & R, I did a cheesy, walnuty version, with a hint of soy sauce. I liked these, but I LOVED the others.

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I was a bit over-excited about having a defrosted freezer, so I made a plentiful supply of pastry to see us through the festive season. For high tea, we started with these cute little cucumber sandwiches. I was very pleased with the bread – Richard Bertinet’s pain de mie. It does seem a bit odd to put a tray on top of your loaves to stop them rising, but you get a good sandwich shaped loaf, which was light and lovely. Thanks to Nick for sous cheffing on these.

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I also made little baked potatoes filled with smoked salmon, smoked mackerel paté on melba toasts with a little slice of beetroot and these endive leaves filled with lime, ginger & chilli flavoured crab. Grandpa “I don’t like fish” Battenburg wolfed a couple of those down without any apparent difficulty.

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Also not dainty: these scones. Another Bertinet special – they were delicious and very light. I took the left overs to work the next day and endeared myself to the team. We had extended debates at Battenburg Towers and at work about the correct order of applying the clotted cream and jam. I am definitely in the cream first then jam camp. Roxane was horrified at the amount of cream the English consider necessary on a scone.

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I did feel a bit sorry for Missy B with her hummus sandwich and apple at her rehearsal…

It also seemed like a good time to make an actual Battenburg again: managed to sneak off in time to join Jenny at her birthday party at the fantastic Nitty Gritty night at the Constitution in Camden, so I took a couple of slices for her. 

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Fantastic to go out and have a good old dance, especially after eating so much in the afternoon!

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