One of the pages I follow on Facebook claims that #TeapotTuesday is a thing. We have several teapots, so I decided I'd play along, by posting literature based tea party ideas. It's too much work to do every week, but I figure I can do it once a month, until I run out of teapots to feature.
This week, we have a plain white "Betty" style teapot with teacups and plates from the "From the Deep" dinnerware collection for a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne, theme.
There are no little sandwiches at this tea party, because Nemo is described as serving no bread.
“I must say, however, that there was neither bread nor wine..."
"Amongst the dishes which were brought to us, I recognised several fish delicately dressed; but of some, although excellent, I could give no opinion, neither could I tell to what kingdom they belonged, whether animal or vegetable.”
This is a chance to be creative with seafood.
The seafood does not have to make this tea party prohibitively expensive. A couple cans and a small package of lox is all I needed to create this.
I included seaweed in our food by making sushi and using rice crackers that included tiny bits of seaweed (found in the International foods section of our regular grocery store).
"My cook is a clever fellow, who excels in dressing these various products of the ocean. Taste all these dishes. Here is a preserve of sea-cucumber, which a Malay would declare to be unrivalled in the world; here is a cream, of which the milk has been furnished by the cetacea, and the sugar by the great fucus of the North Sea; and, lastly, permit me to offer you some preserve of anemones, which is equal to that of the most delicious fruits.”
I substituted a large English cucumber for the sea-cucumber mentioned in the book. The cucumber was used both in the sushi and as a substitute for crackers or bread.
The foods served at a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea tea party do not need to have a single culture of origin, since the Nautilus travels around the world. Products of the sea are the unifying theme.
A map of Nemo's travels during the course of the book.
Homemade sushi (ours have thin strips of lightly steamed carrots, thin strips of fresh cucumber, and avocado as the filling)
Hummus with bell pepper octopus, served with sliced cucumber and rice crackers for dipping
Rice crackers with cream cheese and lox
Cucumber slices with curried shrimp
Chocolate sea shells
Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker
1 1/2 Cups sushi rice (rinsed two or three times)
2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Cook 1 1/2 cups of rice with 2 cups of water. When the machine beeps, indicating that the rice is done cooking, add the sugar, vinegar, and salt. Stir until it is all blended together. Let cool until you can handle the rice with your hands. Dampen you hands with water when handling sushi rice or sticky rice, to keep the rice from sticking to you.
3 Tablespoons of Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (I have found that it is easier to grate if frozen)
1 4-ounce can of tiny shrimp, drained
Additional cilantro leaves as garnish (optional)
Mix everything together and served on crackers or cucumber slices.
Garnish each appetizer with a single cilantro leaf (optional)
Can be made a day in advance. Refrigerate in an air-tight container and stir before using.
4-ounces of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 can (6-ounces) of crab meat, drained
dash of salt
2 boxes (15 cups each) of frozen mini fillo cups
extra green onion for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Worcestershire sauce together. Add the green onions, garlic, crab, and salt. Mix well. Place the fillo cups on a cookie sheet. Fill each cup with crab mixture and bake for 6 minutes.
Garnish with thin circles of green onion. I used three per cup.
The crab mixture could be made a day in advance and kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
“He discovered a coco-tree, beat down some of the fruit, broke them, and we drunk the milk and ate the nut with a satisfaction that protested against the ordinary food on the Nautilus.”
1 14-ounce bag of sweetened coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs whites and salt with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold egg whites into the coconut. Spoon mounds of the coconut mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch between mounds.
Bake 25 minutes.
From the 1954 Disney movie of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea