Thursday, April 21, 2016

Benedictine Spread

Out of the blue, my youngest son said to me, “Mom, you're not a girly girl.”

I was crushed! I mean, I thought I was girly. I cook. I stitch. I try to knit. I do girl stuff. I looked at him, shoulders raised, palms up, and said, “What do I look like, Andrew, someone who could change a truck tire?”

"”Yeah, mom,” he said, “I really think you could.” It was a compliment.

When you've raised two boys, battled three bouts of cancer, spent a lot of time on your own, and even more time as a round-the-clock caregiver, you become pretty tough out of necessity. But still, I thought I was girly.

Where am I going with this you ask? Back to my early, girly-girl days when I had a pink room with pink and white furniture, lace curtains, ruffled dresses, and loved attending wedding showers that my mother seemed to host with great frequency. I loved the packages and ribbons and ladies, the blushing bride, glasses of punch, and fancy little sandwiches. A shower was not a shower without ribbon sandwiches. Remember those? A loaf of bread with crusts removed, sliced into three sections, slathered with two different fillings, put back together again, iced with a third filling, and then sliced? Those fascinated me, and were my first experience with Benedictine Spread, that often made up one of the layers or the frosting on the outside. It tasted fresh and delicate, and I felt like such a girly girl!

Showers haven't been the same in decades, but I still think of Benedictine Spread every time spring comes and wedding season begins. This recipe is one of my own, based upon years of tasting and experimentation. It is very forgiving, so add or subtract anything you like. It works well in ribbon sandwiches, individual tea sandwiches, piped into black olives, or onto slices of cucumber. It just tastes like spring!
Benedictine Spread

3 scallions (with tops)
1 garlic clove, roughly diced
8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tablespoon Duke's mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
Dash of Crystal hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dense white sandwich bread

Cut cucumbers and scallions into quarters and place in a food processor. Add diced garlic and puree until combined thoroughly.

Place the puree in a fine mesh sieve to drain off excess liquid, pressing against it with a rubber spatula to facilitate draining.

Place the cucumber mixture back in the food processor and add the remaining ingredients, and puree until combined. Spread onto crustless slices of bread to make tea sandwiches, or pipe onto slices of cucumber. Serve immediately.

*If you don’t use Melissa’s that, with their thin skin, do not require peeling, use one medium cucumber (that you will need to peel) and remove seeds by cutting the peeled cucumber in half and scraping out the seeds with a spoon or the small side of a melon baller.

This post is linked to:
Five Star Frou-Frou,


Ivy, Phyllis and Me! said...

Good Afternoon Pattie, I love that your sandwiches are called 'ribbon' sandwiches, because when I was a little girl, they were sandwiches which my Grandmother Ivy made for high tea. My mother-in-law is renoun for her sandwiches with the crusts cut off and when she used to go to the Women's Institute on a Monday afternoon, her contribution was 'ribbon' sandwiches. Her friends always teased her and called them Sadie's 'posh' sandwiches. I am certainly going to be trying your Benedictine Spread as it sounds delicious.
Here's to girlie girls, I think we all retain a little girlie girl inside of us, no matter what age we are.
Best Wishes

Marigene said...

This does sound like a bite of spring...can't wait to try it. And just for the record, I am not a girly girl, either!

Jennifer@MyFlagstaffHome said...

I'm sold! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!