That is what they say. If at first you do not succeed, you are not a failure, you are human, and it would be kind of weird if you were immediately perfect at everything. You would be the world’s most annoying superhero. ‘Suddenly Amazing at Everything Girl’ just would not sell well.
This makes me feel a little better when I describe my first attempt at a posh afternoon tea. If you recall, in my last post I promised to update you with my attempt because this blog is not about just dreaming about all the things you could do. It’s about getting out there and encouraging each other to actually do the things we daydream about. If you don’t have a go then you will never learn to be good at anything. (Saving a bunch of recipes does not make you a good cook. Cooking does!)
On that note, please do not be put off by the fact that my first attempt was not the culinary masterpiece I had envisioned. The simple fact is that bread does not roll beautifully by itself. I also chose brown bread because my mum is very health conscious, and she also advised me later that most roll up are created by carving a white loaf lengthwise, not by cutting up a slice of bread and trying to roll it. Go figure. It’s not rocket-science I know, but I don’t consider myself the dunce of the class and I would not have guessed that. Turns out, research is important.
Also, checking that you have toothpicks to hold roll-ups together before you are holding a failing, breaking roll-up in your hands is vitally important. I did not. In the end I snapped a wooden skewer. It didn’t help hold anything together.
The small squares were a much greater success. My fiance admired how I had managed to make them bite-sized then proceeded to pop a dozen in his mouth in quick succession whilst my mum and sister looked on in awe. Note to self, let others eat before the bottomless pit joins in. The smoked salmon, cream cheese and cress combinations were a success, and despite their unreliable shape the ham, cream cheese, tomato and salad cream combination was very popular too. I did the traditional cream cheese and cucumber too, but I think that was too expected to be commented on. Plus, I decided not to cut the crusts off because that would remove half the goodness of the brown bread anyway, which diminished the level of posh.
Serving tea from my inherited teapot raised my game, but pouring it into novelty mugs and adding milk from a 2-litre plastic container because I didn’t have a milk jug brought it right back down again. However, I did serve the sandwiches on a 2-tier stand, (the tin in the photo was just for keeping them all together during the making process) and Quorn and regular scotch eggs in matching bowls, so I think on the whole the level of fanciness was above a regular lunch. I shall insist on the white gloves next time!
The message here is not ‘terrible cook tries to impress and falls on face’ but instead ‘normal person had a go and it was not a disaster.’ Look on the positive side people!