HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CRICKET TEA (June 2010)
Been asked to make a cricket tea? Need help in knowing what to provide? Never fear: here is a guide that will ensure your team-mates and rival players regard you as a budding Jamie Oliver. Budget for up to £40 and, do not fear, you will be paid back. The club have a large fridge and, for the more daring, an oven.
1. Cups of tea. You'll need 2 pints of milk and check to see if teabags are required (the club usually have a stock). Go for ten bags in the pot (we have a big urn) and, ideally, have mugs of tea ready as soon as tea commences - rather than halfway through which smacks of a hurried preparation. Sugar is at club.
2. Jugs of squash. Remarkably, not everybody likes tea and, on hot days, some players prefer squash/or drink both. Ideally, have two jugs of squash readily available (show offs will have 2 flavours) and if these have been chilled in the fridge beforehand, so much the better.
3. Sandwiches. You are catering for 22 players and possibly a few guests, so plenty are required. Usually, aim for three medium-cut loaves (perhaps 2 white and a brown). Cut all sandwiches in half (the triangle shape always looks superior) or even quarters to make them go farther.
Make sure they are wrapped in clingfilm/tin foil and kept in the fridge
4. What shall I put in them? Favourite flavours are
(a) cheese and red onion (buy cheese already grated - saves a lot of hassle)
(b) cheese and tomato
(b) ham and tomato (buy the ham trim, which is a lot less expensive but just as nice)
(d) egg and mayo
(e) tuna or salmon paste or a few prawn
(f) sandwich filler
(h) salad sanwiches with mayo; lettuce, toms, cucumber - much underestimated, especially if it is hot.
(h) I've never seen strawberry jam or peanut butter - but cannot think why.
4. Cakes. Homemade jobs are obvious preferable but, if time/skill does not allow, then they will have to be shop bought. The moister the better. Those very sweet Mr Kipling jobbies never get neglected.
5. Chocolate bars: not necesary if you've made your own cakes but mini rolls, jaffa cakes, wagon wheels etc rarely get left.
6. Crisps: a big bowl of them or 26 packets of Walkers at the co-op for £2.50. Job done.
Tea, juice, sarnies and cake ticks all the basic boxes. But there are plenty more options that will earn you extra points
7. Some salad (rocket), cress or small tomatoes scattered among the sarnies can be pleasing on the eye..
8. Dips and something to dip in them!
9. Pasta with mayo and a few spices/peppers/chillis for flavour (plastic forks needed!!)
10. Sausage rolls (homemade if possible)
11. Scones with strawbery jam and clotted cream (exquisite!)
12. Fruit - grapes, strawberries and, especially, melon go down well.
13. mini sausages
14. chicken wings/drummers (messy - get serviettes!)
15. Indian or Chinese finger foods.
16. pasta slices.
17. rice with smal bits of chicken in
19. your own speciality.
20. the list is endless.
Good luck - it can be quite rewarding!
ps: and if you get allocated tea duty, don't forget it's also your responsibility to clean up and tidy away (ask your team-mates to help you)