The bishop is coming, part two

O.K., ya’ll. It occurred to me last night as I was frantically cutting bread rounds that if I don’t completely detail the finishing of the cucumber sandwiches, this culinary knowledge might be lost if I keel over tomorrow from a cream cheese overdose. See previous post before reading on.

The bread must be white and these sandwiches actually work better of it’s the “Wonder Bread” type of white bread. Cut them with a small biscuit cutter. There will be a lot of waste. Make homemade breadcrumbs with the leftovers.

The cucumbers that go on top of the sandwich must be thinly sliced and dried on paper towels to get the excess moisture out. Do you think I’m being to anal here? No, I am not. There is a right way and a wrong way.

So here’s what they should look like. Bread, cream cheese filling, cucumber round, dried dill. It’s better with fresh, but there’s a limit to what I can do Saturday night after a BBQ contest.

So I have to show you a few pictures of the reception food before the event started. Church ladies in general are good at receptions, but I have to say Episcopal church ladies are exceptionally good at receptions. We’re practically born with the ability.

Here’s Julie Reinhardt mixing the punch. She looks all happy and calm here, but it’s a facade. She is at the head of the pack of Type A women and when there was a lull in the preparations due to a lack of anything to actually do, she completely reorganized  the utensil drawers in the kitchen. And not a single one of us thought that was odd. Please note in front of the punch bowl are homemade macaroons.

There was some debate about whether wine should be served at a noon reception. That lasted for about two minutes.

Of course, wine will be served. Didn’t Jesus set that precedent? This is a religious event, after all. Who are we to argue with Jesus? We did have an adult at the wine table to make sure the privilege wasn’t abused. We do have some standards in that area.

And, here, after their long journey from raw ingredients lovingly crafted in the Mayhew kitchen to reception table at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church are the cucumber sandwiches. On silver, of course.

They are always the first to go. People can’t seem to get enough of cucumber sandwiches.

So why is this important? The bishop’s reception is a small example of doing things right. It is becoming a lost art in this country. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a cucumber sandwich or building a car. It needs to be done right. I heard on the radio the other day that General Motors knew for 30 years that it was building shoddy cars. They actually got Toyota to come over and show them how to do it right. And then, of course, Toyota got found out. It’s very confusing. How hard is it to do it right? If Episcopal women built cars (which they wouldn’t – far too messy), those vehicles would run forever. And everything would be color coordinated.

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