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[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Throughout Britain and many of its colonies, tea is often served in the mid-afternoon as a quick bite between the midday and evening meal. Tea sandwiches as well as pastries, breads, butter, jams and small confections are served. Traditionally tea sandwiches are cold, two-bite sandwiches; some of the most common are egg salad, watercress, and smoked salmon. This version of the classic salmon tea sandwich uses a cream cheese with dill along with some red onion to brighten up the sandwich.

Part of the fun of tea sandwiches is the fancy way they are presented. Using multiple layers of ingredients and bread to create something that looks a bit special is an easy way to dress up a simple sandwich. Personally, I like to use whole wheat on the exterior and white bread next to the salmon. The white bread highlights the salmon's lovely pink color in a pretty way. You could also alternate between wheat and white so that the sides of the sandwich are different colors. If all that seems a tad precious than go with whichever is your bread of choice.

Although most people don't sit down for tea daily, it can be nice to put on a kettle and have a nice pot of tea with a quick bite in the afternoon. If you're looking for something nice to do for your Mum (Mother's Day is coming up) consider sitting her down for a traditional tea—complete with tea sandwiches.

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass.  Find more information at sydneyoland.com (or read eatingnosetotail.com)

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