Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Frugal Royal Wedding Canapés

According to the New York Times, Queen Elizabeth is expected to lay out a modest spread of two-bite appetizers, or canapés, rather than a sit-down meal at Will and Kate’s Buckingham Palace wedding reception. Apparently the Queen is concerned over how the public would view royals who feast during a time of lingering economic pain. Coincidentally, the last time I was in London, I happened to pass this Poundland store in Notting Hill that’s like our 99¢ Only Store. So I’m offering my professional advertising services (pro bono of course) in re-branding her not-so-humble abode as the Palace of the People. And given the Queen's close proximity to Poundland where she can purchase the main ingredients, I’ve created five canapés that won't break the Palace bank. Because nobody likes an ostentatious queen.

The Beans on Toast Canapé
England's favorite Heinz Beans served on a bite-sized toast is a small nod to the beans-on-toast tradition that will appeal to the masses while saying, "I'm secure enough in my heritage to eat beans while packed in a palace with 650 people." The buck-tightening Buckingham Palace can chalk this canapé up to a quaint culinary custom rather than appearing as over-prudent pence-pinchers. Beans on toast is not my cup of tea, but then I’m sure the Queen wouldn’t much care for my Aunt Ruth’s Sweet Noodle Pudding. No offense taken, Your Majesty.

The Dal on Naan Canapé (a.k.a. The Slumdog Millionaire)

This Dal Makhani (Indian curried lentils) with a splash of yogurt raita and cilantro sprig on a mini naan bread is an economical homage to London’s large Indian population. The Slumdog Millionaire Canapé says, “Even though I’m in a palace, I prefer to slum it.” More legumes is also an effective royal strategy for clearing out the Palace so the slumdogs don't overstay their welcome. If the Queen could spring for some pricey shitake mushrooms, she could serve my resplendent Curried Shitake Lentils. But then that might be perceived as gastronomically garish.


The Low Tea Canapé
Inspired by the cucumber and watercress sandwiches served at a traditional high tea, I’ve created this Low Tea Canapé using low-quality ingredients. Canned salmon from Poundland replaces the hoity-toity smoked variety that one might erroneously expect at an affair of this magnitude. Sure, the canned stuff’s got all those pesky bones and slimy skin, but I’m sure the special deboning staff at the Palace will know precisely how to handle it. A slender shard of substandard salmon and a sprig of watercress perched atop a watered-down dollop of crème fraiche on a cucumber slice says, "I have fine taste, but I don't have to prove it. That would be vulgar. When you have a Timex, why wear your Rolex?"

The Can 'a Peas Canapé
The Brits love their classic mushy peas, so I put some on a crumpet to create these Can ‘a Peas Canapés. Batchelors Mushy Peas in a can are dried marrow fat peas that are boiled and artificially colored, but I’ve gone out on a limb and prepared famous Brit, Jamie Oliver’s refreshing Minty Mushy Peas using frozen peas instead. But I'm sure the Queen can find the canned variety for 99 pence at Poundland if the frozen ones are too extravagant. This canapé says, “One should never be pence wise and pea foolish. Go on and live a little."

The Lost Shepherd’s Pie Canapé
For the classic British dish to truly be called Shepherd’s Pie, it must be made with lamb, hence the shepherd. But I’ve lost the flock and strayed from tradition here since lamb would have broken the royal bank. So this shepherdless canapé is comprised of simple veggies and mashed potatoes on a cut-out crumpet bottom. It says, “I am a selfless sacrificial lamb by going meatless even though it’s not Monday.” Yes, starch is king here, but I bet the Queen likes carbs better than she liked the King. And unless her father was Elvis, can you blame her?

The Group Hug Canapé
While the bite-sized hors d’oeuvre known as an amuse-bouche loosely translates to palate pleaser, these Royal Wedding Canapés will be palace pleasers. A hearty congratulations and big hug to Wills and Kate, and may they enjoy a life rich in love and a moderate honeymoon at Motel 6.

23 comments:

  1. It does look as if one would need all the Queen's servants to produce such a royal variety of frugal canapés! ;-)

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  2. Love this. So funny and creative.

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  3. My fav - the Slumdog Millionaire ... yum!.. I am still chuckling..:)

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  4. No one likes an ostentatious queen. Except for Elton John…

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  5. Ha! "Low Tea, indeed!" And shades of Evelyn Waugh. Hope this is one Royal marriage that will be happy. Huzzah!

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  6. so cute! i may have to serve the slumdog millionaire at my next party

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  7. You are the canape QUEEN. Love the write ups on the low tea and lost shepherd versions.

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  8. My Dad used to make cold baked bean sandwiches, so your beans on toast looks good to me. And since they're serving 15 canapes to each person, I'd get three of them. I could trade the salmon ones for more beans. Although your Shepherdless Pie looks good, too. Good job.

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  9. I absolutely love the vision of wedding guests trading their low-budget canapes around!

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  10. Thanks for the props, everyone.

    15 of the beans on toast wouldn't be very filling. They're tiny! I've been eating the leftovers, and the Slumdog Millionaire was by far the best!

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  11. Love this! I would definitely be lining up for the Slumdog Millionaire.

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  12. Fantastic variety! I would also be completely smitten with the Slumdog Millionaire.

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  13. Cute! You're really getting good at this!

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  14. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me! the daal on nan canape -- what a great idea!!

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  15. I nearly fell off my chair with laughter reading this. Hilarious finger-food sammies. I especially love the Can 'a' Peas canape! I think Kate and Will would be mad not to serve there at their nuptials. ;)

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  16. What a great selection! I need to get all geared up for tonight!

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  17. Hi Tea, Low Tea... in your hands it's not at all haugh-tea! GREG

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  18. You are so creative! Gives new meaning to BUCKingham :) I love the little Sheapard's Pie <3

    Great meeting you at Camp Blogaway!

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  19. Average Betty (Sara): It was great meeting you too. Thanks for checking out my site!

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  20. Loved this - you are too clever and creative!!! You may be starting a new trend here Adair - I am sure I am going to see this little morsels popping up at the swankiest parties!!

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  21. I love these...So clever! It was great meeting you at Camp Blogaway and I look forward to following your blog!

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