Although Peter Rabbit may be Beatrix Potter’s most famous character, I find Mr. Jeremy Fisher to be the most endearing. His adventure mirrors the the pattern of many bad days I have had: beginning with sunny skies and pleasant plans, but ending in disaster. Mr. Jeremy Fisher’s plans include a morning of fishing on the pond, a delicious picnic of butterfly sandwiches, and a cozy dinner with friends. In reality, he ends up getting wet from the rain, having his fingers snapped by a fish, and almost being swallowed by a trout. Despite never having been swallowed by a fish, I always end up sympathizing with Mr. Jeremy Fisher and his ruined plans. My kids, on the other hand, just find this book incredibly humorous. My 6-year old loves the suspense and adventure of Mr. Jeremy’s struggle with the fish and finds it hilarious that the trout swallows his galoshes. This is definitely the most read Beatrix Potter book in our house, even now that both my kids could read it on their own. Somehow this is one of those stories that is better shared and laughed over together.
While I couldn’t quite manage a recipe for “roasted grasshopper with ladybird sauce”, as Mr. Jeremy ends up serving his friends, I did make some butterfly tea sandwiches that look a bit more appetizing than Mr. Jeremy’s. I made a homemade strawberry cream cheese by blending cream cheese, fresh strawberries, and little bit of powdered sugar, but store bought strawberry cream cheese would work just as well. After cutting out butterfly shapes from some multi-grain sandwich bread, I spread on the pink cream cheese and then let the kids decorate them with sliced grapes, cherries and strawberries. This is so much a recipe as an idea for assembling the sandwiches, but I have included my process for making homemade strawberry cream cheese spread. These would be so much fun for a summertime tea party or even just a fun lunch and are so easy to make.
Butterfly Tea Sandwiches with Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread
Makes about 12
6 slices of whole grain sandwich bread
about 2 cups of sliced, small, round fruits and berries (such as grapes, cherries, strawberries or raspberries)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
- To make the Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread: Add the softened cream cheese, sliced strawberries and powdered sugar to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. It’s best to chill this spread for an hour or two before using so that it can firm up.
- For Sandwiches: Using a medium sized butterfly shaped cookie cutter, cut 2 butterfly shapes out of each slice of bread, reserving the remaining bread to make breadcrumbs. Spread each butterfly shape with a thin layer of strawberry cream cheese.
- Top each butterfly with symmetrical patterns of sliced fruit and berries. Alternatively, you could use sprinkles to decorate the butterflies. Chill until you are ready to eat.