Making the teas is a great way to inspire your team and to be helpful to your otherwise massively overloaded team captains. It costs nothing to do (you are reimbursed) except for a little bit of your time. Good teas are always remembered!
What’s my budget?
We aim to keep the cost of teas at approximately £35. IF you go a couple of quid over or under, it is not a problem but please do not go spending over 50!
What is in a tea?
Sandwiches – Generally 4 loaves of bread (2 white 2 brown or 3/1 etc) or ~40 rolls makes enough sandwiches for the two teams. Sandwiches should be made to contain a mixture of fillings to please different people.
Some suggested fillings are:
- Tuna Mayo (with/without sweetcorn or cucumber)
- Egg Mayo (Homemade egg mayonnaise is the absolute number 1 filling possible)
- Coronation Chicken (A close second in best fillings)
- Corned Beef
- Sausage/Bacon (needs pre-cooking first)
On top of this you can add salad (tomato, cucumber, lettuce), sauces (mustard, pickles, chutney, piccalilli) and mix/match the fillings
Bear in mind throughout that you need to cater for vegetarians in this and any other special requirements that have been passed on to you. You will probably get through a 500g block of spreadable butter for 4 loaves.
Savouries – Things like Pork Pies, Sausage Rolls, Cold (or hot) Pizza, cocktail sausages, scotch eggs, quiche (good for veggies) are all very popular and will get eaten. Generally aim to have enough to have a couple of items per person (eg a quarter scotch egg per person and a sausage roll per person). Crisps are also an “Easy Win” in that you can buy bulk bags and they can be stored at the ground for following week’s games.
Sweets – The best part of all teas – you want to have enough cakes to please everyone – if you are happy to bake then that is always number 1 choice! Typically I recommend 3 “normal” sized cakes (ie 2lb loaves/ 8” victoria sponge) will do teas. As a general rule sweets should always contain something chocolaty and something fruity. Some suggestions;
- Fresh fruit is always really popular, however needs to be something in a format that is easy to eat – strawberries, grapes, pineapple chunks, slices of melon etc. Things like apples and pears do not generally go down very well.
- Cakes – Fruit cakes, Chocolate Cakes, Ginger Cakes, Lemon Drizzle Cakes, Victoria Sponges, Tea Cakes, any cake you can think of will probably get eaten. Bear in mind some flavours (eg banana) tend to divide opinion.
- Traybakes – Probably the best way to do cakes is with traybakes. Things like flapjack, millionaires shortbread, chocolate cornflake squares, rocky roads are generally easy to make and easy to divide up into portions. Also you can often buy these at shops already done.
- Chocolate bars – always useful as a backup and can be stored in the pavilion if they are individually wrapped so can be bought in bulk and can be used for multiple weeks
Make sure you have at least 2 pints of semi skimmed milk for teas, and that tea bags etc are in the pavilion.
Tips for making teas
- Make sure the match is going to happen – it is no good making teas if it is clearly going to be a washout. If it is dubious, go for things that will keep for a week and can be used the following week (wrapped stuff, etc)
- Make sure there is a full stock of Teabags, coffee, squash, sugar, cling film etc at the pavilion. If not then this will need to be added to your shopping list
- Preparation is key. Making sandwiches FAST prevents them drying out, so be prepared. Fillings should be prepared in advance (ie grate cheese, boil eggs etc) and placed in bowls so an assembly line can be made. Getting helpers in will make this easier – one butters, the next fills and the last one cuts and arranges onto trays / wraps it up. When a tray/whatever using is full, cover with Clingfilm and get into the fridge (make sure you have space in your fridge if doing at home!).
- Make sure you have the right tools – Again, this is preparation really. Sharp Knives, plenty of containers/trays to put things on, cutting boards etc.
- When you arrive at the pavilion on day of game, fill up and turn urn on. If at sycamores, turn to 3 and then turn to full about 20 minutes before teas.
- Some cakes are dead easy to make – for example Bumbles Yorkshire tea brack is simply 1 kg of dried fruit , left overnight in tea mixed with sugar, then flour mixed in with two eggs. Bake in oven for 2 hours and done. If you pick easy cakes, you can impress for very little effort.
- Avoid nuts – too risky and not worth it.
- Sandwich roulette is fun – make one sandwich contain nothing but salad and see who is the unlucky sod who gets it
This guide was shamelessly written by reading guides from various clubs and using the combined knowledge to make something about right for MCC. If you want to use all or some of this, feel free!