Six tips to help you make a perfect cricket tea

cricket tea
Mandy Clements-Hunt has some cracking tips for anyone preparing a cricket tea. Picture: ECB

While our players seek glory on the pitch, Mandy Clements-Hunt will be behind the scenes helping serve up a perfect cricket tea.

But she can’t do it all on her own, and is appealing for volunteers to join her team.

Providing a cricket tea doesn’t cost you a penny, she explains.

“You buy the ingredients and do the work, and your skipper will pay you at the end of the match from the match fees he collects from your team, and the tea money he collects from the opposition.

“The going rate is up to about £40. You can provide a belter for that!”

If you know the club, just call in and make for the roster on the club noticeboard. Pick your date and write your name alongside.

Mandy also welcomes help from those who haven’t previously been involved in the club. If you would like to contact her and find out more just complete the form at the end of this post and she’ll get in touch with you.

Meanwhile, here are Mandy’s six ingredients for a perfect cricket tea, and some tips for tackling what can be an immensely rewarding challenge:

1. Choose the right ingredients for your cricket tea

  1. Four loaves for sandwiches
  2. An assortment of savouries (probably two of each) such as pork pie segments, mini sausage rolls, mini scotch eggs, cocktail sausages.
  3. An assortment of cakes, tarts, sweet items, or those chocolate Rice Crispy things
  4. Some crisps or tortilla chips (emptied into a bowl or two)
  5. Some fruit – bananas, clementines, strawberries (or similar) – usually goes down well
  6. And, of course, tea… and orange squash

You can vary the plot a little:

  • Bread or finger rolls to do some of the sandwiches
  • Samosas or onion bhajis as savouries
  • Scones with jam and butter or cream
  • Hot savouries such as pizza get devoured, but they’re more effort – your call.
  • Sandwiches can be as simple or complicated as you want

2. Rely on some staple sandwich fillings

  • Cheese
  • Tuna mayo (and sweet corn / cucumber)
  • Egg mayo
  • Coronation chicken
  • Chicken and chutney
  • Corned beef
  • Sausage (good in rolls)
  • Beef
  • Pate

You can add to any of the above appropriate combos such as cucumber, tomato, mustard, pickle, piccalilli, chutney, lettuce.

3. Use this sample shopping list

With a bit of skill and judgement, you can get all of this cricket tea list at any supermarket (there should be tea, sugar, orange squash in the pavilion, but check and add to the list if you need them).

  • Sarnies bread (square sliced loaves best): four loaves
  • Margarine: one 500g tub
  • Cheese
  • Ham: pack of 20 slices
  • Eggs: six large
  • Tomatoes: six
  • Medium cucumber
  • 1 Hellmann’s mayonnaise (small jar)
  • Other savouries sausage rolls: frozen pack of 50/100 cocktail sausages
  • Two frozen packs of 40 pizzas – thin margherita or pepperoni frozen
  • Two twin packs of Doritos or tortilla chips
  • Six-pack mini scotch eggs
  • One pack cakes ‘n’ stuff bar fruit cakes
  • Two bar lemon cakes
  • Two chocolate Swiss rolls
  • Two packs of 10 jam tarts
  • Milk: two pints

In addition to the food, you will need:

  1. A bit of time and space. Sarnies for 22 plus a bit of preparation at home will take up a couple of hours the morning of the match/or the night before.
  2. Enough room in your fridge for five trays of sandwiches and anything else you’ve bought or made that needs keeping fresh. Enough room in the freezer for the frozen stuff.
  3. Clingfilm: seal those sarnies quick for best results
  4. Sharp knives
  5. About five sandwich trays. Get them from the pavilion kitchen or use your own
  6. Tupperware or similar container for the sausage rolls and sausages

4. Follow these instruction to make four loaves into sandwiches

Get the fillings ready in bowls. Grate lots of cheese into a bowl, slice up the other stuff.

To make egg mayonnaise for one loaf: hard boil six large eggs. Cool them, shell them and chop them up. Add a couple of spoonfuls of mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and mash it into a light and easily spreadable paste. Don’t eat it all.

Work fast. Cut sarnies diagonally into quarters. With a sharp knife you can do several rounds at once. Stack them in rows on a sandwich tray and when it’s full cover it immediately with cling film and stash it in the fridge.

5. Adopt this plan of action

It’s best to shop the morning of the match.

If there is any doubt, immediately before shopping ring or text the team captain and check the match is still on.

There should always be tea, sugar, and orange squash in the pavilion kitchen (Birlingham, you should please take your own along).

There should be tea towels, washing up liquid, scourers, dishwasher tabs and rinse agent.

I generally start making the tea at about 25 overs, depending on how the game is going. Chat to the players they will tell you if you need to rush! And if the wickets fall too quickly ask them to help you!

Lay out everything, and remember cups and plates/napkins.

Pour the tea!

Put out some squash and tumblers.

6. And finally, smile!

You’ve done as much as you can, and your efforts will be appreciated. Now all you have to do is stop your players eating everything before the opposition have arrived!

Send us your pictures

Were you one of the many people around the cricket-playing world inspired by Mandy’s tips? We’d love to hear from you. Post a picture of your tea on our Facebook page.

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