Cheese and Chive Tea Sandwiches

Do you know what this is? It is a vintage 1950’s kitchen gadget called the “Slice-A-Slice.” You place a slice of bread in it, close it and move a knife down between the two sides which guide the cutting of the bread into two very thin slices for tea sandwiches. I found it at a garage sale at a mission that was closing. What a find! I love tea sandwiches and after having tea last week at the Crest Hill Antiques Tea Room in The Plains, VA, I was inspired to make some for our Teacher Meeting Potluck. What impressed me the most about the Tea Room was that as soon as we ordered, the hostess gathered the sandwich ingredients to make our sandwiches, right then, not from a tray of sandwiches made up earlier that morning or Heaven knows when. Now that is fresh! I have this old Southern recipe from back in my officer wife tea days, for a Cheese Ring which is essentially shredded cheese mixed with chives and mayonnaise, molded into a ring with a small cup of strawberry jelly in the center, served with buttery crackers. But I took this recipe and modified it for a tea sandwich.

To make a good and proper tea sandwich the following must take place:

1. Use the freshest bread
2. Always cut off the crusts, unless using a crusty artisan bread
3. Use a serrated knife in gentle sawing motions
4. Cover sandwiches with moistened paper towels then plastic wrap to keep fresh if serving later
5. If using very moist fillings then spread the inner sides of the bread with a thin layer of butter or cream cheese.
6. Only use “Slice-A-Slice” on bread for tea sandwiches that have more solid fillings such as lunch meats, cheese slices, cucumber, or smoked salmon. A moist filling will make very thin bread soggy unless using a hefty pumpernickel or party rye.

Cheese and Chive Tea Sandwiches are very delicate and delicious. The mild chive lends a slight onion taste while the strawberry jelly gives a surprising sweetness to this otherwise savory sandwich. Most will be pleased with the simple balance. These sandwiches travel well and do not get soggy. Try this little sandwich in place of the ever popular cucumber or smoked salmon tea sandwich.

Cheese and Chive Tea Sandwiches
1 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar or jack cheese (or blended)
2 T. fresh chopped chives
1/3 cup mayonnaise
pinch kosher salt
2 pinches fresh cracked black pepper
8 slices fresh bread (I used honey wheat)
Strawberry Jelly

In a small bowl mix the first five ingredients well. Divide evenly, and spread on four slices of bread. On the remaining slices spread a very thin layer of strawberry jelly. Place those slices on top of cheese slices and cut off crusts. Cut into four triangles. “Slice-A-Slice” not required. You may get one more sandwich out of this depending on how thick you spread the cheese. Makes 16 triangles or serves 4-8.

Note- I usually purchase strawberry preserves and empty contents of jar into a bowl and puree with my immersion blender (my kids have texture issues). But this technique also makes spreading this type of preserve much easier. I think it tastes better too. It reminds me of the old fashioned jellies made back in the day when the women did not use pectin. You will find this to be a bit syrupy but we like it that way. When put in a squirt bottle, it makes PBJ sandwich making a cinch!

PS- The “Slice-A-Slice” can occasionally be found on e-Bay.

Goodbye Tastespotting you will be missed!


  1. takethecannoli
    Posted June 13, 2008 at 12:21 AM | Permalink

    That is such an awesome little gadget! I would never have a use for it, but it would still be fun to have in the kitchen. The sandwiches look tasty!

  2. That Girl
    Posted June 13, 2008 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    What a cool gadget!

  3. Grace
    Posted June 13, 2008 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    that’s a pretty groovy little contraption you’ve got there! something else that’s pretty groovy is your interesting combination of flavors in that sammich. i can safely say i’ve never tasted such a combination, but i’m not afraid to try!

    and yes, the demise of tastespotting is a tragedy indeed.

  4. Robin Sue
    Posted June 13, 2008 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    takethecannoli- I also used it when I was trying to cut down on my bread intake. I like it for tea sandwiches better! Gotta have my bread.

    thatgirl- I just wish it did dishes too.

    grace- the sammie is good and different and I will really miss tastespotting I think that is how we all found eachother isn’t it?

  5. Kate
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    Robin. I love you. Seriously. I have been so bummed because we can’t get the Pepperidge Farm very thin sliced tea bread on the west coast. Apparently we are not refined enough for P.F. to sell their thin sliced bread here. So, being the total nut case that I am, I ordered it from Net Grocer and paid for FedEx, thinking it would be here in two days and I’d freeze it. No. It arrived in 8 days, totally stale. So I paid $20 something dollars for stale tea bread.

    I thought about asking a baker to slice bread extra thin, but unless it’s a firm bread up to the task, it just mushes and tears.

    THIS is what I need! Exactly!!! Now I have to scour ebay or vintage stores and try to find one.

    My hope has been restored.

  6. Robin Sue
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    Kate-did you at least make bread pudding with your million dollar stale bread? I would have cried. This gadget will tear fresh bread but I saw very slowly with a serrated knife.

  7. Kate
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    I did cry, and complained to NetGrocer for a credit. We’ll see what happens. I sprayed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle — makes the best croutons in the world. It will have to do. I found ONE of these slicers on eBay. I hope your readers will be kind and let me win. I love thin bread. Great for portion control, and it just suits my aesthetic. I’m dainty that way. 🙂

  8. Robin Sue
    Posted June 16, 2008 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    kate-I hope you win the slicer! It is a cool gadget.

  9. Kate
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

    One more comment! You know what I’m thinking? We should freeze the bread slightly. Not rock hard, but, if we put the loaf in the freezer and it’s nice and firm, that half slice, using this gadget will be clean and crisp, and may not tear even those very soft breads. I shall experiment!

  10. Robin Sue
    Posted June 18, 2008 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    Kate I like the way you think. Give it a go and let me know. I think it may work.

  11. Kate
    Posted July 4, 2008 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

    Robin Sue, it’s here, I love it, it’s perfect. Blogged, and a shout out to you. Thanks!

  12. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    I love kitchen toys! I must find this slice-a-slice–thank you for telling your group about it…what a fun forum! I enjoyed reading your posts whilst I was looking for something else, and thought I might add a little note here…as far as slicing/not slicing bread, another trick I’ve used in the past (desperate measures and all that) is to flatten the bread as it is, (yes, I have used a toaster to do more than toast bread!) which makes it more dense, but then it can handle heavier fillings as well, and a certain dampness in the bread (less butter spread before filling) keeps it from fluffing back up, too. It’s tricky, I admit—it often depends on the bread, but in a pinch…

  13. Robin Sue
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

    Anon- Hey I bet that would work out well with certain breads, it really makes sense. Thanks for the tip!

  14. John
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    You can find one of these at

  15. Matriarchy
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for this post! I found one of these in my mother's kitchen, and from the name figured it must be, well, what it is. But I tried it and the bread just shredded, so I thought I was wrong. Maybe my bread was wimpier than 50s bread. I will try again with different kinds of bread. 🙂

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