Q: Does this cost me?
A: No – 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. The going rate is up to about €40.00. You can provide a belter for that.
Q: How do I sign up to provide a tea?
A: You don’t, a roster is kept and the tea-making duties are assigned by the skipper on the Thursday before each game, supplying you with at least 48 hours to get to the shops and prepare the teas before the match. Do it early and avoid the rush!

What makes a Tea?

  • 4 loaves of sandwiches
  • An assortment of “Savouries” – such as pork pie segments, mini sausage rolls, mini scotch eggs, cocktail sausages (probably 2 of such items).
    • An assortment of cakes / tarts / sweet items / those chocolate rice crispy things
    • Some crisps or tortilla chips (emptied into a bowl or 2)
    • Some fruit – bananas, clementines, strawberries (or similar) – usually goes down well
    • And of course …. Tea – and orange squash

You can vary the plot and it generally goes down well:

  • Bread or Finger Rolls to do some of the sandwiches.
  • Somosas or onion bhajis as savouries
  • Scones with jam and butter or cream, Hot savouries like pizza get devoured, but they’re more effort – your call.

Sandwiches can be as simple or complicated as you want.

Here are some staple fillings (but pay attention to the dietary requirements of the opposition) :

  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Tuna Mayo (& sweet corn / cucumber?)
  • Egg Mayo
  • Coronation Chicken
  • Chicken and Chutney
  • Sausage (good in rolls)
  • Beef
  • Pate

You can add to any of the above appropriate combo’s such as cucumber, tomato, mustard, pickle, piccalilli, chutney, lettuce…

Sample Shopping List
With a bit of skill and judgment, you can get this entire 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.

  • Sandwiches Bread (square sliced loaves best) 4 loaves
  • Cheese
  • Ham Pack of 20 slices
  • Eggs 6 large
  • Tomatoes 6 medium
  • Cucumber 1
  • Small mayonnaise jar
  • Other savouries Sausage rolls – frozen Pack of 50 / 100
  • Cocktail sausages – frozen 2 packs of 40
  • Pizzas – thin margherita or pepperoni frozen 2 twin packs
  • Doritos or tortilla chips 6 pack
  • Mini scotch eggs 1 pack
  • Cakes ‘n’ stuff Bar fruit cakes 2
  • Bar lemon cakes 2
  • Chocolate Swiss rolls 2 packs of 10
  • Jam tarts 2 packs of 12

You will need

1. A bit of time and space. Sandwiches for 22 plus a bit of preparation at home will take an hour or so on the morning of the match.
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 sandwiches quick for best results
4. Sharp knives – well, if you don’t believe me…
5. About 5 sandwich trays (depends how big they are)
6. Tupperware or similar container for the sausage rolls and sausages
7. One car boot

Making Four Loaves of Sandwiches

A few hints: skip this if you know it already!
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, shells 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 sandwiches 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.

Battle plan – example for Sat 16.30 tea
Important – best to shop the day before the match.
Morning of match – Hard boil the eggs, cool and leave
Morning of match – 10am Make sandwiches
Morning of match – 11am Cook sausages and sausage rolls
Morning of match – Take sausage rolls, sausages, crisps cakes, tools down to club
1 hour before tea – Fill tea urn and switch on. Takes 45 mins or so then it can simmer
1 hour before tea – Cook anything hot in the oven
½ hour before tea – Cut up cakes and lay out everything
½ hour before tea – A supply of teaspoons in a cup, sugar and milk.
Ten minutes prior – Brew tea two pots, about 8/9 bags per pot.

During teas – Stop our players eating everything before the opposition have had a opportunity to help themselves

Afterwards It’s really important to do this. Not only is it important or good hygiene; we have legal responsibilities to ensure we prepare food safely.

  • Switch the oven and cooker off
  • Switch off the tea urn and empty it
  • Clear up all the tea plates, cups, empty platters etc.
  • Consolidate anything uneaten onto a few trays and cover with Clingfilm.
  • Take off any tablecloths. Wipe down the tables that had the food on.
  • Wash up – there is a dishwasher.
  • Remove all uneaten food and your own tools.
  • Check there’s no food left in the Oven and don’t leave any food in the fridge.
  • Clean the kitchen thoroughly. This means the hob, the sink area, all work surfaces and ideally a quick sweep of the floor. Plus any spills in the fridge.
    • Empty the waste bin and put the bin bags in the bag container round the kitchen side of the pavilion
    • Empty the dishwasher if possible before you go.
    • Check the oven and cooker are off
    • Switch off the lights
    • Go and have a beer if you can, please wash and return any tea towels and tablecloths you used. If that isn’t possible, please leave them so they will dry.

Ted’s Tea Secrets

  • Four hands are better than two – one butters, the fills and cuts etc.
  • Sandwiches are fiddly: do them at home and tray them. Sausage rolls and sausages need oven space and time and will be wolfed down even if cold or luke-warm: do them in your oven and box them. Shove everything else, like cakes, in a bag and slice it up in the pavilion. Only cook in the pavilion what has to be hot.
  • Be prepared to end up with a messy kitchen – leave yourself time to tidy up.
  • The pavilion fridge isn’t that large. If you can lure your partner into the action get her to bring the sandwiches down later rather than take them yourself before the match and leave them out.
  • Make sure you include at least some vegetarian stuff like cheese sandwiches. That way you have catered for everyone.
  • Avoid nuts – some people are highly allergic.
  • Find out when tea is – easiest way is ask the skipper.
  • Take a few spare tea towels, sharp knives and Clingfilm with you.
  • Keep the shopping receipt so you can remember how much you spent.
  • If you want to make it easier, leave out pizza or things that need cooking in the club oven. You could leave out all the hot stuff and just serve up sandwiches, scones etc., but actually throwing things in the oven for 15 minutes is easier than a loaf of sandwiches.
  • Just as you are starting to panic, someone is going to rush in at 2.30 and ask you where the drinks are – so make up two jugs of squash and put them in the fridge.
  • Stuff happens. If you have to cancel – try and find a replacement yourself. If you can’t let the skipper know, and not 24 hours ahead. Remember, would you like an empty plate and a glass of water?