Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lemon, Cream Cheese & Basil Hearts for LiveSTRONG Day

Lemon, Cream Cheese & Basil Sandwiches

Today is LiveSTRONG Day - a day when a variety of events are taking place around the world to raise awareness about cancer, and to spare a thought and show your support for those who are affected by cancer.

One such event is the LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow Heart Event hosted by Barbara at Winos & Foodies.  Barbara is facing her own battle with cancer, but she is a lovely, warm person, with a great sense of humour and a big heart, and throughout 2010 she has been posting a heart each Saturday.  I love the courage and openness with which she gives us glimpses of her journey through her blog, without any trace of self-indulgence, and I am humbled by her bravery. Please go and visit her and show your support for her and for all the other people affected by this disease.

I'm dedicating this post to my very dear friends Helen and Norman Smith.  Helen has been my friend for over 30 years.  We shared a lot when we flatted together in our 20s.  Our friendship stayed the distance when she married her "American sailor" and went to live in San Francisco;  and when Norman retired from the merchant navy and they returned to New Zealand to live, our friendship just picked up where it left off.  I usually get to spend time with them whenever I go to Auckland, and that is always such a wonderful time of reconnecting.  Helen has had her own battle with cancer, but has successfully beaten breast cancer - now she is caring for Norman as he battles with lung cancer, not helped by a recent bout of pneumonia. 

Helen & Norman - I know this is such a difficult time for you both right now, and you are both now, and always will be, in my heart.  If you were here right now, I would give you these gorgeous little heart-shaped lemon, cream cheese and basil sandwiches for afternoon tea.  We would, of course, have a glass of champagne on the side, and as always conversation would invariably drift onto reminiscing about the "crazy" days in Endymion flats (you had to be there!). We'll just have to save that for when I see you both at Christmas time.

When you bite into these sandwiches the hit of lemon is somehow so unexpected, that it makes you want to smile, and there is also something about these that makes me feel very hopeful.

For these you will need some "bog-standard" thin white sliced sandwich bread - yes I know I am always telling you that "Tip Top white sliced" will simply not do, but there are some things for which this is just perfect.  This is one of those things - asparagus rolls and summer pudding are others.  Actually can't think of anything else it's really good for, but if you know of something do let me know.

"Butter" the bread liberally with cream cheese.  Mascarpone if you have it would also be a nice alternative.

Lemon, Cream Cheese & Basil Hearts 2, edited

Wash lemons well, as you will be leaving the skins on.  Cut lemons, wafer thin - the slices should be thin enough to read your love letters through them.  Then lay the lemon slices on one slice of bread.

Lemon, Cream Cheese & Basil Hearts 3, edited

Add a few fresh basil leaves.

Lemon, Cream Cheese & Basil Hearts 4, edited

Cover with the other slice of bread, and cut into heart shapes using a cookie cutter.

Lemon, Cream Cheese & Basil Hearts 5, edited


  1. I like the idea of these sandwiches. So fresh, perfect for the warm coming days.

  2. Thanks Vanille. They do make a lovely little spring-time treat.

  3. What a lovely idea. I love bog standard white bread for a sandwich.

    Thank you for giving me your heart Sue.

  4. This is such a sweet post and what a lovely tribute to your two friends. My thoughts are with them as they struggle through this time. This is such an interesting sandwich combination, one that I would never have thought of! Delicious.

  5. this is a beautiful post...and a wonderful tribute to your dear friends. i am loving the hearts you made...fresh, delicious and for a cause...what a great way to enjoy a sandwich. i am with you on the bread...i like cucumber tea sandwiches on "bog standard" too...but that is about it.
    thank you for stopping by my place... i am going to hang out here for a while and see what else you have been up to!

  6. My heart with your friends, hope everythng will be fine.. and i liked the idea of sandich , perfect presantation..

  7. Beautiful and I'm sure quite yummy little heart sandwiches! I will send off a little prayer for your friends. Thanks for visiting Sue and hope you have a wonderful week :-)

  8. Oh I love all the fresh flavors in this!

  9. Lovely post and I love this line especially: "the slices should be thin enough to read your love letters through"

  10. Barbara, Joanne, Christy, Yesim, Martha, Simply Life and Cook of the House - thank you all so much for visiting, for your lovely comments and for your very kind thoughts and wishes for my friends.
    Sue :-)


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