As the youngest Minister for Information of all time, Nathaniel—who elects to become John Mandrake—is a regular guest at government receptions. Which is just as well, because otherwise how would he prevent an ambitious, powerful, and really very cunning wizard, accompanied by a legion of djinn, from taking advantage of a cocktail party to try to seize power? That said, even at the highest levels, and right in the middle of a battle where golems mingle with magical spells and amulets, the cream of British magicians cannot pass up these famous cucumber sandwiches.
- Yield: 8 sandwiches or 32 mini-sandwiches
- Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
- 1 cucumber
- 8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
- 8 slices white sandwich bread
- 3½ oz unsalted butter
- 2 t freshly chopped mint
- Salt and pepper
- Peel the cucumber and slice it as thinly as possible; ideally you will have conjured up a djinni with a mandoline or razor-sharp claws. Salt the cucumber slices, place them in a strainer in the sink, and let them drain for 15 minutes, the time it takes to discipline the unruly djinni who is making rude remarks about the addiction of British magicians to cucumber sandwiches.
- Find your place again in your recipe and blot the cucumber slices with paper towels.
- Toast the slices of bread, then spread them with butter. Arrange the cucumber slices in an attractive pattern on a slice of whole wheat bread, disregarding the disparaging comments of the djinni who says this is pointless because the cucumber will be on the inside of the sandwich. Ignore him, he does not know what he is talking about. If he insists, threaten to enclose him in a bottle for the rest of his summoning—that’ll teach him.
- Sprinkle the rounds of cucumber with finely chopped mint, cover with a slice of white bread, and press down lightly. Do the same with the other slices of bread. Cut the sandwich into quarters on the diagonal and enjoy while keeping an eye on the megalomaniac wizard who would like to destroy your career.