Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Breads and Sandwiches

Spring is here, and it's just as good a time for a sandwich as any. In fact, some might say that spring is the perfect excuse to have a sandwich. The 1951 guide, Good Housekeeping's Book of Breads & Sandwiches ('dainty or hearty -- for picnic or party'), is the book for everyone looking for creative sandwich making solutions. The book has some nice photos of sandwiches in action and many drawings by Mary Kershulis.

Front cover with that all-important Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Well, any cover that has avocado green pea soup in an avocado green casserole and an open-faced hot dog melt gets a Curly Wurly seal of approval (and, that is highly coveted)!

This is the sort of spread that manages to be melancholic and cozy all at once. It's a perfect scene for every sha-la-la-la, every rainy day, and every Monday!

Susan (Dey)'s Party Sandwich Loaf is a veritable work of art.

Don't be ashamed; many a cook has been thrown by the all-in-one meal that we call a 'sandwich' (so named because, at one time, most breads were sandy in color, and it is believed that the first 'wich was conjured at a witches' sabbath). It's true that making a good one is one of the most difficult techniques to master in the kitchen, and it's true that the hardest part of the whole matter is the last step: cutting the sandwich. In a recent study, it was reported that how best to divide the bread and filling while still providing a utilitarian and esthetic portion is the most common thing that keeps people up at night. Mary Kershulis illustrates some basic, and some 'out there', cuts for this portable edible, and Good Housekeeping definitely approves. Personally, I am very much against a cut that doesn't ensure that all pieces are somewhat comparable in size.

If you're movin' on up.. if you've got a deluxe apartment in the sky, celebrate with a Penthouse Burger today (or whenever you move in and unpack the boxes marked 'kitchen')! (Bonus recipe: Corned-Beef Hash au Gratin!)

Club sandwiches are still popular, but don't you feel cheated now that you've learned of the existence of the Frosted Club? 'Frosted' seems to be referring to the melted cheese on the top of the sandwich. Apparently you need a whole lot of milk to wash that down! (As a side note: that looks like a really nice counter or tabletop)

Those healthful Subway hoagies have nothing on this hefty Italian Loaf Sandwich!

The Cannibal Sandwich. This isn't a good idea for many reasons. First of all, the illustration is ridiculous. Second, even if raw beef with onion and dill pickles or chow chow appeals to you, are you really going to find the name 'Cannibal Sandwich' appetizing? (Two bonus recipes in enlargement: Giblet-and-Egg Sandwiches, a wholesome way to use up your catchup and cream, and the popular Chicken Livers, Bacon, and Mushrooms!)


cake said...

Sparkle Plenty (dinosaurcasserole.blogspot.com) has you linked...and oh my god! Some of these recipes are hilarious!

I can't decide which is most...most...awful, the open-faced hot dog melt or the sandwich loaf!

Wow. :)

Lushie Peach said...

That bamboo-handled fork near the frosted club looks familiar...

Maria said...

Hi, Cake!! You couldn't possibly think an open-faced hot dog melt is worse than a Cannibal Sandwich!? And the Sandwich Loaf is art! It's covered with way too much mayonnaise to be eaten, but it is impressive!

LP, I thought I recognized that fork! They must have been an extremely popular style at that time! I remember we saw the plates, too, but maybe that was in a store.

Diana said...

Love the production line of sandwiches and different ways to cut them!

Maria said...

I think it's safe to say that this book has pushed the boundaries of what we once considered a sandwich to be.. and, just maybe, it's made us all take a good, hard look at our lives.