Sunday, November 14, 2010
I have been dipping into my Detroit Times cookbook (Practical Recipes for the Housewife, published during the allegedly-Great Depression), just for enjoyment. It appears to have been slapped together in a big hurry by the women’s pages staff (remember women’s pages in the newspaper? They’re called lifestyle pages now, but the content is the same) from contributions by subscribers, and it sure doesn’t look as though an editor or a proof-reader was ever called in.
There is a Table of Contents but no index, and in some chapters you run across recipes that clearly don’t belong there.
In the Menus section everything runs into each other. The sub-heading An Automobile Lunch lists a nice little cold collation to be taken along on your Sunday drive (remember Sunday drives?) and includes Cold Sliced Ham with Parker House Rolls, Brown Bread Sandwiches with Celery and Olive Filling, Potato Salad, Dill Pickles, Chocolate Cake, and Coffee. Very tasty.
But then it segues right into a meal of Baked Ham with Cider Sauce, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Creamed Green Beans, Head Lettuce Salad and Peach Cobbler, all delicious but with the exception of the sweet potatoes, not exactly picnic food. This menu just possibly wandered over from the Sunday Dinners page.
I would certainly prepare this; what a lovely, homey supper it would be. I'm getting hungry reading it.
The Celery and Olive Sandwiches turn up again under the sub-heading of School Girl Parties. “Whether you are planning an afternoon snack a-la-teatime or having school friends in for the evening, the following menus will be found helpful. They are inexpensive and easy to prepare so that little help from mother or the family cook will be needed.”
Celery and Olive Sandwiches
1 cup finely-diced celery
¼ cup chopped, stuffed olives
1 loaf whole-wheat bread
“Mix chopped celery and olives with enough mayonnaise to spread. Spread between slices of buttered whole-wheat bread. Cut into squares and garnish each sandwich with a slice of stuffed olive. Makes 18 small sandwiches.”
Interesting that mayonnaise is the mortar of choice; tea sandwiches in this era were more frequently bound with cream cheese. I wonder if mayonnaise was used because it was cheaper.