Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 18
Friends, we are nearly at the end of this wonderful old book and with today being my birthday I thought it would be special treat to share this second last chapter with you.
The chapter on Sandwiches reads as follows:
“A man who would rather gamble than eat invented sandwiches and gave them his name. It is not know whether or not the Earl of Sandwich won his bet, but the sliced meat between sliced bread which he had brought to the gaming table remains the neatest of food tricks. Now that to the utilitarian ham-on-rye we add frivolous tea sandwiches, hearty hot-meat-and-gravy open sandwiches served as the main course of a meal, and sandwiches fried, toasted, grilled and chilled, we have come a long way from the original plan. But the basic advantage of a sandwich is that it can go places – to school, to the office, on picnics – and that it can, if necessary, be held in the fingers and eaten with a fork.
Imaginative sandwich-makers will vary the possibilities by using the fillings here described for types of sandwiches other than those under which they are listed. They will use many kinds of bread – whole-wheat, Boston brown, raisin, rye or bran – besides white. Homemade nut bread, orange, date and prune breads make delicious tea or school-lunch specials.
Muffins, tea biscuits and soft rolls may also be split for sandwiches, with frankfurter and hamburger rolls standard in their class. Short-cakes made of rich biscuit dough and put together with a hot creamed mixture are first cousins to the sandwich family.
Bread: The bread for sandwiches should be at least one day old. When sandwiches without crust are wanted it is easier to cut the crust from the loaf before slicing. For sandwiches cut in fancy shapes, the bread will cut to better advantage it is sliced lengthwise of the loaf – a very long loaf (sandwich style) is easier to handle if it is first cut in half. For pinwheel or rolled sandwiches, however, the bread should be sliced the full length of the loaf. To make these long even slices you will need practice and a good knife.
Butter: The spread, whether butter or margarine, should be creamed, but never melted. Soften it in a bowl with the back of a wooden spoon and beat until smooth. To hasten the process the bowl may be placed over warm water. One pound of softened butter or margarine will spread from 60 to 80 slices of bread.
IF the filling is very rich, the butter may be spread on one side of the sandwich only, or omitted entirely. But remember that butter helps to keep a soft filling from soaking into the bread.
Fillings: These vary from a piece of cold meat or cheese with mustard to a mixture made up of several ingredients. Many delicious prepared sandwich fillings are available nowadays – some with a cheese base, others with a mayonnaise base to which have been added pickles ham, olives and so froth. In some homes one corner of the refrigerator shelf is reserved fro a supply of these fillings. They keep best in airtight jars.
Ingredients should be combined with a thought for contrast in flavor, color and texture. Bland fillings may be sharpened with lemon, mustard, ketchup, bottled sauces and pickles, Crunchiness is added by crisp bacon, nuts, cucumber, celery or shredded cabbage. Fillings which lack color may be enlivened with chopped pickle, pimiento, olives peppers or parsley.
Sandwich Tools: A thin sharp-bladed knife is the first essential. It must be a long blade, light in weight; it may have a saw-tooth edge and it must be kept very sharp. Heating the knife makes it easier to cut very fresh bread into thin even slices.
There should also be a cutting board kept for bread or cake – not used for shopping onions or garlic, Heavy waxed paper for packing sandwiches to be carried and for wrapping those to be chilled in the refrigerator should always be on hand. Envelopes of waxed paper or cellophane are convenient for the daily lunch box.
For the fancier varieties, a set of sandwich or cooky cutters and some tiny garnish cutter are needed.
To Keep Sandwiches: Sandwiches, especially those with soft fillings which make the bread soggy, are best when prepared just before serving. If it is necessary to make sandwiches some time before they are to be eaten, they may be wrapped in wax paper or a slightly dampened cloth and kept in a cool place.”
The chapter has 28 pages of every sandwich filling you can think of for every occasion, from everyday sandwiches, to club sandwiches, sandwich loaves, grilled sandwiches, picnic sandwiches, open sandwiches and speciality sandwiches for gala occasions.