Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Spreadable Sandwich Project......

So with 365 recipes, not everything is going to be elaborate. After the Brown Butter Avocado Scramble, I got out this:
It's a reproduction of the original Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer.  Joy of Cooking has been repeatedly updated, and I have a couple versions, but the original is hard to come by, and is a real period piece in America.  Published in 1931, it reflects the period of American food before the post-war processed food movement exploded, and also reflects a budget-consciousness that one doesn't often see in American cookbooks.  1931 is, of course, during the Great Depression, but there were many recessions before and after that, and the Gilded Age didn't touch all Americans--especially those who were immigrants or non-whites--so working within a budget seems to have been just a fact of life for most people.  1931 also predates the widespread acceptance of ethnic food in America, so it answers the question "How on earth does one cook without garlic?" which is something hard for me to even imagine. My grandmother was a wonderful cook, but I'm not even sure she would have seen a garlic bulb or fresh basil.  Personally, without herbs and garlic, I'm not sure I would know how to cook anything, so I think I can learn a few things from this book.  First up:
ham sandwich appetizers.  I am not a big fan of mayonnaise, so I was thrilled to find a sandwich recipe that didn't use it.  Putting meat in a food processor is sort of a new experience for me,
and including 4 hard-boiled eggs made it even stranger.  Luckily,
it calls for mustard, pickles, and enough vinegar to achieve a "spreadable consistency,"
which I'm guessing might be this.  I'm not exactly sure, as "spreadable meat" is a new experience.  It worked,
and actually makes a really good sandwich.  I might still prefer my ham in solid form, but this did make a nice, easy lunch for us, and could be a great way to use up leftovers. 

I wasn't exactly aiming for a sandwich spread theme for the week, but I had an extra avocado in the refrigerator, so today for lunch I fixed Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Salad Sandwiches,
which is ugly, but a keeper.  Dinner is a split pea and parsnip soup that isn't half as ugly, but isn't very good either.  Edible, but not repeatable. 

Tonight I'm working on the menu for the rest of the week.  I'm thinking I'll be looking for a few things that require teeth for a change..............

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You know you've reached a whole new level of gardening when you receive a wholesale catalog.....