Jan 12, 2010

1001 Sandwiches

Sometimes when I'm bored I like to go to the library and check out poor, lonely old books, you know the ones no one seems to ever check out. Today I found this lovely little one
sitting on her own.
It hadn't been checked out since March of 1970. I flipped through it and couldn't resist taking her home.

When I opened the inner jacket and saw this:
"There are all kinds for all tastes and occasions---for men and women, old and
young, eupeptics and dyspeptics; for lunch, tea, late supper, picnics---the
largest and most complete collection ever put forth in book form"

I was hooked.

A "eupeptic" is a gay, right? I'm pretty sure I'm a eupeptic.

It was published in 1928 in Boston, and the recipes are quite fascinating...if often uneatable. Here's a sampling of Mrs. Cowles's genius at work:

"Tomato Soup Sandwich:
Spread rye bread with creamed butter and cover with a leaf of lettuce. Spread undiluted tomato soup, canned, on the lettuce, cover with another leaf and then with he other slice of bread."

"Cauliflower sandwich", "Yeast Sandwich", "Baked Bean sandwich" ("Press three cups of cold baked beans through a sieve..." and then she lost me...)

There are a number of recipes for the charmingly named "Hamburg Sandwiches"

I decided to forgo the ominous sounding "Emergency Sandwich"

(Put six sweet pickles though the food chopper, also five
boiled eggs. Salt and pepper to taste. Cream two tablespoons of peanut butter
and one of prepared mustard....")

and make a watercress, cucumber, tomato sandwich instead.

I'd never actually had a watercress. It's one of those things that I've read about all the time, but never have, like sex.

So I went the the Asian market and found some watercress (much cheaper than at Whole Foods) and some cucumbers and tomatoes. I bought some white bread and butter and voila.It's actually pretty good. Here's to Mrs. Cowles, the Scherezade of Sandwiches!


Michael Rivers said...

That's a great idea to look for these old books that haven't been checked out for years. 1970. Wow!

BrooksNYC said...

Love the look of that book, and here's the thing: I can see myself eating any of the aforementioned scary sandwiches con gusto. Been eating mashed beans on toast for decades, actually.

My weirdest, best sandwich filling was probably almond butter topped with Central Grocery olive salad.

Crazy about watercress!

ayem8y said...

Are you having a ladies luncheon? Are the gals coming over for your turn to host the Daughters of Fine Lineage?

Cute sandwiches and plate though!

“Spread rye bread with creamed butter and cover with a leaf of lettuce. Spread undiluted tomato soup, canned, on the lettuce, cover with another leaf and then with the other slice of bread."

Not surprisingly and if starving to death this recipe makes the book itself edible if not a tad eupeptic.

ilduce said...

Jason! my lost soul mate! I'd bought and read 1001 sandwiches many years ago for the self same reasons! I still to this day shudder at the thought of baked bean sandwiches....

mrpeenee said...

I refuse to look up "Eupeptic" or even take a wild guess at its definition and, instead, stick with yours, regardless. I've always thought you looked sort of eupeptic.

Michael Mattison said...

What a cute post, Jason. Love it when you do eclectic stuff like this.

MJ said...

I challenge you to a "1001 Sandwiches in 1001 Days" project.

Something like Michael Rivers did with his "52 Restaurants in 52 Weeks".

Anonymous said...

HA! This is brilliant! I would love to just read that book just to see what kind of 'sandwich perspective' folks had back in the day. And last checked out in March 1970? ...a month before I was born. I'm surprised that library still had that book around. It's like you opened a gateway to the past full of history. (If those pages could talk...oooh, I bet it would have stories to tell about the kitchens it has been in over the years.

Anonymous said...

Do not forget that was a English Lord that invented sandwiches...

So, it is not only a way to get fast meals it is also a a sign of refine taste...

(speaking about old books. I also love to find those bizarre old books and my last finding was a 1920's French one entitled «A guide to women's genital hygiene»....AND IT IS SIMPLY HILAURIOUS...)

Michael Guy said...

I love how you felt compassion for a lonely book. That's very telling.

Sweet post and now I'm hankering for some watercress...

Jill said...

If you flirted a bit, I'm sure you could find some sex at the grocery as well as watercress!

Kim Hambric said...

I'm so glad this lonely book found a friend.

I always thought hobos cooked over an open fire next to the railroad tracks. I had no idea there was a sandwich recipe book written just for them.

By the way, that painting you posted several days ago -- very impressive.

Miss Janey said...

Oh, Jason! Miss J wishes she were there to share your delicate finger sammies. Not with tea, though. She could mix up some grapefruit margies that would go along nicely.

So "eupeptic"... didn't that used to also say, "confirmed bachelor"?

thombeau said...

You did the right thing.