Saturday, June 4, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016 11

Historical Food Fortnightly 2016  Challenge 11:

Picnic Foods

The Challenge: Picnic Foods

 Some foods are just meant to be eaten in the outdoors! Concoct a dish that is documented for al fresco dining, or foods that might particularly lend themselves to eating at a picnic. Bonus points for putting it to the test!

Work/real life is keeping me busy.  I didn't have the time to bake anything AND it suddenly got very hot here so I didn't even feel like turning the oven on. Naturally, I turned to sandwiches! What is more iconic for a picnic than a sandwich? I made several different types from the early 1900s and though I did put them to the test, I kept forgetting to snap pictures. 

The Recipes: 

Sweet Sandwiches
Any conserve or marmalade may be used with minced nuts and spread between slices of buttered bread. Both white and entire wheat or graham bread may be used. Jellies may be mixed with cream or cottage cheese and spread between buttered crackers. Raisins and nuts moistened with grape juice white bread. Shaved maple sugar and cream entire wheat bread. The butter for spreading should always be creamed. Wrap in wax paper.

Linda Hull Larned, One Hundred Picnic Suggestions, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915 . 116

Peanut Paste for Sandwiches


The Settlement Cook Book: The Way to a Man's Heart, The Settlement, Milwaukee, 1903

Strawberry Sandwiches

 Marion Harris Neil, Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing Dish Recipes, D. McKay, 1916 p.127

Date and Region: 1903-1916 United States

How did you make it: 

It was too hot and time consuming to make bread so I used commercially baked country white bread and spread it with the toppings. I also used round saltine crackers. I was too lazy to really cream the butter much but I let it sit until softened and beat it with an electric mixer until spreading consistency. 

I crushed unsalted peanuts in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. 

Creamed butter with a pinch of salt in an electric handmixer until soft and spreadable.

 I combined the butter and peanuts into a paste, spread it on white bread, trimmed the crusts and cut into triangles. 
Peanut paste sandwich
Wrapped in wax paper for traveling.

I mixed Philadelphia light cream cheese with maple sugar and spread on white bread.
Cream cheese and maple sugar sandwich

I mixed Philadelphia light cream cheese with Bon Mamamn blackberry preserves and spread on round saltine crackers spread with butter.

Cream Cheese and Jam sandwich on saltines

I mooshed strawberries with a potato masher and mixed with butter then chilled in the fridge. I spread on white bread and cut with a butterfly cutter.
mashed strawberries

Strawberries and butter mixture
strawberries and butter butterfly shaped sandwich

I mixed Jif peanut butter with unprocessed honey from Corsica and spread on white bread. I sprinkled on a bit of maple sugar for extra sweetness.

How Successful Was It?: The jam sandwiches are very messy and soggy. The strawberry/butter mixture was odd. It didn't spread very well and the chunks of strawberries made the sandwich thick and messy to eat.

Adding salt to the peanut paste was not a good idea. It made my sandwich a bit too salty for my preference.

The most successful was the PB and honey. I make PB and honey all the time but I never thought to mix the honey in the peanut butter. This made the sandwich extra delicious and cut down on the stuck in your mouth feeling from too much PB.

Time to Complete:  Each one takes about 15 minutes or less, not counting the time to soften butter. I made these over the course of a week and a half for lunches at work. 

Total Cost:  I had all the ingredients on hand.

How Accurate Is It?: Mostly accurate. I didn't use fresh baked bread or any homemade ingredients. I put together commercial Philadelphia cream cheese or grocery store butter with store-bought jams, jellys and peanut butter. I substituted cream cheese for cream in the maple sugar sandwich and left out the confectioner's sugar in the strawberry sandwich. I did however, use special wild honey my parents purchased in Europe to mix with the commercial peanut butter. 

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