Sandwich Twitter II: The Baconing


My last bizarre voyage into Sandwich Twitter was back in June and was enough to keep me away for a while. This time, however, Jess Epstein (@jessepstein a/k/a Sandwich Lady) published an excerpt from her venerable Depression-era cookbook that looked good enough to try, so I’m back for Sandwich Twitter II: The Baconing.

At first glance, the recipe appears to be a take on the classic British sandwich, the Bacon Butty, of which I’m already a big fan. This being America, the author went and added some cheese. That makes sense: cheese makes everything better.

The name is a bit flamboyant, but the recipe seems simple enough. I assembled the ingredients, which were already things I had in the house.

I assumed the “mustard” here meant ground mustard, not the condiment. Since I’m cooking for one, I halved the recipe. I pre-heated the oven and mixed the spread, and topped with bacon as directed.

Seven minutes in the toaster oven produced the result:

My first reaction was that I like my bacon a little more well done than that, but it was mostly OK. The cheese and bacon, unsurprisingly, was a good combination. Given those two ingredients, you can probably leave out the salt, but even with it, it wasn’t excessively salty.

It’s a rich sandwich with cheap ingredients, the sort of thing you’d expect from a 1930s cookbook. And it was actually really good! I ate it open-faced, though I suspect regular-style would work OK, too. The mustard flavor added some complexity, but I’m not sure I tasted the paprika.

The verdict: give it a try. If you like bacon and cheese, you can’t go wrong here. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s an upgrade on a standard bacon sandwich that will make for a tasty, filling lunch. ✮✮✮✮✩

Sandwich Twitter


Today, I ate a weird sandwich on a dare, and now I’m going to write about it. See? It’s not all politics around here.

I expressed an interest in this horrifying sandwich, tweeted out by @jessepstein a/k/a Sandwich Lady:

The combination sounded gross, but weirder things have been done in food. I volunteered to try it and assembled the ingredients.

No one else in my household wished to join me in the adventure, so I reduced the recipe. The peanut butter, mayonnaise, and diced pickles combined for a mixture that had the appearance and consistency of cat vomit. (I don’t know what “boiled salad dressing” is, so mayo was the default option.)

I still may have made too much. The mixture was inconsistently runny and the lettuce did little to contain it. It was a gloppy mess.

The taste was not as instantly offensive as I’d guessed it would be. It helped, I suppose, that they’re all ingredients I like, if not necessarily in combination. The filling was slippery and rich, with the peanut butter being by far the dominant flavor. There were also hints of sourness and tanginess from the pickles and mayo that crept in occasionally.

I had a hard time telling if I liked it or not. The peanut-mayo wasn’t instantly repulsive, but after a few bites, it became too unctuous. Once I found myself preferring the bites that had more lettuce than anything, I knew I was done. This was bad.

The verdict: don’t do this. If you’re living through the Great Depression, as the recipe’s author was, I suppose the PB&P will do in a pinch, but in 21st-century America, stick to ham and cheese. ✮✩✩✩✩

Chess Pie


OK, time for another non-political post.20160228_174921

As I mentioned in this post a couple weeks ago, I’ve been fascinated by this article, 8 Forgotten Pie Recipes We Should Bring Back, that I read in Mental Floss. Last week, I baked the second of them, a Chess Pie.

The article describes it as a “desperation pie” because it requires only a few cheap ingredients that are found in most households on a daily basis. This is true. The filling is mostly sugar, milk, butter, and eggs, and everything else I needed was already in my kitchen.

I followed the recipe linked in the article, which was from Southern Living. That magazine has never steered me wrong when it comes to food, and this was no exception. The pie was easy to prepare and the result was sweet and delicious. The butter flavor was very rich, and I ended up only eating a small slice at a time.

The chess pie is far from fancy, and maybe that’s why it’s been forgotten outside the South, but if you’re looking for a cheap and easy dessert, I’d recommend it.

Marlborough Pie


We’re not going to have the South Carolina primary or Nevada caucus results until later, so let’s talk about something completely different: pie.

20160205_150139Mental Floss published an article by Jeff Wells back in January entitled “8 Forgotten Pie Recipes We Should Bring Back“. I was instantly fascinated. I love rediscovering old folkways, and everybody loves pie, so there was nothing not to like. Number 4, Shoofly Pie, is far from forgotten in Pennsylvania, but the rest I’d never heard of. So I made the Marlborough Pie, which has apple and custard for its filling.

I followed the recipe exactly, except for dicing the apple instead of grating it, mostly because I thought it would save time. I might try it again with the grater some other time. But the result was a decent pie that was not difficult to throw together. The apples’ tartness balanced the sweet custard nicely. There’s a recipe in Yankee magazine, if any of you want to give it a try.