by Robrt L. Pela
I’m a sucker for peculiar old cookbooks. They call to me, from eBay, and Glendale antique shops, and from the shelves of used bookstores in Tempe. I always come running, desperate for a volume I’ll love as much as I love Dishes to Make Him Happy, in which author and Fifties housewife Elana Cooke (I swear, that’s her name) instructs us in how to please our husbands with entrees like Potato Chip-Dipped Baby Leg of Lamb and something called Mock Indian Pudding, which is not actually a pudding and contains no Indians, although there’s plenty to mock about it.
That’s why I love these books so: Because there’s so much between their covers about which to make fun. I thrill to reading recipes for things like Cottage Cheese-Pickle-Peanut Sandwich, which involves a “homemade” spread of pickle relish and peanut butter, and which I can’t help but share with you here in this, the first installment of this cautionary cook’s column.
COTTAGE CHEESE PICKLE-PEANUT SANDWICH
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2/3 cup cottage cheese 1/3 cup peanut butter, coarse grind 1/3 cup diced dill or sweet pickles 8 slices white bread 2 tablespoons milk ¼ teaspoon salt 1 egg, beaten Cooking fat
Combine first three ingredients; spread generously on four slices bread and cover with other four slices. Beat egg with milk and dip both sides of sandwiches into this mixture. Brown on both sides in hot fat over moderate heat.
I love any recipe that includes “cooking fat” as one of its ingredients; that’s so 1952. And just the fact that this is a grilled sandwich spread with pickles, peanut butter, and cottage cheese screams “Not of this world!” Which is precisely how I like my recipes to read.