Tea Cakes: (Betsy Vaughn.) Cream together a cup and a half of butter, and two cups and a half of sugar, add to five eggs beaten very light, mix well, then add a cup and a half of buttermilk with a small teaspoonful of soda dissolved in it. Pour upon flour enough to make a soft dough, flavor with nutmeg, roll out a quarter-inch thick, cut with a small, round cutter, and bake in a quick but not scorching oven.
Sandwiches: In sandwich making mind your S's. That is to say, have your knife sharp, your bread stale, your butter soft. Moreover the bread must be specially made—fine grained, firm, not crumbly, nor ragged. Cut off crusts for ordinary sandwiches—but if shaping them with cutters let it stay. Then you can cut to the paper-thinness requisite—otherwise that is impossible. Work at a roomy table spread with a clean old tablecloth over which put sheets of clean, thick paper. Do your cutting on the papered surface—thus you save either turning your knife edges against a platter or sorely gashing even an old cloth. Keep fancy cutters all together and ready to your hand. Shape one kind of sandwiches all the same—thus you distinguish them easily. Make as many as your paper space will hold, before stamping out any—this saves time and strength. Clear away the fragments from one making, before beginning another sort, thus avoiding possible taints and confusion. Lay your made sandwiches on a platter under a dry cloth with a double damp one on top of it. They will not dry out, and it is much easier than wrapping in oiled paper.
The nearer fillings approach the consistency of soft butter, the better. In making sardine sandwiches, boil the eggs hard, mash the yolks smooth while hot, softening them with either butter or salad dressing—French dressing of course. It is best made with lemon juice and very sharp vinegar for such use. Work into the eggs, the sardines freed of skin and bone after draining well, and mashed as fine as possible. A little of their oil may be added if the flavor is liked. But lemon juice is better. Rub the mixture smooth with the back of a stout wooden spoon, and pack close in a bowl so it shall not harden.
Pimento cheese needs to be softened with French dressing, until like creamed butter. The finer the pimento is ground the better. Spread evenly upon the buttered bread, lay other buttered bread upon it, and pile square. When the pile gets high enough, cut through into triangles or finger shapes, and lay under the damp cloth. Slice Swiss cheese very thin with a sharp knife, season lightly with salt and paprika, and lay between the buttered slices. Lettuce dressed with oil and lemon juice and lightly sprinkled with Parmesan cheese makes a refreshing afternoon sandwich. Ham needs to be ground fine—it must be boiled well of course—seasoned lightly with made mustard, pepper, and lemon juice, softened a bit with clear oil or butter, and spread thin. Tongue must be treated the same way, else boiled very, very tender, skinned before slicing, and sliced paper-thin. Rounds of it inside shaped sandwiches are likely to surprise—and please—masculine palates.
For the shaped sandwich—leaf or star, or heart, or crescent, is the happy home, generally, of all the fifty-seven varieties of fancy sandwich fillings, sweet and sour, mushy and squshy, which make an honest mouthful of natural flavor, a thing of joy. Yet this is not saying novelty in sandwiches is undesirable. Contrariwise it is welcome as summer rain. In witness, here is a filling from the far Philippines, which albeit I have not tried it out yet, sounds to me enticing, and has further the vouching of a cook most excellent. Grate fine as much Edam or pineapple cheese as requisite, season well with paprika, add a few grains of black pepper, wet with sherry to the consistency of cream, and spread between buttered bread. If it is nut bread so much the better. Nut bread is made thus.
Nut Bread for Sandwiches: (Mrs. Petre.) Beat two eggs very light, with a scant teaspoonful salt, half cup sugar, and two cups milk. Sift four cups flour twice with four teaspoonfuls baking powder. Mix with eggs and milk, stir smooth, add one cup nuts finely chopped, let raise for twenty minutes, in a double pan, and bake in a moderately quick oven. Do not try to slice until perfectly cold—better wait till next day, keeping the bread where it will not dry out. Slice very thin, after buttering. Makes sandwiches of special excellence with any sort of good filling.
From "Dishes & Beverages of the Old South" (1913) by Martha McCulloch Williams
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