Summer Dreamin’ (Of Marshmallow Sandwiches and Glorified Perfection Salad)

It may not be summer (or even spring!) yet, but we had this item on display for our Open House event here at Special Collections last night. Plus, we have more warm weather on the way here in Blacksburg. Terrifying cover color scheme aside (against the multi-tonal greens, that white bread sandwich looks a little too pasty), Salads, Sandwiches, and Summer Drinks is an interesting blend of recipes. Ranging from the economical to the lavish and the simple to the strange, this publication has it all.

We’ve encountered some strange sandwiches here and here before and this won’t be the last of it. Salads, Sandwiches, and Summer Drinks contains such chapter headings as “Distinguished Sandwich Service,” “Nutritious Sandwiches,” “Party and Occasional Sandwiches,” “Refreshing Sandwiches,” and “Toasted Sandwiches.” Plus, there is an entire category of “Sweet Sandwiches” with some recipes that certainly catch your attention: chopped, softened marshmallows with butter and honey; cream cheese on chocolate wafers; or hard-boiled egg and butter (mixed with powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange rind). If you’re looking for something healthier, the “Nutritious Sandwiches” section includes combinations like creamed butter, peanut butter and chopped stuffed olives; crushed baked beans mixed with Russian dressing; or cottage cheese and chopped prunes with mayonnaise. And while we may have missed the chance to make Lincoln Birthday sandwiches this year, there are plenty of suggestions for other holiday snacks (see images above).

As for the salads, they are not about to be upstaged by mere bread and filling. Dressing recipes range from the classic boiled to fruited mayonnaise to French with all kinds of additions. The salad chapters include “Garnishing the Salad,” “Fruit Salads” (with subsection on frozen salads), “Main Dish Salads,” “Molded Salads” (as if we could forget them!), “Party or Occasion Salads,” and “Vegetarian Salads.” In addition to prescribed recipes, the book also contains tables for both suggested fruit and vegetable combinations. Lobster salad with caviar and party salads aside, most of the recipes are for everyday sort of eating and of surprising variety. As for holidays, you still have time to whip up a little something special for St. Patrick’s Day: green peppers, stuffed with cream cheese (made green by adding some sort of herbs or olives), sliced onto a bed of lettuce, and served with mayonnaise (also colored green with either spinach juice or parsley).

It was difficult not to share this great little publication in its entirely, since it does have a wonderful variety of classic and not-so-classic dishes. This is one of many specialized pamphlets by Liberty Weekly, as a number of others are referenced within this one, although this is the only one we currently have at Special Collections. They were all intended to make life a little easier and a little fancier. So, on that note, we’ll leave this post with a few helpful hints:

  • “Dainty summer flowers…frozen in the [ice] cubes, are attractive.”
  • “Have greens crisp and well dried. Otherwise dressing slides off, resulting in considerable loss in piquancy.”
  • and most importantly, “Never serve sandwiches ungarnished except at a picnic.”
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