Food & Drink

400 Ways to Make a Sandwich: A 1909 Cookbook Full of Creative Recipes

in Books, Food & Drink, History | September 16th, 2016

Good news for anyone looking to escape the tired old sardine sandwich rut – The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book: 400 Ways to Make a Sandwich, above, boasts no fewer than ten variations, plus a handful of canapés.

The omega-3-rich fishes may be swimming their way back onto trendy 21st-century lunch menus, but back in 1909, when The Up-To-Date Sandwich Book was published, convincing diners to order them wasn’t such an uphill battle.

Other popular ingredients of the period include tongue, English walnuts, flowers, and of course, cheese, with nary an avocado in sight.

Author Eva Greene Fuller had a clear preference for spreadable consistencies, an insistence on “perfect bread in suitable condition” and an eye for detail, evident in such suggested garnishes as smilax and maidenhair fern.

Naturally, there are some misfires amid the 400, at least as far as modern palates and sensibilities are concerned.

The Mexican Sandwich calls for a spoonful of baked beans mixed with catsup and butter, served atop a large square cracker.

The Oriental Sandwich features a spread made of cream cheese, maple syrup, and sliced maraschino cherries.  

The Dyspeptic Sandwich is the only one to use gluten-free bread… sprinkled with brown bread crumbs. 

The Popcorn Sandwich sounds quite tasty except for the titular ingredient, which is passed through a meat chopper and combined with sardines, prior to being spread with Parmesan and slid under the broiler.

As for peanut butter, it’s a mix-your-own affair, using chopped peanuts and the cook’s choice of mayonnaise, sweetened whipped cream, sherry or port wine.

And children are sure to approve of the School Sandwich, a simple concoction of buttered white bread and brown sugar.

Below is a taste to get you started, though all 400 recipes can be browsed above. The initiated may also be interested in the etymology of the word “sandwich” on the Public Domain Review, who brought this cookbook to our attention, 

Cannibal Sandwich

Chop raw beef and onions very fine, season with salt and pepper and spread on lightly buttered brown bread.

Bummers Custard Sandwich

Take a cake of Roquefort cheese and divide in thirds; moisten one third with brandy, another third with olive oil and the other third with Worcestershire sauce. mix all together and place between split water biscuits toasted. Good for a stag lunch. 

Aspic Jelly Sandwich

Soak one box (two ounces) of gelatin in one cup of chicken liquor until softened; add three cupfuls of chicken stock seasoned with a little parsley, celery, three cloves, a blade of mace and a dash of salt and pepper. Strain into a dish and add a little shredded breast of chicken; set in a cold place to harden; when cold, slice in fancy shaped and place on slightly butter whole wheat bread. Garnish with a stick of celery.  

Violet Sandwich

Cover the butter with violets over night; slice white bread thin and spread with the butter. Put slices together and cover with the petals of the violets.

via Public Domain Review

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  She will serving as both emcee and referee in this weekend’s Brooklyn Book Festival Illustrator Smackdown. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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Mark Twain Makes a List of 60 American Comfort Foods He Missed While Traveling Abroad (1880)

in Food & Drink, Literature, Travel | September 15th, 2016


Thinking of taking a trip abroad? Or maybe relocating for good? Americans would do well, even 150 years hence, to attend to Mark Twain’s satirical account of U.S. travelers journeying through Europe and Palestine, The Innocents Abroad. The “Americans who are painted to peculiar advantage by Mr. Clements” (sic), as fellow American satirist William Dean Howells wrote at the time, still roam the Earth—-including travelers like one who “told the English officers that a couple of our gunboats could come and knock Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea.” The tactlessness and belligerence Twain skewered do not feel historically so far from home.

Twain’s portraits—“somewhat caricatured… or carefully and exactly done”—proved so popular with readers that he followed up with an unofficial sequel, 1880’s A Tramp Abroad, a somewhat more serious fictionalized travelogue of Americans journeying through Europe; this time but two, Twain and his friend “Harris.” In the previous book, complained Howells, the reader learns “next to nothing about the population of the cities and the character of the rocks in the different localities.” Here, without his comedy troupe of traveling companions, Twain directs his focus outward with minute descriptions of his surroundings. He is, as usual, supremely curious, often perplexed, but mostly delighted by his experiences. Except when it comes to the food.

Growing “increasingly tired of an abundance of what he described as ‘fair-to-middling’ food,” writes Lists of Note, Twain comments: “The number of dishes is sufficient; but then it is such a monotonous variety of UNSTRIKING dishes […] Three or four months of this weary sameness will kill the robustest appetite.” Having never spent so long a time away, I cannot speak to Twain’s gustatory ennui, but I can relate, as no doubt can you, reader, to missing one or two familiar comfort foods (as well as “sincere and capable” ice water). Twain, perhaps not as adventurous an eater as he was a traveler—and in that sense also very much a modern American—made “an enormous list of the foods he’d missed the most, of which were to be consumed when he arrived home.”

The list, below, is itself a kind of travelogue, through the varieties of 19th century American cuisine, East, West, North, and South, including such delicacies as “’Possum” “Canvas-back-duck from Baltimore,” “Virginia bacon, broiled,” “Prairie liens, from Illinois,” and “Brook trout, from Sierra Nevadas.” While we might pine for a regional delicacy or favorite processed food, Twain conjured up in his mind’s gut a whole continent of food to come home to. What kinds of food do you find yourself missing when you travel? And how long a list might you find yourself making after several months tramping around in foreign lands? Tell us in the comments section below. For now, here’s is Twain’s list:

Radishes. Baked apples, with cream
Fried oysters; stewed oysters. Frogs.
American coffee, with real cream.
American butter.
Fried chicken, Southern style.
Porter-house steak.
Saratoga potatoes.
Broiled chicken, American style.
Hot biscuits, Southern style.
Hot wheat-bread, Southern style.
Hot buckwheat cakes.
American toast. Clear maple syrup.
Virginia bacon, broiled.
Blue points, on the half shell.
Cherry-stone clams.
San Francisco mussels, steamed.
Oyster soup. Clam Soup.
Philadelphia Terapin soup.
Oysters roasted in shell-Northern style.
Soft-shell crabs. Connecticut shad.
Baltimore perch.
Brook trout, from Sierra Nevadas.
Lake trout, from Tahoe.
Sheep-head and croakers, from New Orleans.
Black bass from the Mississippi.
American roast beef.
Roast turkey, Thanksgiving style.
Cranberry sauce. Celery.
Roast wild turkey. Woodcock.
Canvas-back-duck, from Baltimore.
Prairie liens, from Illinois.
Missouri partridges, broiled.
‘Possum. Coon.
Boston bacon and beans.
Bacon and greens, Southern style.
Hominy. Boiled onions. Turnips.
Pumpkin. Squash. Asparagus.
Butter beans. Sweet potatoes.
Lettuce. Succotash. String beans.
Mashed potatoes. Catsup.
Boiled potatoes, in their skins.
New potatoes, minus the skins.
Early rose potatoes, roasted in the ashes, Southern style, served hot.
Sliced tomatoes, with sugar or vinegar. Stewed tomatoes.
Green corn, cut from the ear and served with butter and pepper.
Green corn, on the ear.
Hot corn-pone, with chitlings, Southern style.
Hot hoe-cake, Southern style.
Hot egg-bread, Southern style.
Hot light-bread, Southern style.
Buttermilk. Iced sweet milk.
Apple dumplings, with real cream.
Apple pie. Apple fritters.
Apple puffs, Southern style.
Peach cobbler, Southern style
Peach pie. American mince pie.
Pumpkin pie. Squash pie.
All sorts of American pastry.
Fresh American fruits of all sorts, including strawberries which are not to be doled out as if they were jewelry, but in a more liberal way. 
Ice-water—not prepared in the ineffectual goblet, but in the sincere and capable refrigerator.

via Lists of Note

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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Watch Akira Kurosawa & Francis Ford Coppola in Japanese Whiskey Ads from 1979: The Inspiration for Lost in Translation

in Business, Film, Food & Drink | September 15th, 2016

Francis Ford Coppola wasn’t the first or last Western celebrity to hawk booze in a Japanese commercial, but if you’re looking for the seed that sprouted into the funniest scene in his daughter Sophia’s Lost in Translation, here are the series of five ads in all their glory, in which the director shares a glass with one of his idols, Akira Kurosawa.

The year is 1979, and Coppola is deep in post-production for Apocalypse Now. While he is struggling with reels and reels from a troubled production, Akira Kurosawa, despite his stature in the world of cinema, is struggling with finances. His two films of the 1970s, Dodeskaden and Dersu Uzala, had been flops, despite some critical acclaim. At some point he had been so despondent wondering if he’d ever direct again, he had attempted suicide and was a heavy drinker.

But George Lucas and Coppola, learning of the director’s sad condition, convinced 20th Century Fox to put up the money for Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior, Kurosawa’s return to the samurai films of his classic period. At the same time, Coppola agreed to be in a commercial for Suntory Whiskey alongside Kurosawa–who had shot some ads for them in 1976–just to get the director some more money. (Kurosawa’s fee was $30,000. And Coppola didn’t drink.)

For Suntory, the oldest distilling company in Japan, this meeting of East and West was a metaphor for their desire to break into the Western whiskey market. Using American celebrities like Sammy Davis Jr. established authenticity in the mind of the Japanese consumer, but this was a new level of prestige.

The series of ads above also show glimpses of Kurosawa in the midst of filming Kagemusha, shooting epic battles featuring samurai on horseback. The voice over is unsurprisingly (for this sophisticated market) pretentious:

“The world’s gaze is fixed on these two men right now as on nobody else. There’s no stronger friendship than that between these two men.” (The impact of that translation, you could say, is lost.)

Unlike Bill Murray’s character in Sophia Coppola’s film, Francis Ford Coppola really didn’t have to do much except show up, but no doubt the experience was re-told many times to his daughter over the years. And after the comeback of Kagemusha, Kurosawa went on to direct one of his best films, the King Lear-inspired Ran.

We’ll raise a glass to that.

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at and/or watch his films here.

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Paul McCartney Shows You How to Make Mashed Potatoes (1998)

in Food & Drink, Music | September 8th, 2016

10 minutes of Macca making mash. That’s what’s on the menu today.

The clip above was shot back in December 1998, only eight months after Paul McCartney lost his wife Linda to breast cancer. Devastated by the loss, McCartney stayed out of the limelight for most of that year. And only with this show did he start entering public life again. A chance to remember Linda, an opportunity to experiment with this new thing called the internet, the show let Paul field questions from fans worldwide, reminisce about Linda, and make a recipe from her vegetarian cookbook, Linda McCartney on Tour: Over 200 Meat-Free Dishes from Around the World. The demo is pretty hands-on. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. It’s also comical and a joy to watch. And watch, you will.

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Pizza Box Becomes a Playable DJ Turntable Through the Magic of Conductive Ink

in Food & Drink, Music, Technology | August 25th, 2016

Turns out Pizza Hut is good for something…

They’ve teamed up with the printed electronics company Novalia to turn cardboard pizza boxes into playable turntables. Specializing in technology that adds touch and connectivity to everyday surfaces, Novalia has created two scratchable decks, each with controls that let you fine-tune the volume, pitch, playback, and crossfading. And it’s all done with the magic of conductive ink.

According to Live for Music, “the battery-powered box can be hooked up to a computer or phone through Bluetooth, then connected to any DJ software like Serato or DJ Pro.” Right now, the playable pizza box is only available at a few Pizza Hut locations in the UK. Above, DJ Vectra offers a primer on using the new gadget.

via Live for Music

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Replica of an Algerian City, Made of Couscous: Now on Display at The Guggenheim

in Art, Food & Drink | July 26th, 2016


If you head over to The Guggenheim in New York City, you’re bound to spend time immersing yourself in the Moholy-Nagy exhibit that’s now on display. It’s well worth your time. You can also take a side trip through a smaller exhibition featuring the work of Middle Eastern and North African artists. And there you’ll discover the work of Kader Attia, a French-Algerian artist whose work “reflects on the impact of Western societies on their former colonial counterparts.” Above, we have Attia’s replica of an Algerian city (Ghardaïa) made out of couscous. The Tate explains the conceptual thrust of the piece as follows:

The installation presents a model of the Algerian town Ghardaïa made from cous cous, shown alongside photographs of the Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier and the French architect Fernand Pouillon, and a print of the UNESCO declaration that the town is a World Heritage site. During the nineteenth century Ghardaïa was colonised by France, but the buildings were not altered during this period and remain characteristic of Mozabite architecture. Le Corbusier visited Ghardaïa in 1931, just three years after becoming a French citizen, and made sketches of the buildings. These strongly resemble the style of modernist architecture he subsequently espoused in his treatise on urban planning, La cité radieuse.

That a noted French architect should take inspiration from an Algerian town may not seem significant, however, as Attia notes, ‘architecture has first to do with politics, with the political order.’ As Attia is a child of Algerian immigrants and grew up partly in a Parisian banlieue, this statement seems particularly resonant. The use of cous cous as the material to ‘build’ the model is appropriate as it will provide an approximation of the town’s decay over time throughout the exhibition, while representing one of the region’s most popular foods – now a staple of European cuisine.

By replicating the town as an architects’ model in this way Attia shows the impact of his native culture, which had operated as a non-powerful host to colonial France, on their old colonisers, who went on to play host to the artist and his family. As well as highlighting the cultural impact of the colonised onto the coloniser, reversing the normally reported direction of influence, this also reveals the complexity of hospitality between people and nations which often relates to dispossession and re-appropriation…

Attia’s couscous installation is also on display at The Tate. If you’re in London, pay them a visit.

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If Coffee Commercials Told the Unvarnished Truth

in Comedy, Food & Drink | July 22nd, 2016

A new comedy video from Cracked makes a fair point: there’s a lot of bullshit that goes into the marketing of coffee nowadays. Slap the words “organic” and “fair trade” on the product, and everyone feels pretty good about keeping their caffeine addictions going. Several years ago, Slovenian theorist Slavoj Žižek took a closer look at this phenomenon and drew some interesting conclusions about how, within contemporary capitalism, companies like Starbucks have reworked Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic, and found new ways to square our economic and spiritual lives. Starbucks has made it, Žižek notes, so that when we enter their stores, we’re not just buying coffee and being consumers. Rather, we’re buying fair trade and eco-friendly coffee, participating in charitable work, and leaving with a sense of redemption. The animated video is worth a look.

And lest you think marketing coffee has always been a sunny affair, let me turn your attention to this post in our archive: Men In Commercials Being Jerks About Coffee: A Mashup of 1950s & 1960s TV Ads.

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An 1585 Recipe for Making Pancakes: Make It Your Saturday Morning Breakfast

in Food & Drink | July 9th, 2016

old pancakes

Earlier this week, Colin Marshall highlighted a trove of 3,000 vintage cookbooks on, many of which date back to the 19th century.

Cookbooks, however, first arrived on the scene well before that. According to the venerable British Library, the “late 16th century was the first time that cookery books began to be published and acquired with any sort of regularity.” “It is also the first time that cookery books were directed at a female audience.” That is, privileged women who could read and had access to sugar, spices and other then rare ingredients.

Above you can find a recipe for making pancakes, straight from 1585.  To make Pancakes, the text reads:

Take new thicke Creame a pine, foure or five yolks of egs, a good handful of flower and two or three spoonefuls of ale, strain them together into a faire platter, and season it with a good handfull of sugar, a spooneful of synamon, and a little Ginger: then take a friing pan, and put in a litle peece of Butter, as big as your thumbe, and when it is molten brown, cast it out of your pan, and with a ladle put to the further side of your pan some of your stuffe, and hold your pan …, so that your stuffe may run abroad over all the pan as thin as may be: then set it to the fire, and let the fyre be verie soft, and when the one side is baked, then turn the other, and bake them as dry as ye can without burning.

It’s Saturday morning. What are you waiting for? Give it a try. The page above also offers recipes for various puddings. Find those recipes transcribed here

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An Archive of 3,000 Vintage Cookbooks Lets You Travel Back Through Culinary Time

in Food & Drink | July 7th, 2016

OC bachelor coobook illustration

By the time I got to high school, home economics classes had fallen out of favor: the boys, of course, considered them too “girly,” and the girls considered them enforcers of traditional gender roles wholly out of place in modern society. At that time, America’s widespread obsession with food still had a few years before its full bloom, and now I imagine that learning to cook has regained a certain cachet even among teenagers. But what of “home economics” itself, that curious banner that combines a definition of economics nobody now quite recognizes with the less-than-fashionable concepts of domesticity, practicality, and necessity?

You can get a sense of the field’s history with a visit to the Cookbook and Home Economics Collection at the Internet Archive. Its items, drawn from the Young Research Library Department of Special Collections at UCLA, the Bancroft Library at The University of California, Berkeley, and the Prelinger Library, “take us back to an America in the early decades of the 20th century covering topics on cookery, textiles, family and home, budgeting, domestic sciences, and many other delightful topics.” Some will find them more inherently delightful than will others, but the historical value remains undeniable: each and every book in the collection takes us back to a different time and place with its own interests and priorities, in the kitchen as well as elsewhere in the home.

At the Internet Archive blog, Jeff Kaplan highlights such works as the Pilgrim Cook Bookpublished by Chicago’s Pilgrim Evangelical Lutheran Church Ladies’ Aid Society in 1921 and including recipes for Sausage in Potato Boxes, Blitz Torte, Cough Syrup, and Sauerkraut Candy; 1912’s more subdued Food for the invalid and the convalescent, with its Beef Juice, Meat Jelly, Cracker Gruel, and advice that, “among other things, beer and pickles are bad for children”; and even older, 1906’s A bachelors cupboard; containing crumbs culled from the cupboards of the great unwedded which, warning that “the day of of the ‘dude’ has passed and the weakling is relegated to his rightful sphere in short order,” offers methods for the making of dishes with names like Bed-Spread For Two, Indian Devil Mixture, Hot Birds, and Finnan Haddie.

If we dismissed whatever they taught in high school Home Ec as old-fashioned, then boy, the wisdom preserved in this corner of the Internet Archive exists on a whole other plane. But it also contains more than laughs: the serious student of cuisine and its history will also find the likes of 1907’s A Guide to Modern Cookery, the work of French “king of chefs and chef of kings” Auguste Escoffier, as well as — sticking, sensibly, to that most Epicurean of all nations — Le grand dictionnaire de cuisine, a 1200-page encyclopedia-cookbook published just after the death of its author, The Three Musketeers author Alexandre Dumas. As relevance goes, both of them of them surely hold up far better than, say, The whole duty of a woman, or, An infallible guide to the fair sex: containing rules, directions, and observations, for their conduct and behavior through all ages and circumstances of life, as virgins, wives, or widows.

Enter the archive of 3,000+ cookbooks and home ec texts here.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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Physics & Caffeine: Stop Motion Film Uses a Cup of Coffee to Explain Key Concepts in Physics

in Food & Drink, Physics | June 30th, 2016

Want to teach me physics? Make it interesting. Better yet, use a cup of coffee as a prop. Now you’ve got my attention.

Created by Charlotte Arene while interning at the University of Paris-Sud’s Laboratory of Solid State PhysicsPhysics & Caffeine uses a shot of espresso to explain key concepts in physics. Why does coffee cool off so quickly when you blow on it? It comes down to understanding heat and thermodynamics. Why does coffee stay in a cup at all? That seemingly simple question is explained by quantum mechanics and even Newtonian physics and special relativity. You might want to watch that section twice.

Shot image by image, this stop motion film took three long months to create. Pretty impressive when you consider that 5,000 images went into making the film.

Get more information on the film, and even download it, from this page. And find more physics primers below.

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via Aeon

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