About a year ago I set myself the challenge of having a sandwich with a filling from a vintage cookbook every day for lunch for a week, and as with most challenges proudly declaimed in the internet, it was only half completed. (OK, I managed three days out of five. See results here.) I did at the time however, have my eye caught by one of the sweet fillings listed in the Jewish Cookery Book by Florence Greenberg (1947), date spread.
Now I have a mixed relationship with dried dates – I love them pulverised, for example, as the filling to a date slice, but hate them whole, finding the skin weirdly plastic-y and the inside too sticky. (On a similar note, I recommend you never voluntarily eat a sugar-preserved kumquat. They taste like the bastard child of marmalade and Lego.)
I’ve decided to show the full list of sweet fillings suggested by the book, I have no idea how many more I’ll attempt in the future but I hope someone out there is inspired by the idea of a sandwich of preserved ginger, walnuts and whipped cream. I don’t think I’ve ever had 4 bananas, two finely crumbed stale sponge cakes and red currant jelly in my house all at the same time.
So, this looks… not very pretty, but that’s no reason to be prejudiced – beef stew isn’t pretty, artichoke dip isn’t pretty but I don’t want to live in a world without them. Just think of it as the soft, caramel-ly cousin of (Christmas) mincemeat and you’ll be fine.
Dated by Elly