Category Archives: Sandwiches

Day 314: Rolled Bread and Butter

I’m writing this entry the day after I “made” my daily recipe from The New Galt Cook Book (1898). Why? Well, I was driving on the 401 highway at 11:30 Monday night when I realized I’d never made a recipe during the day. I was almost an hour away from home. What to do? Could I wait until I got home since if I didn’t go to bed it would still feel like the same day? However, I was exhausted and the thought to cooking when I got home seemed hard to bear.

I decided to pull into a rest stop and have a quick look at the cook book for something that I could make using ingredients I might find in the little store at the stop. I found an anonymous recipe in the Sandwich section for Rolled Bread and Butter. Perfect! I could buy those things in the store … except it was closed. In fact the only place open was the Tim Horton’s coffee shop. It was nearing midnight when I noticed that they had bread rolls. I ordered soup and a buttered roll.

My “servants” — the nice Tim Horton’s staff cut the roll and buttered it. It was fresh and spongy bread with a soft crust thus meeting the requirements of the recipe. It certainly wasn’t bigger than 5 1/2 inches. I took it to a table and rolled up the buttered slice of bread. Success! And one more day of cooking every day from this cook book.

The rolled bread did look like a bolster. I think I handled it gently and I know I was firm with my bread encouraging it into the proper form. It even stayed in the proper shape at least long enough for me to eat it. I did not place my rolled bread and butter in a pyramid and I didn’t serve it on a doily with parsley. I didn’t have seasoned butter or lobster coral so mine was the plain rolled bread and butter. There was no watercress available but I suppose I could have asked for red crumbs . .  if Tim Hortons had red velvet cupcakes like so many other coffee shops. Instead I enjoyed my sweet potato soup courtesy of my “servants” and some rolled bread and butter made partly with my own hands. Both were delicious and if the rolled bread and butter was displayed as described in the recipe it would be very interesting to see at a tea party or lunch.


The bread required for this purpose must not be more than twenty-four hours old, and it must be of a spongy elastic character. The loaves may be baked either round or square, but to be really nice they should not measure more than five and a half inches in diameter. Cut the slices just as thin as it is possible to cut bread using a very sharp knife for the purpose so as to cut smoothly, and remember to butter them previous to cutting. Remove the crust — unless it is exceedingly soft and thin — and roll each slice up lightly in bolster form, handling it very gently, yet firmly, and just pressing it sufficiently to make the folds adhere. The rolls should be arranged in pyramidal form on a pretty lace dish paper, and be garnished round the base with tiny tufts of fresh, green parsley. For light luncheons and suppers too, it is frequently served, the bread being spread with some savory butter, shrimp, sardine, anchovy, etc. instead of just the ordinary. The outside of the rolls should then be sprinkled lightly with finely minced parsley and lobster coral, or very bright red crumbs and should be dished up tastefully on a flat bed of crisp, well seasoned water cress –the latter, of course, to be eaten with the bread, if desired.


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Day 217: Date Sandwiches

Tomorrow I’m speaking at Wellington County Museum and Archives. They are going to recreate a Red Cross tea from the First World War. I’ve been asked to talk about the sorts of food eaten during the war years. Tonight I’m going to make Date Sandwiches a typical tea sandwich from The New Galt Cook Book 1898. This is another recipe from the mysterious S.B.C.

The first step was the bread. I cut the crusts from two slices of bread and buttered it. Then I chopped some stoned dates and spread on the bread. I didn’t try rolling them although I have done that before. I’ve even tied sandwiches with ribbon. It does look lovely but guests look at me strangely. They are not used to unwrapping a sandwich like a present.

I love dates so I enjoy any excuse to eat them. Date sandwiches might seem strange to 21st century tastes but they were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. And I like them!


Butter thin, even slices from a loaf that has been baked twenty-four hours. Spread with dates, stoned and cut fine, and fashion into sandwiches in the usual manner. For afternoon tea, the bread may be fresh baked and so thinly cut with a sharp knife that the sandwiches can be roled and each one tied with a ribbon. All crusts removed.


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