Cottage Cheese-Pickle-Peanut Sandwich

Posted on Oct 14 2009 - 2:49pm by RetroRuth

Money Saving001Hello, everyone!  Welcome to this week’s Mid-Century Menu.  I am happy that all the regular readers have decided to come back for more, and for those of you who are just joining us this week, I can already answer the question that will be floating around in your head.

Yes, I am crazy!

Aaaaanyway, this week’s Menu comes from Money Saving Main Dishes, a pamphlet that was published in 1948 by the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics.  The goal of this pamphlet is very simple. It isn’t for you to make delicious meals or to give your family the culinary experience of their lives.  The goal of this pamphlet is to help you save food, and they aren’t going to let a ridiculous concept like “how things taste” get in the way of the Bureau of Human Nutrition’s goal of saving food. Oh no.  You are going to take what you can get and you are going to choke it down, and you are going to save food and like it.

And if you disagree with them, well, they have plenty of room on their “taste-tester” table for you. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

You think I’m joking, huh?  You think this is just another hilarious intro for a food column?  Well, take a good, close look at this, then we will see how hard you laugh.

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Not so hilarious now, is it?  Not laughing now, are you? Let me tell you something, when I read this recipe I broke out in a cold sweat.  That means that not only does it qualify for the Mid-Century Meal, but it actually got bumped to the top of the list.  I just bought this pamphlet this past weekend and already I am making it. 

Now THAT’S a disgusting recipe.

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The thankfully small amout of ingredients needed for the recipe. As I was putting it together, the pickles, the peanut butter, the dairy, I kinda thought it looked like something a pregnant woman would crave.  Or someone who was just a little bit off, like someone from the Bureau of Human Nutrition or something.

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The ingredients for the filling, ready to be mixed. And yes, those are DILL pickles.

Hold on, is someone screaming out there?  I can hear you!  Sara?  Is that you?

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The filling, all mixed up. 

Tom walked by at this point.  He peered down into the bowl, said “Oh god,” and walked away.  I was pretty much thinking the same thing by then.

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The bread, all layed out and spread will filling. And yes, it does kind of look like puke.

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A close-up of the filling, just in case you missed it before.

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The sandwiches lidded, and the filling thankfully all covered up.

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Here I am, dipping the first sandwich into the egg mixture.

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Here it is!  Frying away!  At this point, I was hoping it wasn’t going to be too bad. Maybe it was because I couldn’t actually see the filling anymore, but I starting to feel pretty good.  The fried bread can’t be too bad, right?

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Here is a plate of finished sandwiches, along with the completed Menu with fresh fruit and vegtable soup.

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At least there is something good in this meal!

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Here it is, the moment of truth.

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“How is it?”

Tom was laughing.  “Awful.  It’s awful.”

I took a bite.  It was awful.  It was gooey, and suprisingly mostly tasteless. The most taste was when you got a piece of pickle.  It wasn’t inedible, but it wasn’t the greatest, especially when it got cold.

I finished my soup and my fruit salad.  Three bites of my first sandwich stayed on my plate, cold and congealing.

“Aren’t you going to eat that?”  Tom was reaching for his second sandwich.

“I can’t eat more of this. Seriously.”

“I am going to eat the rest of these.  And I had better get credit on your blog for eating them.”

He did eat them. All. 

And the credit is all his. Seriously.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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16 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sara in AZ October 14, 2009 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    *sssssssssssssscrEAMMMMMMMMMMMMMIIIIIIINNNNNGGGggggggg!!!!* Please make it stop, I can’t stop the screaming – or the lurid images I conjure up when I picture peanut butter and PICKLES together!!!! HELP!!!

    OK, Tom does get SERIOUS credit for eating all of those sandwiches – props to you Tom! This must be the worst yet. I am breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about this sandwich. EEPS!!!!! 🙂

    PS Love the pic of Tom laughing!

  2. sablemable October 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve had peanut butter and sweet relish sammies, but never, ever, PB/dill pickles/cottage cheese sammies dipped in egg batter and FRIED!

    Ruth, no wonder you couldn’t eat anymore. I would have gagged.

    Kudos, Tom for downing the remaining 3! Hope you washed them down with lots and lots of beverage!

  3. Barbara October 14, 2009 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Oh pleeeZe! I have a 1943 Woman’s Day magazine that has a page of peanut butter “recipes” – a peanut butter and onion sandwich – peanut butter, bacon grease and pickle sandwich – and peanut butter and LIVER sandwich.

    Ah, let’s not waste food by actually MAKING these recipes!!

  4. Maggie October 14, 2009 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Tom deserves to have someone write a song for him. Or name a bridge after him. Or hang his picture in the National Portrait Gallery.


  5. Maggie October 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    re #3 Barbara above: Y’know, I’ve seen a lot of those wacko peanut butter combos in old magazines too. It makes me think that maybe when p.b. first got really big commercially (1940s?), it was thought of and promoted as a kind of “health food” — hence the craze for adding it in bizarre combinations with other foods, maybe as a kind of food “extender” to boost the nutritional content of cheap things, like pickles?

    Just theorizing here; I’ve never seen any actual info on such an idea.

  6. Andrea October 14, 2009 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Tom is an EXTREMELY brave man for not only trying the sandwiches, but eating all of the rest! Just seeing the picture of the filling made me want to throw up a little!

  7. Paulette October 14, 2009 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Do you think there was a Bureau of Animal Nutrition in 1948? Because maybe they mixed up the recipes. Actually, if you subbed out the cottage cheese and pickles for chopped bananas, it would be pretty good. Oh wait, that’s been done. Elvis was a genius!

  8. Kelly October 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    That recipe sounds like it was invented by someone who was about to move but didn’t want to have to move their groceries. Oh, the texture!

    Your hubby really took one for the team there. Whenever, I’ve done these old recipes, my husband always convinces himself that he can take the leftovers to work for lunch because he doesn’t want to be wasteful. He usually does it for about two days and then he agrees to toss the rest! : )

  9. Inky October 15, 2009 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    I can’t even form words…but i did forward your blog to a friend with these words:

    “this woman’s blog is a riot and she is seriously disturbed. i love her. ”

    i can’t think of a better endorsement 😉

  10. Heather October 16, 2009 at 8:23 am - Reply

    Tom is a questionable-food hero. No doubt.
    Hope he got a delicious dessert!

  11. Annie B. October 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Wonder if Elvis ever ate these?

  12. Mary-Frances Main October 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    YIKES! That’s all I can say!

  13. Elly October 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    So funny! I recently decided to try some vintage sandwich fillings – but only because I found a bunch of good ones. Even the tasty ones, however, look like puke – PB mixed with grated apple, anyone?

    As usual, I applaud your intrepid spirit and excellent photography.

  14. Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares February 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    What a good sport Tom was! I’m pretty impressed.

  15. Susanne Hayes April 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Okay…I used to eat American cheese (sorry Tom!), peanut butter, & dill pickle sandwiches, so I was thinking this wouldn’t be TOO bad…but the dip in egg and fry part ruined it for me! And cottage cheese has all the wrong texture for a SANDWICH…plus the “mixing it all together” part…a lot of these recipes look like cat barf, but I think this one might win the realism award!

  16. Krista July 6, 2015 at 7:42 am - Reply

    I wonder if a pregnant woman devised this recipe. It sounds as though it would surely satisfy the odd pregnancy craving!

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