Yule Sandwich Log

Posted on Jan 12 2011 - 8:03am by RetroRuth

I know, I know. I have done the “big Mid-Century Sandwich” a few times now.  The Backwoods Sandwich. (? Has anyone figured out where that name came from yet?) The Frosted Sandwich.  Yeah, we’ve been there. Yeah, we’ve eaten that. But when you get an impassioned plea from a reader, sometimes you just have to take that extra step.  Go that extra mile.

This is the Yule Sandwich Log.



Does that sandwich have…teats???? Is anyone else seeing that???

Oh…bells! Right. Bells. See, it says right here in the recipe. The cherries are supposed to be “bell clappers.”  Sure.


Anyway, this is an email from fantastic reader, Garnet.

Hello Ruth!

I am a long time reader of No Pattern Required and always look forward to Mid-Century Menu recipes every Wednesday.  I have an unhealthy passion for vintage cookbooks (although my collection is rather modest), the more atrocious the better, and picked up six today at an antique mall in Tucson, AZ (where I currently reside, although I am a Michigan native!).  They range from genuinely good (Mary and Vincent Price’s “Come Into the Kitchen Cook Book,” circa 1969, which is a culinary trek through periods of US History and sports marvelous illustrations and photographs) to historically interesting (a “New Perfection Cook – Book and Directions for operating New Perfection Oil Stoves,” with no copyright, but appears to be 1910s-1920s from the style of illustrations and women’s clothing  shown in photographs throughout the book). 

I believe I have found the most revolting recipe, thus far, that I have ever seen in my life.  I could have sworn it was already featured on Mid-Century Menu but could not find it in the archives.  I may have been thinking of the “

Frosted Sandwich Loaf” from May of 2009.  The recipe is called “Yule Sandwich Log” (my apologies if you already did feature this recipe), from a smallish recipe booklet with the innocuous title of “250 tasty SNACKS Ideas for entertaining” and was sold for the modest price of 25 cents.  It appears to be a 1974 reprint, with an original 1965 copyright, and was edited by the Culinary Arts Institute for pete’s sake!  (They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves!) The recipes doesn’t begin all that badly… but quickly spirals out of control.  I think it almost requires being read aloud, in a very dramatic tone of voice.  *shudders*

I hope you and yours had a delightful holiday (I also hope that pimentos, hard boiled eggs, canned meat, and gelatin was involved because that’s just the kind of dame that I am) and continue to be blessed during the holiday season (well and afterward, too, not just during… haha)!

Sincerely and loquaciously,


Thank you very much for the recipe, Garnet! I mean it.  While reading the recipe aloud in a dramatic voice was a great idea, in the end I just let Tom read it to himself. As he was reading it, his eyebrows climbed higher and higher, until he finally burst out:

“Oh God, no! Why? Who thought of this? Why?”

Which I think is a pretty good intro for this recipe.


As a side note, it is pretty hard trying to find an unsliced loaf of sandwich bread these days.  Try it. If you don’t have a decent bakery in your town, it is pretty near impossible.


Let’s just recap here. This bowl contains:

-Peanut Butter

-Deviled Ham

-Miracle Whip

-Dill Pickles

Gosh. Darn. Son. Of. A.


I am pretty sure that I’ve never made something that looks this much like barf before.

I’m serious.

Okay, this is just getting scary. I think I am just going to tell you guys a story from my childhood instead of explaining what EXACTLY is in each of these bowls. Like when you have to get a shot and you ask the nurse to tell you a story so you don’t have to think about the needle.

Let’s retreat to the happy place.


So…yeah.  Umm…when I was little kid, my Dad used to work second shift.


Oh God!

Right..the story.  So, working second shift meant that my Dad would leave for work at 2 p.m. and come home at 11 p.m.  What that basically meant was that my Dad would leave for work before we got home from school and we would be in bed before he came home from work.


Just focus on the story! The story!

*Deep breaths*

So, on Friday nights my Dad would stop at McDonald’s late at night, before he came home from work. And my Mom would let us stay up late, so that when he came home we would be waiting at the door for him.


Don’t look! The shot is almost over! Focus on the story!

When we ran to meet my Dad at the door, he would hold out his empty hands and smile like a big dork and say, “You guys waited up! Too bad I forgot to stop at McDonalds this time!”

“No, Dad! Don’t lie! We know it is hidden in your coat!”

And, still smiling, my Dad would open his coat, which was a big brown nylon coat lined with fake brown fur, and inside would be a bag of McDonald’s cheeseburgers and fries, still warm and toasty. And we would squeal and dance around him, and he would laugh.

“Good thing I wore my McDonald’s coat!”

For the longest time, I thought my Dad’s coat made cheeseburgers. Seriously.


Whew!  See, didn’t I tell you that would help! Bad part over. Now it is just fun time.


To assist with carving a bread sculpture:

-Refrigerate your bread a few hours before you start

-Use an electric carving knife that has a serrated bread attachment


See? Easy.


If you do it right, spreading on butters and fillings should be no problem.


And it should also make you a little giddy.  You might start doing crazy things like, oh, thinking that fillings that previously made you gag all of a sudden start to look…pretty.


Oooooooo…the colors! Those pieces of pickle really look great in that peanut butter filling.


But enough playtime. Sandwich making is serious business.


Every time I make the MC Menu, I learn something new. Sometimes it is good stuff, sometimes bad. But at least I am learning.


This time I learned if you mix cranberry sauce and cream cheese together, it is AWESOME!  Seriously.  If you think I am joking, try it for yourself!  It is super, super good.


I also learned that it IS possible to frost a huge sandwich just like a birthday cake.


Lavender. Yum.

And a definite improvement over my crappy frosting job on the Frosted Sandwich Loaf.


I even made it some teats!

I mean…bells. I made it some bells. Can’t you tell by the “clappers”?



The electric knife, being useful again.  This time it is effortlessly cutting slices without filling gushing everywhere.


“As you can see, the bottom layer is sandstone with fossilized remains from the Cretaceous period. The Yule Sandwich Log has been indispensible in carbon-dating various culinary fossils.”


“This is some of the earliest evidence we have of the Yule Sandwich Log being consumed by primitive man.”





“I don’t think anyone who views this evidence will argue that this man did not face his share of horrors. Nature, it seems, truly is cruel.”


The Verdict: The cranberry cream cheese “frosting” was awesome. Overall, the sandwich was pretty good. The egg salad filling was good, and the pimiento-shrimp filling wasn’t bad either.  The deviled ham-peanut butter was gross, but wasn’t that gross if you had it in a bite with something else.  The sandwich actually tasted better if you could get a little bit of each layer in every bite. Tom finished off the entire sandwich in pretty much two days. And he said he would eat it again if I made it. I am going to give this one a passing grade!

Thanks, Garnet!  This was a fun one! Send me your mailing address and I will send you a fun vintage cookbook for submitting a great recipe!

Readers, do you have a disgustingly awesome recipe for the MCMenu?  Email it to me at ruth@nopatternrequired.com , and if Tom and I feature your recipe on the blog we will send you a vintage cookbook!

WordPress Author Box

I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to 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 (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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

  1. Annie K January 12, 2011 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Hey. Surprisingly pretty at the end. Thanks for getting us through the scary parts!

  2. Barbara January 12, 2011 at 11:34 am - Reply

    I always find it funny that the grossest combination’s actually turn out to be edible.

    I just don’t understand why someone just didn’t make a bunch of sandwiches with individual fillings and put them on a plate. I guess a “mystery loaf” was more appealing back then…

  3. Sara in AZ January 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    You are, for sure, right about the teats thing! 🙂

    Wowee! This sandwich is complete insanity girl! Whew, I was really worried about how this would taste – so I’m glad to know things worked out ok. That last pic of Tom just kills me! 🙂 Love it!!!

  4. Eartha January 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    This is one of the funniest things that I’ve read in a long time.

    “For the longest time, I thought my Dad’s coat made cheeseburgers. Seriously.” – that made me misty eyed!

    For the life of me, I can’t imagine peanut butter and shrimp in a recipe together. I’ve only made one sandwich loaf in my life but I felt the same way as Barbara – why didn’t I just make a plate of sandwiches in these flavors? Though, I do like the (ahem) “bells”.

    I’ve asked my relatives who were alive during this era of recipes and none of them will cop to eating this stuff ever. I think they’re all just hiding something. Someone HAD to be eating these regularly or they wouldn’t have been in those cookbooks so much.

  5. Jaede January 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    The distracting story really did help. You have quite a knack for that. I want a coat that makes chocolate !! The yule log…………your Tom is a good and brave man.

  6. RetroRuth January 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Annie – It did turn out surprisingly good-looking at the end, didn’t it? I was shocked!

    Barbara – You know, I had that thought as well. Then I realized that no one would ever take the peanut butter/deviled ham ones. Maybe they decided to make it like a grab pack, or a boxed lot. If you want the egg salad, you have to choke down some avocado. Of course, they could just NOT make the peanut butter ones, but maybe stuff didn’t work that way back then.

    Sara! Ha! Didn’t you love it?!?!? I am in that one too, did you see me in the window? I wanted to leave it out, or at least crop it, but Tom wouldn’t let me. 🙂

    Eartha – Thanks for the compliment! That means a lot, ’cause your writing is pretty hilarious as well. And I am glad you liked the cheeseburger story. When my Dad finally donated that coat Goodwill, I shed a tear or two.

  7. Suzie January 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe that this actually tasted good! The combinations sound horrible (although I have had an urge for awhile to make one of these frosted sandwich loafs to serve on an unsuspecting guest). It does look really pretty though, nice frosting job.

  8. Amy M January 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Hmm, it does look kind of pretty. I wonder what else that cranberry cream cheese would be good on. Maybe make a sandwich loaf that only includes the layers that taste good and leave out the ham/peanut butter one.

  9. RetroRuth January 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Suzie – Thanks! I personally think the frosting job turned out pretty well myself. 🙂

    Amy – I have decided I am totally going to make a batch of cranberry cream cheese everytime I get bagels. And an amazing little lunch place near us serves cranberry cream cheese on their turkey sandwiches. It is very good!

  10. RetroRuth January 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Jaede – Thanks! I always tell myself the McDonald’s coat story whenever I need to go to the happy place. And I never thought about the coat making dessert too! Hmm…maybe I should have checked my Mom’s coat. 🙂

    I must agree; Tom is a brave, brave soul.

  11. Sara in AZ January 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    🙂 I totally saw you in the window and I completely agree with Tom – I love the pic with you in it!

  12. Annie B. January 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the “hand holding”. I needed it to get past that pb, pickle, and ham thing.

    This is one of the best MCM’s yet! Love the udderly insane garnish best of all.

  13. deena January 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the recipe. The end result is so pretty.

    My first thought was that the lovely pink cranberry cream cheese would be a nice addition to a spring lunch.

    My second though was that my husband won’t eat anything with mayonnaise or Miracle Whip 🙁

    I need to figure out some sort of alternative filling so that I can make this. I’m wondering what a frosted roast turkey sandwich log would taste like?

  14. Miss Marwood January 14, 2011 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Dear Lord, that looked ab-so-lu-tely horrid!! Pickles and peanut, BAH!! Thank you so much, Ruth. And the teats! *shudder*
    I cannot believe that Tom ate the whole lot, he is made of stern stuff. So looking forward to next week!

    I actually feel a bit sick now, LOL

  15. pam kueber January 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    your husband sure is a trooper. 🙂

  16. P. January 15, 2011 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Oh Ruth, this was so darn funny! “Clappers” indeed. The McDonald’s coat story worked to distract me. I can’t believe this was edible, but I’ll take your and Tom’s word for it!

  17. Toni September 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    I loved the story; it’s so sweet. My kids used to think I worked at a toy store because my mom would ship them things to my work, and I’d bring them home, and I also worked in marketing and would bring home goodies and trinkets all the time, so I totally understood the cheeseburger coat!

    My childhood ritual that I loved was on Fridays, which was shopping day. My parents shopped at Gemco, and while my mom grocery shopped, my dad and I would look at fishing tackle, or they’d let me go look at the records or books, which were near the exit, so she would pick us up on her way out. Then for dinner was a frozen Swansen’s fried chicken entree (two pieces of chicken and mashed potatoes only) and half a cola (the only soda we were ever allowed–my sister and I split it). I swear the chicken was so much better back then, too. My mom would put an old bath towel on the coffee table, and it would be our little fancy table and we could eat in the living room. So snazzy!

    • RetroRuth September 21, 2011 at 9:15 am - Reply

      Hee hee! Toni, that is a great story! I can just imagine you and your sister eating off of a bath towel. 🙂

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