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September 14, 2011

The Yule Sandwich Log–A Mid-Century Recipe Test

By RetroRuth

I don’t know about you guys, but I am getting mighty sick of tuna recipes! This week Tom and I decided to take a break from the tuna again and show a recipe for a mighty mid-century sandwich from our archives.  This one was featured rather recently on the MCMenu (Feb 2011), but it was so fun, and contained such a great story about my Dad, that I just had to share this again. Enjoy!

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.

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*Crickets*

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.

*eyeroll*

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,

Garnet

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.

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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.

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Let’s just recap here. This bowl contains:

-Peanut Butter

-Deviled Ham

-Miracle Whip

-Dill Pickles

Gosh. Darn. Son. Of. A.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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See? Easy.

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

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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.

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

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But enough playtime. Sandwich making is serious business.

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

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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.

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

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Lavender. Yum.

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

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Ta-DA!!!! I even made it some teats!

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

*Facepalm*

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

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“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.”

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

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“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.”

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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!

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5 Responses to The Yule Sandwich Log–A Mid-Century Recipe Test

  1. Carole M. Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I actually ate one of these at a bridal shower back in the 1960s. It was delicious and I always wanted to replicate it, but you are right it is hard to find a loaf of unsliced bread…unless you bake it yourself.
    I had a bunch of those vintage cookbooks from the Culinary Arts with some truly apalling foods, along with some really fine recipes. I recognized the font. They’d been a giveaway from a bank, I believe, in the late ’50s or early 60s. My, our food tastes have changed in the intervening decades.
    But back to the sandwich loaf. I have also seen a much easier version of it done with sliced white bread, crusts removed. In this case you make smaller loaves out of 4 or 5 slices of bread, but the principle is the same.
    Might be a simpler version for the casual cook. Oh, I don’t THINK the one I ate so long ago had sweet pink frosting, either. It was plain cream cheese (maybe mixed with sour cream for spreadability), but the cook had tinted some and PIPED it around the edges so it really, honest-to-goodness looked like a frosted cake! I was enchanted.

  2. Camille Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    You are so brave!! I cannot imagine trying this recipe seeing the peanut butter/deviled ham layer in print on the recipe page. I love peanut butter but have never liked deviled ham. I will remember the cream cheese and cranberries though. I think this could be adapted to current day tastes with a MC flair. I was a child in the sixties but remember my mother always cooking something from the current ladies magazines she poured over and have worked hard over the years to push the memory of some of those meals out of my head. I love being reminded of the some of the silly things we ate back then. Love your blog.

  3. Andrea Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Wow, that devilled ham/peanut butter layer would have had most people running and screaming, I think! I must say, I am EXTREMELY impressed with how pretty your sandwich turned out, though! That is funny that its so hard to find unsliced bread there – you can get it in pretty much any grocery store here, but then again, most grocery stores here do have a bakery in them.

  4. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    When the words “peanut butter” and “deviled ham” are put together it literally terrifies me! 🙂 Cannot even picture it girl! I’m glad it turned out tasting ok, that’s a big sandwich not to eat!

  5. Toni Reply

    September 15, 2011 at 4:25 am

    When we were in high school, my BFF & I tried putting peanut butter on everything. We were shocked at how okay everything was. Nothing was repulsive & a couple were great.

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