Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Hump-Day Quickie: Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwiches

Do you like reading through the sandwich and appetizer chapters of old cookbooks? We find it oddly fascinating to read how many things were glued together with mayonnaise and spread on crackers to impress your guests. One combination that shows an odd tenacity in the 1950s, making it into nearly every book we've seen from the time period, is....
Rarely do we bother cutting the bread into triangles, but this needed all the help it could get.

Seriously, it seems like every cookbook from the time period when "groovy" was the latest slang has peanut-butter-and-pickle among the many questionable sandwich fillings. Every. Single. One. The idea of putting the two together got a deep hold in our minds. When everyone an entire decade (or two) is making the same bad recipe, we have to ask: Was it really so awful? Was the entire cookbook-writing nation collectively deceived into thinking peanut butter and pickles go together like peanut butter and jelly, or was this actually a good idea? We finally decided that since nothing in a peanut-butter-and-pickle sandwich was fatal, indulging our curiosity would have no consequences worse than regret.
Get a really good look at these tempting layers.

I didn't expect this to work, but in a very weird way, it does. It makes me think of when a friend was pregnant and craved slices of ham spread with peanut butter and rolled up. I didn't expect to like it when I tried it for myself, but I actually did. The pieces of relish turn into these concentrated nuggets of sour and salty that contrast heavily with the sweet, mellow peanut butter. This may have been the salted caramel of the 1950s- it sounds utterly wrong, but once you try it, you're surprisingly glad you did. And like salt-and-caramel nowadays, once a few people gave this combination a go, they liked it enough to rapidly spread the recipe all over the country and onto countless finger buffets in the era when most record players still played 78s.
If you want to try a harmless, weird, new (to you) recipe idea made with things you probably already have in your kitchen, give this one a try.

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