The Lunch Box Cookbook! This is another cutie, full of those retro 50’s graphics and stylized asterisks that I love so bad.
“With imagination in planning and packing, the carried lunch can become the most anticipated meal of the day.” It strikes me that even now this is still a much sought-after goal for lunches from home. Check out “lunches” or “school lunches” on Pinterest, and there is a flood of ideas for the most insanely creative and appealing lunches: smoothies (frozen in the morning, slushy by lunch,) pizza muffins, and sandwiches made to look like bunnies and other smiling critters. Bento-style lunches are also attractive and popular, where each portion is thoughtfully prepared and placed in separate compartments of very cute, portable boxes. (My friend Astrid has a blog dedicated to the bento-style lunches she prepares for her family: Lunches Fit For A Kid.)
This cookbook has “336 taste-tempting lunch box foods”, from soups to sandwiches to kabobs. There are salads and yummy “main dish” lunch offerings with fried chicken, Swedish meatballs, and Chili Con Carne.
The sandwiches and sandwich fillings in this cookbook are really calling to me. Perhaps because lunch from home so often is and was a sandwich, and these unusual fillings are strangely tempting. Cream cheese fillings like Superman’s Delight, made with spinach and chopped peanuts! Ham ‘n’ Cheese Supreme made with deviled ham, horseradish, and again: chopped peanuts. Pineapple Chicken Filling, and Baked Bean Filling! Mmmm, sandwich.
There is a dessert section too, thank goodness! What a sad lunchbox it would be if it did not include a dessert.
A recipe for Joe Froggers caught my eye, basically a big, soft, molasses cookie but this was the first I had heard them called by this name. (A New England moniker supposedly!) There are many other cookies too, plus turnovers, pastries, and cakes.
Finally there is a section for Special Days – holiday lunches! For some reason I thought the idea of making a Thanksgiving sandwich the day after, using leftovers was a newish idea. But here it is in this 1954 book: the Holiday Follow-Up Sandwich, made with the turkey, cranberry sauce, and cream cheese.
This cookbook is, I think the second favorite of mine, behind Good Looking Cooking. It’s another cheerful and optimistic cookbook! Here is the recipe for Superman’s Delight. Superman might also approve of a breakfast sandwich with Savory Chicken Sausage Patties, or a Melty Apple-Jack Sandwich.
Superman’s Delight Sandwich Filling
This recipe is from The Lunch Box Cookbook. It is listed and formatted below exactly as it appears in the cookbook. Fun!
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh spinach
1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) salted peanuts, finely chopped (skins removed)
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
To prepare fillings, mash cheese with a fork. Gradually blend in liquid suggested in the recipe. Blend in remaining ingredients.
To assemble: Prepare sandwiches systematically. Line up slices of bread in pairs and spread all of lined-up bread slices with butter. Use about 1 teaspoon per slice, spread to edges of bread with a flexible spatula. (Spreading slices with butter helps to prevent filling from soaking into bread.)
Spread filling to edges of one slice of each pair of lined-up buttered bread slices. Spread all of one kind of filling before going on to the next.
Combine bread slices and cut into halves, quarters, wedges, or other interesting shapes and sizes. For small fry, remember to slice sandwiches into easy-to-handle sections. (They like fancy shapes, too.)