Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Baltimore Harley's Sandwich Shop Burger

      I won't go through the history of the Harley's Sandwich Shop chain as I have it all laid out in the tuna salad article, just suffice it to say that Harley's was THE fast food chain in Baltimore long before Gino's and McDonald's.  Harley's restaurants were open all night and so were a favorite of the night shift crowd and police officers.  These burgers were always simmering in Harley's secret sauce ready to be served to hungry customers.

Southern Cucumber Salad Relish

In the vintage era a relish was any kind of side item with a sour or sour sweet taste.  This term usually applied to pickles, chutney, piccalilli, etc.  We have changed the meaning in the modern era to mean chopped pickles added to hot dogs or various salads.  It was not uncommon to have a dill pickle with dinner as such practices were thought to aid in digestion which has some foundation in fact if the pickles are lacto fermented.  In this case I am sharing a family recipe for Cucumber Salad, a dish most often served with pork but I eat it with just about anything (ok not ice cream).  It's simple to make and tastes better the day after it's made so the flavors can meld together.  The last time I made it I stuck with organic cucumbers and it just tasted divine.  You don't need to use any special vinegar with it, just plain white vinegar will do fine.

Edited 04/17/2024: I revisited making this recipe after a long time and found some tweaks were needed so here is the updated recipe.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

1950's "Church" Banana Bread

I admit I always hated banana bread with a passion.  The dense, door stop quality, pudding consistency breads of my youth were just over the top with banana flavor and nothing else.  Coupled with an evil tendency to flare up my heartburn I soon shied away from banana bread for good.  You can imagine my discomfiture the other day when my wife said "Let's make banana bread".  "Yeah sure, I'll make it but you can eat it, I hate the stuff."  So as with anything else my wife suggests to eat I immediately spring into action with a search for a vintage recipe.  The only problem is there is no vintage recipe for banana bread.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The Only Bread Recipe You'll Ever Need

Back in the old days, home cooks didn't trouble themselves trying to make artisan breads.  Sure you can spend a fortune on pans, rising baskets, flours, enhancers, etc trying to bake loaves like the professional bakeries put out but I have to ask why?  Most artisan breads are entirely unsuited to the one thing we will most be doing with them, making sandwiches.  I have many vintage cookbooks in my collection now and while here and there you encounter a recipe for French bread, noticeably absent are the ciabatta breads, sourdoughs, challah  breads and other loaves that are outside of the purvue of most home bakers.  Instead is a more practical approach meant to be frugal not topple you off the fiscal cliff in a unforgiving quest for the proper crumb size.

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