Sparkling Vintage Fiction. Among other things.

Retro Recipe Wednesday: Lunchbox Hints for the Health-Conscious Worker

sandwichesVeronica Dengel has much to say to the urban working girl, c. 1940, in her treasure trove of vintage wisdom, Personality Unlimited. Here are some tips for the woman who carried her lunch to work in the era before microwaves and resealable sandwich bags. Even the refrigerator sounds new and different, since the author specifies that it’s an “electric refrigerator”–to distinguish it, I suppose, from the old-fashioned icebox.

“If your work requires you to carry lunch to the factory or office, a little advance preparation will make it possible to have a very appetizing and healthful meal which will in no way disturb your dietary plan. You might try freezing a can of tomato juice for twelve hours in the electric refrigerator. Then, in the morning, wrap it in wax paper and pack it with the luncheon. At noon it will have melted, but still will be cold and refreshing. On very cold days, a small-sized thermos bottle may be used for hot broth or soup while cold milk or  a hot beverage may be carried in another.

“A salad may be put in its container the night before and stored in the refrigerator until it is time to pack the lunch box. Sandwiches do not have to be stuffed with meat. Fresh chopped vegetables make perfect fillings and are far more healthful. Or you may prefer to eat bread and butter with your salad, always whole wheat, rye, graham, or enriched bread. Avoid denatured foods which have been robbed of their full nutrition values.

“Stalks of celery, carrot strips, radishes, and ripe olives can be packed and kept fresh if they are placed in a  waxed envelope. Wring out a napkin that has been soaked in ice water and fold it round the outside of envelope. Fresh or dried fruit is always the best choice for dessert.”

Bon appetit!

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