I can remember having vegemite* sandwiches on brown bread in a brown paper bag for my school lunches. And when I had chickenpox as a child I had them really bad. Down my throat and terribly painful. I can remember my vegemite sandwiches had the crusts cut off to relieve the possibility of a painful swallow! My memories of school lunches are probably a bit unfair on my mother, who is an accomplished cook, but those school lunch sammies do seem to have entrenched themselves in my memory. However, the enterprising mothers of the Te Puke Kindergarten offered some creative alternatives in a lovely old fundraising recipe book, a chance op-shop find.
(*Vegemite is a dark brown paste made from brewers’ yeast extract – other worldwide names for a similar thing are; Promite, Marmite, Cenovis, German Hefeextrakt. Similar to beef bouillon.)
The Te Puke Kindergarten fundraiser recipe book is undated, but judging from the contents I would guess it was created some time in the 70’s. I adore these fundraising cookbooks, some of the best recipes passed down through generations are shared in these precious tomes that you may not find elsewhere. They are also made more loveable by the motherly element of thrift and making do that pervades them.
If vegemite sandwiches are the extent of your school sandwich repertoire, you may find some new inspiration with these following 50 sandwich ideas. Or you may just enjoy taking a trip down memory lane with some of the tastes you’ll remember from your childhood. Most of the ingredients are inexpensive, some of the combinations are a little unusual to say the least, but they all exude practicality and family.
Another thing I find fascinating is that the ingredient lists show what a limited range of products were available in these times – for example a tuna spread is made ‘chinese’ with the addition of ground ginger and soy sauce. What a vast array of options we have available today if we were going to ‘asian-ify’ a dish that simply weren’t available 40 or so years ago in our supermarkets. Also interesting are the number of ingredients that just don’t feature often on modern day shopping lists; for instance I have never bought wheatgerm or kippered herrings. So enjoy this wee list and give us your thoughts in the comments!
1. Pizza Sandwich Spread
Combine: – 1.5 cups grated cheese, 3 tbsp tomato paste, 3 tbsp capsicum finely chopped, ½ cup black olives chopped, 3 tbsp onions finely chopped, 1 tbsp mayonnaise.
2. Tahini and Peanut Butter Spread
Combine: ¾ cup tahini, ½ cup sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp honey, ½ cup peanut butter.
3. Peanut Butter and Bacon Spread
500g bacon, fried, 375 g jar peanut butter.
Fry bacon until crisp, dry on a paper towel, crumble. Stand jar of peanut butter in hot water to make mixing easier. In a bowl mix bacon and peanut butter thoroughly. Return mixture to original jar, cover with lid and store in refrigerator.
4. Peanut Butter and Onion Spread
4 tbsp butter, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup onion chopped finely.
Melt butter and saute onion. Stir in sugar, bring to the boil and reduce heat. Stir in peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Store in a jar in the fridge. This spread keeps for weeks.
5. Avocado and Banana Spread
Combine: 1 mashed banana, ¼ cup finely chopped nuts, ¼ cup wheatgerm, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 peeled, pitted, mashed avocado.
6. Avocado Nut Butter Spread
Combine: 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed, 125g cream cheese, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ½ cup butter, juice of 1 lemon, 1 cup sunflower seeds.
7. Avocado and Bacon Spread
Combine: 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed. 2 rashers of bacon fried until crisp and crumbled. 1 tsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 cup finely shredded spinach.
8. Cheese and Nut Spread
Combine: 1½ cups grated cheese, 2 tbsp finely chopped onion, 3 tbsp mayonnaise, ½ cup chopped walnuts, salt and pepper to taste.
9. Cheese and Seed Spread
Combine: 1 cup grated cheese, 2 tbsp yoghurt, ½ cup sesame seeds, 1 tbsp oil, ½ tsp salt, 3 tbsp parsley, dill or chives finely chopped.
10. Cheddar Cheese and Olive Spread
Combine: 125g grated cheddar cheese, 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp lemon juice, 125 g chopped black olives.
11. Tuna and Sunflower Seed Spread
Combine: 1 cup tuna flaked and drained, dash of salt and pepper and curry powder, 1/3 cup finely chopped onion, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 3 tbsp mayonnaise.
12. Tuna and Cabbage Spread
Combine: 1 cup tuna flaked and drained, 2/3 cup cabbage finely chopped, 1/3 cup onion finely chopped, 3 tbsp mayonnaise.
13. Sardine Spread
Combine: 1 cup tinned sardines, mashed, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp chopped stuffed olives, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 eggs hard boiled and finely chopped.
14. Herring Spread
Combine: 1 cup kippered herring, mashed, 1 tbsp each of capsicum, carrot and onion chopped, 2 eggs hard boiled and finely chopped, ¼ cup mayonnaise.
15. Basic Egg Spread
Combine: 3 eggs hard boiled and finely chopped, ¼ cup celery finely chopped, 3 tbsp mayonnaise, ½ tsp salt.
Additions to basic spread: stuffed olives, carrot, radish, ham, sunflower seeds, curry powder, ground ginger, nuts, parsley, sprouts, sardines.
16. Basic Chicken or Meat Spread
Combine: 1 cup cooked chicken or meat sliced, 3 tbsp mayonnaise, ¼ cup celery finely chopped.
Additions to the basic spread: cheese, grated carrot, egg, sprouts, cabbage, radishes, vegemite, onion, olives, curry powder.
17. Vegetable Spread
Combine: 2/3 cup zucchini finely chopped, 1 tsp caraway seeds, ¼ cup finely chopped onion, ½ red or green cabbage shredded, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, ½ cup grated carrot, salt and pepper.
18. Basic Cream Cheese Spread
Combine: 250g cream cheese, ¼ cup milk or buttermilk, pinch of salt, ¼ cup finely chopped onions.
Additions – 1 or more: cucumbers, bacon fried and crumbled, ham, finely chopped, salami finely chopped, curry powder, tarragon, chives, parsley, nuts finely chopped, green or black olives chopped.
19. Basic Tuna Spread
Combine: ½ cup tuna drained, ½ tsp lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, tartare sauce or yoghurt.
Additions: Celery, pickles, capers, hard boiled egg, grated cheese, grated carrot, capsicum.
20. Tuna Spread Chinese Style
Combine: 2 cups tuna drained, 2 tbsp soy sauce, ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ tsp ground ginger, ½ cup finely chopped green onions, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp dry mustard, ½ cup sprouts.
More Sandwich Filling Ideas:
21. Cheese, sardines, tomato and chives
22.Cheese and marmalade
23. Cheese and pineapple
24. Cheese and chutney
25. Cheese and pickle
26. Cheese and slightly mashed baked beans.
27. Cheese, lettuce and tomato sauce.
28. Cheese and slightly mashed tuna.
29. Meat, barbecue sauce and potato chips.
30. Meat, mint jelly, cooked peas (slightly mashed).
31. Meat, curry powder, sliced cucumbers, sprinkle of coconut.
32. Meat, diced dried apricots, mustard,
33. Meat, finely chopped mushrooms, mayonnaise,
34. Liverwurst, sliced dill pickle and mustard.
35. Fried Egg, onions, spinach, dash of curry powder.
36. Fried egg, slices of tomato, bacon, lettuce.
37. Egg, hard boiled and sliced, ham, swiss cheese, dill pickle, mustard.
38. Egg, hard boiled and sliced, sour cream, tarragon, thinly sliced mushrooms.
39. Peanut butter, currants and cucumber.
40. Peanut butter, sliced banana, shredded lettuce.
41. Peanut butter and grated carrot.
42. Peanut butter and apple sauce.
43. Peanut butter and cream cheese.
44. Peanut butter and ham.
45. Peanut butter and jam.
46. Vegemite and slightly mashed baked beans.
47. Vegemite, sliced cheese and shredded cabbage.
48. Vegemite and a thin slice of pineapple.
49. Vegemite and creamed corn.
50. Vegemite, topped with sultana and walnuts.
Time for a sandwich!