I need to point out at the beginning of this post that Annie was not violent. In fact, Annie isn't really her name, the title is actually an affectionate corruption of her real name. Violent Annie was born 105 years ago, and lived to be well over ninety. I was reminded of her today when I made a tomato sandwich.
The first 40 years of her life were filled with plenty. Even the war years were spent in an area that lacked for nothing. Rationing apparently hardly touched her village as it was almost totally self sufficient. From a wealthy family the next few years came as a shock to her system when she was divorced and left almost penniless with a child to support.
So why did a tomato sandwich remind me of Violent Annie? We knew her well and visited her often in the years before she died. She loved entertaining, but still with no money she resorted to a number of tricks to stretch the odd penny. I thought of her as I sliced the tomatoes and piled the pieces between two slices of bread. I almost felt guilty at using so much of the fruit, after all, Violent Annie could have made at least six rounds of sandwiches with the same quantity. Did I say six ROUNDS? Yes, enough for six people - and here is her 'recipe'
12 Extremely thin slices of bread
1 bottle salad cream
Blanche then peel the tomato
Finely chop the tomato. When it is very finely chopped - chop it again. Continue chopping until it becomes a paste.
Spread the merest covering of salad cream over two surfaces of bread, repeat with the tomato paste then form into a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining slices until all the tomato has been used (remember - this must make AT LEAST six rounds....
Carefully remove the crusts from the sandwiches and leave to one side. Cut the sandwiches into triangles and serve.
So what do you do with the crusts? They will make tomorrow's lunch by carefully layering in an ovenproof dish. Cover with a beaten egg and small amount of milk and set aside for a while. Sprinkle with a small amount of grated cheese and bake in a hot oven until golden for a savoury bread pudding.
What did you have for lunch today?