I am starting to prepare the food for tomorrow’s picnic in downtown Kitchener. The city is hosting a huge community picnic as part of the celebrations of 100 years of cityhood. They also hope to break the world’s record for the longest picnic. There will be tables set up on the streets circling the city hall. Today’s recipe is for Ramona Sandwiches. I will construct the sandwiches tomorrow but apparently this filling will keep for months! The recipe was contributed to the 1906 Berlin Cook Book by Mrs. A. Snyder of Waterloo.
I started by chopping up a tablespoon of each ingredient just to get a sense of quantity. Would I want more of this sandwich filling? I decided this would be enough for one sandwich. I had to use my microwave to melt the currant jelly. I had deliberately purchased some red currant jelly at the market a few weeks ago and wisely stashed it away in my bedroom instead of in either kitchen to avoid having it disappear into the vortex of home restoration work. I suppose I should confess that all the chopping of dates, figs, raisins, and citron took place on a cutting board which was sitting on a try on my lap. I was sitting on my bed. Perhaps I’ve invented a new food show “Cooking in Bed”? Once the chopping and jelly melting was complete I mixed everything together before sampling the filling for Ramona Sandwiches.
There were many Mrs. A. Snyders so I couldn’t narrow down the possibilities.
There was dead silence as we tasted the filling. Hmmm…. dessert? What was crunching? Turns out I had red currant jam rather than jelly so there were fig seeds, currant seeds and nuts to crunch. Final assessment will have to come when it is between slices of bread but my sister taster imagined it with blue cheese on a cracker. That inspired my modern cooking side to think of it with baked brie on a cracker. So perhaps Ramona Sandwiches can time travel to 2012 and beyond as something other than a sandwich but tomorrow this dried fruit sandwich filling will return to 1912 for a picnic. Now why it is called Ramona is anyones guess. Any ideas?
Chop about equal quantities of fine figs, dates, raisins, citron, candied peel and walnuts very fine, add red currant jelly (or any kind preferred), melt jelly, then pour over the fruit and mix well, set away to cook, serve with brown bread for sandwiches. This will keep for months if kept in a glass jar.