Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amy's Extraordinary Alabama: Ribbon Sandwiches.

By Amy

Older generations possessed such creativity. I think life forced them to be more creative. Things just weren't as readily available and life wasn't as "easy" as it is now.

Here in the South I think our food shows that creativity. Especially in our small southern towns.

Today I'm going to introduce you to something I think you will turn your nose up at. I'm not judging because I did the same thing when someone first introduced me to this food concoction.

It was in the late 1930s or early 1940s that Mrs. Tillie Chappell and Mrs. Hugh Neighbors Sr. came up with what is called Ribbon Sandwiches. What is a ribbon sandwich you ask? Well hold on and don't turn your nose up just yet.

First you take a slice of bread. Then you spread peanut butter jelly on it. Then you take another slice and place on top of it. Then spread homemade pimento cheese on top of it and top it with another slice of bread. Yes friends you read that correctly. Peanut butter and jelly and pimento cheese.

This photo is my attempt at Ribbon Sandwiches. Usually they are sliced in long thin strips.ribbonsandwiches_032010_0003web

When I first heard of this strange creation I thought how in the world could that possibly be good? I tried my first one a few months ago and it's really not that bad. No it's not something I would make for myself, but they don't taste as horrible as they might first sound.

I spoke with Mrs. Tillie Chappell's granddaughter to get some more information about Ribbon Sandwiches. Her grandmother and Mrs. Neighbors were having a Ladies Tea at the First Methodist Church and it was all they had on hand. Thus the creativity of southern ladies.

Mrs. Chappell and Mrs. Neighbors used apple jelly when they created the first Ribbon Sandwiches, but today people use either grape of apple. They are served at many showers and special occasions, but can also be found at summer picnics, tailgating or packed in a lunch for a long boat ride on the lake.

In 2004 The Great American Race stopped in our town. Many city residents had organized some refreshments for them and served Ribbon Sandwiches. The participants loved them and our town was voted best hospitality for that year's race.

You just never know what you will experience living the small town life. The food concoctions of ladies from 70 years ago might make you wonder, but you have to admit they were definitely creative.

So what sort of small town creativity have you experienced?


Trina said...

Wow, interesting indeed!

I always thought it was weird that my grandmother's side of the family would eat milk and cornbread as a meal. Just crumble it up in a cup and add milk to it and eat it with a spoon. LOL I never understood how that could be yummy, but to each his own!

courtne450 said...

That sounds so strange that I am going to have to try it!

Amy said...

Trina, I grew up having cornbread and milk. I can't make cornbread or I'd have it once a month.
Courtne450 it is quite the strange concoction. Let me know what you think if you try it.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother is Mrs. Hugh Neighbors Sr. and I can remember ribbon sandwiches all the way back to my early childhood. Everyone should try them, they're really good. Also, mix the peanut butter and jelly before you spread it on bread. Hugh Neighbors III

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