37-3. Ladies Bridge Lunch: A Smidge for Bridge

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This is one of the few cookbooks I found for the 20s through the 60s purely about ladies bridge parties. And it is strange because beyond a copyright date, and identifying the author as Patsy Hull, there’s absolutely no information telling where it was published. It probably was self-published and given to friends. Where I found it? At a 2d hand book barn in Meredith, New Hampshire.

It has some strange menu combinations and totally out of sync with the traditions of ladies lunch. For instance Lobster in a Pineapple Shell sounds pretty nice, but Patsy combines that with brown bread. A peanut quiche is accompanied with sweet and sour beets.

But, as I say in my bridge book, I am of the belief that no cookbook is useless–there’s always some recipe or idea in it that’s worthwhile. And so it is with A Smidge for Bridge. Here’s Patsy’s menu for a bridge foursome.

1. Toast Cups to use as a containment–Trim crusts from 8 thin-sliced white sandwich bread, and press them into well-buttered muffin tin. Bake at 325 until nicelly brown. Can make ahead.

2. Cottage cheese/shrimp salad. Combine one and one-half cups of  cottage cheese with a quarter cup each of chopped celery and dill pickle, a quarter teaspoon celery seed, three-quarters teaspoon of seasoned salt and two tablespoons of your favorite bottled salad dressing. Stir in a pound of cooked shrimp. Chill. Arrange on four plates 2 each of the Toast Cups and fill with the salad. Surround with sliced tomato, half a hard-boiled egg, green onion, some greens for color.

3. Strawberries Romanoff. Chill in dessert plates hulled strawberries that have been sweetened to taste.  Topping:  Soften a pint of vanilla icecream and blend with a cup of heavy cream that has been whipped, two tablespoons of lemon juice and half a cup of an orange-based liqueur.


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