NEWS

1951 Luncheon Loaf recipe was a ‘tasty money saver’

Gary Brown

Tight financial times guided the publication of a recipe offered in The Canton (Ohio) Repository in 1951. The story served up a luncheon loaf that its headline called a handy meal and a “tasty money saver.”

“Looking for a way to get out of the rut in meal planning, and yet be economical?” asked the article. “Then this is the recipe that will put you back on the road to being the family’s favorite cook and still keep you within a time and money budget.”

The name for the recipe — 4-Star Luncheon Loaf — came from bread slices shaped like stars. Plus, said the story, “it rates at least four stars for performance.”

“Tomato sauce, oysters, pepper and seasonings are combined in the luncheon loaf for savory mouth-watering results,” continued the article, “and hard-cooked eggs encircling the loaf add a hearty touch.”

4-Star Luncheon Loaf

  • 1 large loaf bread, not sliced
  • Melted butter or margarine
  • 12 oysters
  • Evaporated milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Few grains pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon savory
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs

Remove top of loaf in one thin slice; do not remove crusts on sides or ends. With a sharp knife, remove center of loaf in one piece, leaving a shell about 3⁄4-inch thick. Cut center into cubes and toast golden brown in moderate oven.

With a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut four stars from top slice. Brush shell and stars with melted butter or margarine and toast in moderate oven. Measure oyster liquor (residue liquid from shucking the oysters); add enough evaporated milk to make 2 cups; add tomato sauce.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter or margarine; cook green pepper in this until soft; blend in flour, salt, pepper and monosodium glutamate. Add evaporated milk mixture; stir over low heat until smooth and thickened. Add oysters, rosemary and savory; cover and cook over hot water 15 minutes.

Add toasted bread cubes. Place toasted bread shell on platter; surround with halves of hard-cooked eggs. Fill case with oyster mixture; cover eggs with remaining oyster mixture. Place stars on top. Serve at once.

Yields 6 servings.