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The Art of War…and of Sandwich Making

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We have deemed the entire month of August this year ”Intern Month” at Inside Adams, which means we are featuring posts written by and about our summer interns.  Today’s post is by Brian Horowitz of Montgomery College in Maryland. Brian was with us last year and wrote the post  Stumbled Upon in the Stacks about Brevet Major Alfred Mordecai. He is continuing last year’s work on the Library’s large collection of Army Technical Manuals.

Do you have a system for making a sandwich?

Does the lunchmeat always go on first or does the cheese?

Do you cut in half or diagonally?

Figure 68 from Preparation and Serving of Food in the Garrison Mess (TM10-419), March 1966

In making our first PB&J for our school lunchboxes,  we often create our own style of sandwich making.  While inventorying the large collection of Army Technical Manuals in the Library of Congress collection, I browsed through TM10-419, Preparation and Serving of Food in the Garrison Mess (1966).  I was captivated by the Army’s detailed process of making a sandwich.

In the Army, the process of making a sandwich becomes a science:

  1. Prepare and assemble sandwich materials and sandwich-making equipment.
  2. Place matching slices of bread in 2 rows of 10 slices each; spread butter evenly over entire surface of each slice. Spread from edges toward center so that bread will not tear.
  3. Place sandwich filling on one row of buttered bread. Filling for sandwiches being prepared for box lunches is limited to sliced, cooked, or preserved meat and polutry; cheese; jams or jellies; and peanut butter.
  4. Place matching slices of bread, buttered side down, over filling. Do not use any lettuce in the sandwiches. If lettuce is available and is desired, wrap it separately with other crisp salad vegetables and pack in the box of lunch.
  5. Stack sandwiches two deep.
  6. Using a sharp knife, cut the sandwiches in half diagonally. Place in glassine sandwich bags or wrap in waxed paper immediately and refrigerate.

The next time you make a sandwich, you can ponder “am I making it the army way?”

Figure 68 in Preparation and Serving of Food in the Garrison Mess (TM10-419), March 1966

If you interested in learning more about  food in the military see:

Comments (7)

  1. The military is still up to it’s rule hijinks. In the Air Force you’re not allowed to take two steps at a time, as it might be dangerous. It’s a rule. There is also a rule forbidding you to hold onto a care while riding a skateboard. It is also forbidden to sit on the same horizontal surface as someone of the opposite sex while in uniform. Likewise, people of opposite sex are forbidden from standing alone together behind a closed door. I’m pretty sure that they were contemplating making sure that men could not make over three shakes while at the latrine; however, conflicts with the rule not to stare at another’s private parts prevented the enacting of the rule.

  2. Here’s a quick comment.

    I enjoy getting the emails about things that are happening, and available, at the LOC. However, it is a bit cumbersome to have to click on the link of an email to know if it is someothing of interest.

    It would be very helpful to have an indication, in the part of the email visible as one opens the email, saying whether the content is a live lecture, video, event with a date, etc.

    Sometimes I just delete all the notes I have received, because I donot want to click on each one. And I am sure that I miss a lot.


    • @Matt – When you subscribe to the blog email notifications, there should be a header (the title of the post that is ‘hot-linked’) followed by the body of the content, which is the first 20 words, or so of the article. I will look into this and make sure our notifications are working properly. I will also check to see if we can list categories, such as webcast, events, etc in these notifications.

      Our blog posts are on a variety of business, science, and related topics. We accompany these posts with pictures that will illustrate the topics. There are specific email notifications about LC webcasts and events. See our RSS and Email page to find events and webcast subscriptions that might interest you.

  3. Interesitng, tomoorrow i’ll make a militar sandwich!!!

  4. I really enjoyed this post because it is filled with HOW and WHY. If I was still a substitute teacher, I’d have a copy of this in my bag and could use it from kindergarten to HS.
    I went back to look at the Sandwich Making post too which I somehow missed before.

  5. Oops..I meant to comment on the PB&J – but you can see I wasn’t lying about checking out the Sandwich Making!

  6. Do they cut off the crust?

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