I discovered an old recipe for Ironed Sandwiches. Fascinated, I had to try it!

This was obviously originally invented when women used to heat up their flat irons to do the ironing.

The flatiron was originally known as a sad iron. Sad meant solid.

Women often owned several flat irons and they would heat them all up on the fire on washing days so that when one was too cool, there was another hot one waiting.

From this came the expression to have plenty of irons in the fire, meaning to have backup if something went wrong.

The irons developed, having a large base that held charcoal or paraffin, so they stayed hot a lot longer. The trouble was, they would get too hot and had to be left to cool down for a while.

As women would be busy all day on washdays, which were traditionally Mondays, the Ironed Sandwich was a great way to prepare a meal without stopping their work, and it saved money too!



Butter two slices of bread on both sides and fill with the cheese of your choice.

Grated cheese works well.

You can add pickle or slices of tomato.

Wrap the bread in tinfoil and place on the ironing board beside the iron.

Every time you iron something, press down on the sandwich. Keep turning it over.

It takes about 10-15 minutes to melt the sandwich filling.

The bread goes dark, but it doesn’t really go hard like toast.

Now you can eat and iron at the same time!

This works well in hotel rooms too if you fancy a hot snack late at night, but don’t forget to wrap the sandwich up!

I can also imagine the Forces doing it while ironing their uniforms.

When I read this, I decided that the Victorian and Edwardian women would have used brown paper.

But I discovered that tinfoil (spelt as one word originally) was in common use from the late 1800s.

It gave a slight tinny flavour to food, but it would probably have been used for this recipe.

Interesting – but I still hate ironing!