When I bring home a thrifted recipe book I am rarely tempted to try the recipes. You have to tinker with the ingredients and the method to m...

When I bring home a thrifted recipe book I am rarely tempted to try the recipes. You have to tinker with the ingredients and the method to make allowances for changed products and cooking equipment.

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au || Clements Tonic Melbourne Club Sandwich

No longer do we take things "off the fire" or have a store of "drippings" in the pantry. Clements Tonic Cookery Book is the rare exception: its recipes could sit on the menu of any hipster cafe today.


Consider this a fancy BLT. Anchovy paste, capers and my modifications of a fried egg and aioli really lift it.

INGREDIENTS (per sandwich)

Three slices of bread 
Butter or margarine
One rasher of bacon
Lettuce leaves (the recipe calls for chopped lettuce leaves, but I used uncut leaves from my garden)
Four to five cucumber slices
Four to five tomato slices
A little diced celery (I used about a tablespoon)
Mayonnaise (I used a store-bought garlic aioli) 
Anchovy paste
An egg, fried sunny side up (the recipe calls for a boiled egg, but I thought fried would look and hold together better)
A handful of grated cheese (not in the original recipe)
Two teaspoons of capers, chopped
Salt and pepper

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au || Clements Tonic Melbourne Club Sandwich cut diagonally


Prepare your lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery, capers and cheese.
In a hot pan, fry up your rashers of bacon and set aside.
Add a teaspoon of butter or margarine to the pan and add your egg, being careful not to spill the yolk. Sprinkle the egg with grated cheese for an extra gooey and crispy fried egg. Set aside.
Prepare three slices of toast with butter or margarine.
On the first piece of toast layer the bacon, lettuce and mayonnaise. 
Add a second piece of toast and layer with cucumber, tomato and celery. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the final piece of toast with anchovy paste, add to your stack and top with the fried egg and capers.
Cut diagonally, and enjoy. 

katiecrackernuts.blogspot.com.au || Clements Tonic Melbourne Club Sandwich for lunch, breakfast or dinner

Clements Tonic Ltd was based at Rozelle, Sydney, and was effectively the maker of drug store supplies.

A curry powder and vanilla essence are the lone pantry staples listed in the cookery book. They sit alongside an emulsion for teething babies, Zoldy face powder, Presto Powders, Formalin Tablets, asthma powder and other personal concoctions. My favourite ad is for the original Clements Tonic: apparently it "gives you nerves of steel".

The opening note, to "Madam", reminds the home cook that their "important task" is the "welfare, comfort and health" of their family.

"Health and appetite go hand in hand," it goes on, creating a natural segue from family recipes to "a dessertspoon of Clements Tonic added to tablespoon of water and taken one hour before meals will keep the grown-ups fit to enjoy your cooking".

There's no date in the book, but I am guessing late 1920s, early 1930s by the clothing and hairstyle of the women on the cover. The other hint is a recipe described as Princess Elizabeth's 'favourite' pudding. Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926, so take that as a guide.

The Melbourne Club Sandwich is one of five club sandwiches listed; another being the Princess Club Sandwich. To make, take three slices of buttered toast, top one with a lettuce leaf and a spread of minced (cooked) chicken and mayonnaise, another slice of toast, cooked mushrooms and the final piece of toast.

You Might Also Like


  1. Hello Katie...I have been off the air for a while moving my blogging space. It is nice to be back in your happy blog place. Yum, I could eat this right now. Couldn't we all do with a potion for "nerves of steel" occasionally! Happy Friday.