Once a Saginaw Favorite: The Kozy Korner Chopped Peanut Sandwich


Once a Saginaw Favorite: The Kozy Korner Chopped Peanut Sandwich.


Chopped peanut sandwiches were once a popular menu item - at least in 1920s Saginaw. On the menus in several restaurants, two recipes for chopped peanut sandwiches have survived. Last year we featured the version served in Tanner’s Tearoom. This year we conclude National Sandwich month – August is so designated – with the recipe for the Kozy Korner chopped peanut sandwich.


Ed Miller, a writer for the Saginaw News, was enamored with the Kozy Korner version and wrote two articles celebrating it:


“This side of the promised land, certainly, nobody ever made a chopped peanut sandwich as good as those at Kozy Korner. They were made from chopped peanuts, not peanut butter, in some artful blend with mayonnaise. They withstood imitation.” “Meet You At Kozy Korner! Oh, to Hear The Call Again,” The Saginaw News, April 28, 1963


Kozy Korner was a small restaurant located at 1822 Court. Ed Miller recounted its history in a 1963 article:


“Its heyday was in the 1920s and early 30ds in a building at Bay and Court which was a West Side landmark for nearly a century. Bought several years ago by Roy Johnson, it was torn down recently and the site paved to provide more off-street parking for the adjoining Roy’s Steak House.”*


“Many of the neighborhood’s youngsters of that day cherished their first ‘store-boughten ice cream at Kozy Korner. It soon became a favored meeting place of high school youngsters from both sides of the river, especially after dances and weekend movie dates.”


Miller recounts that the Kozy Korner restaurant was located on the first floor and in the basement was a separate establishment operated by Mr. Kundinger. Featuring pool tables, card tables and a lunch counter where he prepared and served hamburgers.


In 1927, the Kundingers turned the operation of Kozy Korners over to others. It would have a succession of owners. However, it remained a popular restaurant and a popular venue for meetings, showers, birthday parties and even wedding breakfasts. Of course, this leads to the question: Did Mrs. Kundinger’s chopped peanut sandwich remain on the menu? While we have not found a definitive answer to that question, we did find that it was mentioned in her obituary:


“For Many years, Mrs. Kundinger and her husband C.J. Kundinger operated Kozy Korner Restaurant. Nunnie [Mrs. Kundinger’s nickname] was well-known for her chopped peanut sandwiches.” From the obituary of Ida Kundinger, The Saginaw News, January 20, 1999


If you want to do a comparison, This link will take you to the Tanner’s Tearoom chopped peanut sandwich recipe:


https://www.castlemuseum.org/post/tanner-s-tearoom-chopped-peanut-sandwiches


Kozy Korner operated until at least 1947. For those of you familiar with the now closed Roy’s Steakhouse: the steakhouse was located immediately to the east of the Kozy Korner building and opened in 1941. Kozy Korner was demolished and paved for parking – probably in the late 1950s.



Recipe

Peanuts roasted in the shell. Shuck peanuts and chop fine in a mixing bowl. Mrs. Kundinger's Special Dressing: 1 T. flour 3 T. sugar ½ tsp. salt 1 pt. mayonnaise 1 T. prepared mustard, hot 2 eggs

Blend together flour, sugar, salt, mustard and beaten eggs. Cook in double boiler until thick. Mix in mayonnaise. Before serving sandwiches, mix in desired portion of peanuts and spread. This dressing refrigerates and is also good for coleslaw.


Notes:

Sometimes the Castle Test Kitchen and the historical research department are one in the same. Such is the case with this week’s recipe.


After preparing and photographing the sample for this post, the research department discovered another version of the Kozy Korner sandwich in a 1983 Saginaw News article. Although this recipe works, the newer version seems promising, and we will explore it later this fall. If you feel that you need to make chopped peanut sandwiches in the immediate future, we recommend using the Tanner’s Tearoom recipe.