I’ve always loved a good sandwich. I’ve never been much of a breakfast eater but Mom usually made me eat something before school. It was not unusual for me to make myself a tuna or bologna sandwich rather than the eggs or cereal my brothers ate.
Today is National Sandwich Day (who decides these things, anyway??) so I thought I would share a few of my favorite sandwiches.
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For me, any discussion of sandwiches really has to start with bologna and cheese. My dad did was not the cook in the family. Oh, he did some grilling and he often cooked bacon and fried eggs on weekend mornings when we were at our cabin in Big Bear. Otherwise Mom did the cooking. However, he did have a specialty of sorts. He made the best bologna and cheese sandwiches. My youngest brother was a huge fan and would often ask Dad to make him a “juicy bologna and cheese sandwich”. I know “juicy” sounds like an odd adjective for a bologna and cheese sandwich but we all understood that to mean plenty of mayonnaise (Best Foods only – this was California), mustard, lettuce, tomato, Oscar Mayer all beef bologna and Kraft American cheese. And it had to be on really fresh, white bread.
I long ago left behind American cheese and most lunch meats. I also try to eat a better quality bread most of the time. Several years ago, though, I got a bit nostalgic and decided to make myself a “juicy bologna and cheese sandwich”. I bought the bologna but couldn’t bring myself to buy American cheese. I opted for a slice of cheddar instead. I prepared the sandwich being sure to use plenty of mayo spread all the way to the edges of both slices of bread – I consider this an essential but often overlooked step. I eagerly took a bite. Hmm… I took another one. Maybe the cheddar ruined it but it just didn’t do a thing for me anymore. Maybe some things are best left to memory.
On the other hand, I still love a good tuna sandwich. In fact, a tuna sandwich with barbecue chips is my favorite weekday lunch at home. These days I buy low-mercury tuna and limit how often I have it. I ate tuna several times a week as a kid so I probably already have enough mercury in me.
My other childhood favorite was a sandwich piled high with freshly sliced deli meats and cheeses. Our family often stopped by the deli on our way home after church on Sundays. We’d get several varieties of meats – roast beef, turkey, pastrami, ham – and cheeses then go home and make absolutely delicious sandwiches which we would eat along with chips and dip. We don’t have any good delis around here and I truly miss them.
I also love a good BLT in the summer when I have home-grown tomatoes. And there is nothing quite like a post-Thanksgiving sandwich made with turkey, mayo and homemade cranberry sauce. This is another sandwich which calls for white bread.
Then there are the memorable sandwiches from restaurants. Top of my list would have to be the Thanksgiving Sandwich at Stanley’s in New Orleans. Thickly sliced roast turkey, bacon, cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing, basil mayo and arugula on a freshly baked croissant. I ordered it every time we went there. Sadly, it is no longer on the menu but I keep hoping they will bring it back.
Another memorable sandwich was the Black and Bleu Steak Sandwich from the Royal Street Deli in New Orleans. Rare sliced steak, bleu cheese crumbles, roasted red pepper served up on a po’boy with a side of sweet potato salad. Totally yum!
You can’t talk about sandwiches in New Orleans without mentioning the Ferdi Special from Mother’s. This po’boy is stacked with ham baked on the premises as well as roast beef and something they call “debris”. It’s the drippings and little pieces of roast from the roasting pan and they ladle some of this over the meat making for one delicious and messy sandwich. It’s dressed with coleslaw and trust me when I say you need to split it with someone. David and I almost always make a Ferdi Special our first meal each time we go to New Orleans.
Finally, everyone needs a good grilled cheese sandwich once in awhile. Sometimes I like to take a simple grilled cheese to another level by adding caramelized onions to it. Served with my homemade tomato soup, this is an easy yet delicious meal.
I’m sure I’ll think of other yummy sandwiches as soon as I finish this but you have to stop somewhere. So tell me…what is YOUR favorite sandwich?