The Sunday Sandwich
If I have an outstanding talent, a single ability that consistently inspires sighs of wonder and promises of lifetime loyalty, it is this:
I make a damn good sandwich.
Ever since I was a little girl, everyone, without exception, has wanted to eat the sandwich I am making myself for lunch. This weekend, my husband, Brian, told me that he looks forward all week to “the Sunday sandwich” and it may be among the top five reasons he loves me.
I have always taken great pains with my sandwiches, lightly toasting chewy slices of carefully chosen bread, lovingly spreading mayonnaise, and stacking the ingredients just so. I like to elevate a sandwich with a twist of fresh ground pepper, a slice of good quality smoky cheese, a layer of sun-dried tomatoes. My interest is never to make a classic sandwich something it is not–you will never find me torturing a BLT by adding onions, for example (no BLOTs for me). But rather I want to nudge the ingredients a bit to make a classic really live up to its potential.
If I am making you a sandwich, I take care to layer cheeses, lettuces, hot pickled peppers, tomatoes, tart artichoke hearts and splashes of infused olive oils and balsamic in ways that protect breads from becoming soggy, cheeses from becoming slimy. A dash of tabasco can give an otherwise simple sandwich an aura of mystery. Consider tuna salad on brown bread toast with the slimmest bread and butter pickle slices spread on top…. or a simple warm teriyaki steak sandwich on lightly toasted baguette with mayonnaise and caramelized onions.
If I pack you a sandwich for lunch, it will be arranged in little modules in your lunchbox, a tiny ziplock bag filled with home-blended honey mustard will be all ready to slide between the smoked turkey and lacy swiss cheese on chewy, nutty, multi-grain. I’ll slice the crispiest inside parts of a head of iceberg into a confetti pile of sweet-tart ribbons and put that into a little tupperware perched on a cold pack. I want your sandwich to be deeply comforting–I want it to hit the spot. I want you to know how much you are loved.
And now, I’m going for lunch.